The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Samantha Coggin

Is It Fiction Or America?


There’s a regime at large. Please, everyone stay indoors.
I’m only halfway through the manuscript and haven’t quite tamed it yet.
I can not have mortals running amok, disturbing structure with their millions of voices.


Samantha Coggin

The Cave


I once stumbled into a cave just off the city streets
It was quite damp and quite hollow
I couldn’t tell the pillars from the columns
or which way was what
I sat down on a crimson cushion,
spotted breadcrumbs in the seams and thought:
someone else has been here.
Copper pipes howled into the heavens
and I could smell the mahogany splitting from itself,
each creek seeping deeper into my posture
I could feel - in the crannies of the cave,
in the slinky inclines of coiling corners,
in the gilded daggers bluffing from the walls and ceilings -
something quite unholy.


Samantha Coggin

Italy, 1800


You have the power of a grown man’s chest to
blow wind through the unbroken bells of your boyhood
Blow and bellow your pale skin pink
Sing to the cuts that grew you younger
Cry to the churches for defying nature
And spit opium back into the screaming crowd




SAMANTHA COGGIN is a poet from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. But, please, call her Sam. She graduated from The Writers Foundry MFA program in Brooklyn, NY, in 2015. Sam then went on to teach creative writing courses to undergraduates at the university before moving to Berlin, Germany, where she currently resides. Presently, Sam is working on a collection entitled Saltines and Grape Juice, which plays with the broad theme of facades, while writing for Apple Music, iTunes, and a variety of other local and international projects, brands, and businesses. Her poetry work has been published in various print and online journals and magazines including the University of Chicago’s literary journal, Memory House.



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