Sam Sax


Sam Sax is a queer, jewish, poet & educator. They're the author of Bury It (winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American poets) and Madness (winner of the National Poetry Series). They're the two time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion with poems published in The New York Times, Poetry Magazine, Granta, Buzzfeed and elsewhere. They've received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, and Lambda Literary. Currently living in Oakland California, and working at a used bookstore, they'll be a lecturer at Stanford University this Fall. Source

Prayer for the Mutilated World

what will be left after the last fidget

spinner’s spun its last spin


after the billboards accrue their thick

layer of grit masking advertisements

for teeth paste & tanqueray gin


after the highways are overtaken

by invasive forests


after the ministers give up their gods

& the rabbis their congregations

for drink


after new men rise to lead us sheep

toward our shearing, to make bed

sheets from our hair


after the high towers have no airplanes

to warn away & instead blink purely

toward heaven like children

with one red eye


after phone lines do nothing

but cut the sky into sheet music

& our phones are just expensive

bricks of metal & glass


after our cloud of photographs collapses

& all memories retreat back

into their privatized skulls


after the water taps gasp out their final


what then?


when even the local militias run

out of ammunitions


when the blast radii have been

chalked & the missiles do all they were

built to


when us jews have given up our state

for that much older country of walking

& then that even older religion of dirt


when all have succumbed to illness

inside the church of our gutted pharmacies


when the seas eat their cities


when the ground splits like a dress


when the trash continent in the mid-atlantic

at last opens its mouth to spit


what will be left after we’ve left


i dare not consider it


instead dance with me a moment

late in this last extinction


that you are reading this

must be enough





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Doubt & Fear

Mental Health

Violence & War

Literary Devices:


The repetition of similar vowel sounds that takes place in two or more words in proximity to each other within a line; usually refers to the repetition of internal vowel sounds in words that do not end the same.


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing


a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”

Slant Rhyme

A rhyme where the words have similar sounds in their stressed syllables.