poem index


Catherine Wagner

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Catherine Wagner is the author of Nervous Device (City Lights Publishers, 2012), My New Job (Fence Books, 2009), Macular Hole (Fence Books, 2004), and Miss America (Fence Books, 2001). She teaches at Miami University in Ohio and lives in Oxford, Ohio.

by this poet

Things mean, and I can’t 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
A skylight stippled
Wet, scatted
With translucent brown maple seedwings

I'm under that

I wrote it as if it were a poem
And my handy margin
Would profit me.

The notebook margin
Lends to me
Its frugal axis, asking
Nothing, determinist
Of route, but blandly so.

"I didn't know."

Push forward
The bag of skin