|Catherine Wagner [UMaine New Writing Series]|
from Catherine Wagner's Nervous Device:
I would like never to be obscure. I understand why I was: explaining
is a bore, and flattens lang, so, it takes experience to write a real poem
that is well-lit. Which is not the same as clear
drinking water from a jar, old
babydoll in bed. Broke and well-fed.
Lying here is great, I said,
you are not, nowhere, stay yup alnight.
You sunshine bleat.
I coulda moved to ________ moved to ________. My more glamor-
ous avatar did, she willy did, but when she was there, lookout, she
looked in her pocketbook at the mirror
in the snapshut clamshell, the mirror was distwatted
curved along the shell wall. A weirdo pronunciation from New
distwatted. That's just dis toy bin and it's more exciting than the
Writing a poem is like reaching two prosthetic limbs out as far as you
can on either side to grab something in front of you. You can't grab
it but maybe you'll take flight.
But I'm not trying to grab anything in front of me when I write a
poem. GET that kitty.
The terms given you were: Breathe. That starts it.
Then, do as you're told, to please them
and don't, to discover your mind.
Then you are imperfect
child, a wanton.
Whence came this agon? Snot and tears,
hot face, and wretched powerless,
except to cause annoy. So cause annoy.
Infra Res: Color Essays [excerpt]
The last time I was anywhere
I enjoyed erotica made only of color
Fields placiding intramural
Composting or illegal downshifting
Of light and dark
Out of view, behind
The station, acting intra.
Those colors were agents From the Sun —
(fluorescence — neon — stimulated gas —
diodes also — cased in plastic —
also from the Sun)
If everything is from the Sun why praise it.
I didn't say I was praising.
One who makes odes is an odor.
Two who make odes are nearly perfume.
Watch Cathy Wagner sing medieval ditties & read from Nervous Device — highly recommend.