This week in the PEN Poetry Series, PEN America features two poems by Ben Mirov. 

Employee of the Moth

A very imaginative lemur
could probably do my job
is what I tell myself 

first thing in the morning. 
It helps me to define myself 
from the competition.

I stand up on my desk chair
and look around my prism.
No enemies. Just wildlife.

A few shriveled ideas
waiting in the afterlife.
And hours and hours and hours

of polishing the hourglass.
I keep one eyeball on the lemurs.
Nobody touches my keyboard.

Paraffin on the narthex.
Shimmy shimmy ya ya.
Now I gotta go.


How do you make the labyrinth fly?
Become a mechanic of the soul?

Is that a job anyone can have?
Chucking a wrench at the glass heart.

Master of fine art? More like paper 
airplane disaster factory.  

Gerard Manley Hopkins? 
More like a clod of Earth flung skyward

towards God’s stupid face.
Feathers or snow? I don’t know.

Forest or forget? I can’t tell either. 
Just keep tracing circles in the air.

Keep skywriting your revisions
for everyone to read.

Until the mission is complete. 
And you return to the place you started.

Alight upon a gauntlet. 
Any gauntlet will do.

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