Anne Waldman


        Sensemaya, the snake
      Sensemaya, with its eyes
   (Nicolas Guillen)

Be such a strong fact
You would sleep
Of those I kill

Milk running over
Name a variant of “scheme”

To act not hurt

Render it barren

Nor spill dripping rain
Athene asks Turn it up

The hungry Syrians

& whose up for rule?
A labrys, the double head

An ax for thought


Suffer eclipse
can’t see can’t see the syndicates

For want of a brain
         yet I have
without wine
this crazy election

   Hooked the little box world

Men are stumping in their speeches

I can’t be media for want of a brain

Stains set you free after vetting
The secret pacts and deals
Go crazy with conspiracy

I always vote beside the hearth
Keep my house alive
Be not a murderer of sleep

Bloc at the feet

For want of a brainstem
The spears go free

All my arrows were the candidates

Ur-this, the ur-that, ur-person
      one who told a story, silly, too long


The self goes down….

In augury with a nuked family

For want of a society the bees run free

For want of a tibula, the world strums

Sisters elect of our wonder; a barker:
    pearls and blue beads
Cobalt stuff
    An outfit

For want of obstruction
run free

& the other one had a cuff link perhaps

will others don?

will swear?

Keep an upright way

Pancake makeup & pundits
And sway to a better idea?

Make no mistake
   When greater disaster comes
Robber is all you are

Helm of my state will not go gentle

Out of the riches, yet
mid-grips for the temps on strike in Michigan

This is not a red state
This is the city of Pallas

Alive in the estates of the father

Enough, cry hold
& they bitter come from a mocking tree
in ritual misadventure
upon all who stroll across oaths

Hunted beast slips from our nets


Won’t sleep me with me no more no more
for want of a bed

Charioteers go on strike
   for want of a whip

Mount the statue of Athene
 and her plebes

       Eyes horrible with blood
who cannot see it’s plain to see

stain & power, a powerwall’s streets

  Receive your call

In secrecy of night
spring clear for want of a holy ear

Hears what it calls to all hers

You can not get me dream,
For want of an eye

Whimper you must
For want of an ark
You cannot get me an ark

For want of the sea
For want of my solace

A kind of school

Go Hermes
Help me pour these lustral
Or get up, feet
For want of a mother-snake

A hound whose thought of hunting has no shape

Ok, slack em
Let go, bloodshot breath
Vital’s heat
The dumb TV waken. speak severally
new more promises

In the town hall
You want plurality
Try a whole matricidal chorus
Trumped up for this

Let stabbing voice of the Etruscan

Let her breathe
A single ballot can restore a tree house

O god of the younger generation
Under the pods
  A future cruelty

Fuck land & bring your ton of hatred upon it
Tyranny not bring your bulk of hatred on anything

Civility? I promise you a void

I promise you a place
In the sacrosanct booth

Jagged loners eat the seeds

Or I’ll accept all devotions by you, citizens

Photo: Nina Subin

Anne Waldman

Anne Waldman is a poet, performer, professor, editor, literary arts curator, and cultural activist. She is the author numerous collections of poetry, including the 1000 page feminist epic The Iovis Trilogy: Colors in the Mechanism of Concealment (Coffee House 2011) which was the winner of the 2012 PEN Center USA Award for Poetry. Other recent books include Extinction Aria (Pied Oxen 2017), Voice’s Daughter of a Heart Yet to Be Born (Coffee House Press 2016), Jaguar Harmonics (Post-Apollo Press 2014), Gossamurmur, (Penguin Poets 2013). She co-edited Cross Worlds: Transcultural Poetics (Coffee House 2014), an anthology of lectures from The Jack Kerouac School at Naropa University. Waldman is the recipient of the Shelley Memorial Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a former Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. She received a long-life achievement award by the Before Columbus Foundation in 2015. She has collaborated with numerous visual artists, including painter Pat Steir. Waldman has also worked on a collaboration with Meredith Monk performing at Danspace and ICA in Boston, which will also be presented Brown University in the spring of 2018. She founded Fast Speaking Music with musicians Ambrose Bye and Devin Brahja Waldman, with whom she also collaborates. Publishers Weekly has deemed Waldman “a counter cultural giant”. She co-founded the Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics celebrated Summer Writing Program with Allen Ginsberg, a program she continues to curate in the summers. She has performed in recent years at festivals in Mexico City, Paris, Brussels, Calcutta, Jaipur, Marrakesh and Tangier. Trickster Feminism was released from Penguin in 2018. Website: