This week in the PEN Poetry Series, C.D. Wright features six poems by Michael Keenan. About Keenan’s work, Wright writes: “Michael Keenan is a reborn troubadour. I know him but slightly though he studied at Brown. He was in one class with me and rarely sighted outside of it. He has since lived in Denver and New Orleans and is presently in Miami tuning his harp. I always thought his poems silvery and charitable. I recall that the bulk of the poem would often be the title. The body would just be a swift sketch. I admire their lateral drift, their intimate evocation of names, their evanescence.”


Script Notes for Blue Rain

In the soundless claw

less winter I was driving
friends into

smoke and into
smoke Blanca
the evening dreams

weeping Blanca



On Falling Asleep 
An Unknown Agatha Christie Movie

                                                           Adee Yawns:


Shy as a coral reef,

Plastic leaves fall from the great death.

from Marquis De Sade’s Justine, writes me a
letter from Paris, which I read on

a white corner
of a white

grave, making a day of it, as
there was no train


Song for a Fragile Painting

The secret dock, closed
tonight, a wild-fire, open, part-moon, part-

much to see at the coffin

shop today, save
for this crow

In a field of crows


Even the Thistle Opens in the Dark

Denying your name
in the city’s
                        last arc the light is
             on its own.
How simple, the wing of ashen feathers.
How foolish, everything,



I Dreamt of Snakes When I Slept Near F

An 8th of a
tank of gas, a

old loaf of
bread, what
more could anyone

for out of


Evening, Thai Palace, Las Vegas

            i don’t know what else to say if
    i died i don’t think i’d care i’m
so happy to be here with all of
                       you if i crash

    the car and the car never
    comes back



Once a week, the PEN Poetry Series publishes work by emerging and established writers from coast to coast. Subscribe to the Poetry Series mailing list and have poems delivered to your e-mail as soon as they are published (no spam, no news, just poems).