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FURTHER READING
Poems by Catherine Wagner
Air Envelope
Essays by Catherine Wagner
The Politics of Meter: on Traditional Forms
Related Poems
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Everyone in the room is a representative of the world at large

 
by Catherine Wagner

Things mean, and I canít tell them not to.
Things       they moralize, to meet
my expectation, because I want advice
on how to live. The seaweed says:

This is a river; I am river-weed.
Which of these/my clumps do you want me to be (say)?

The closest one. That more animated brown one
rolls and unrolls its lengths of hair
and makes me feel unwell.
You quieter green clump, why donít you speak. 
Then

A most beautiful bright blue bird
knifed down the stream
and veered left at the oak,
where the stream bends. A
male bird. He says: I am the
excellent wanderer 
flashing above
the stream,
a blue muscle that centers past
and future

a blue muscle roping future in
as past behind me cedes

blue muscle flying future into past

blue muscle flashes future

instantaneous wingbeat pasts.

Under the bird, forest and water. Above 
the bird, forest and cloud.

The twig trails in the water.
Twig-end disappears, twig resurrects
in reflection and continues down,
leads back to the tree, the undertree
that lives on the top of the water.
If I penetrate (look beneath) the water, the twig end
dangles and the forest
disappears.

The bird was a flying fist

It smashed up nothing

I pursued it round the corner,
a blue punch

my violence goes on out along the stream.






Copyright © Catherine Wagner. Used with permission of the author.
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