Friday, March 12, 2010

Catherine Wagner reads her poem, day 52


In the little painting of love
Is a man repairing a fence.

A little crap love-object
And a too-big church in the background
   near the sea
  by a strip of valley
Lit up like surgical tape.

Metaphors can incline one
Toward healing thoughts.
I will have your experience.

The ocean uptaken in the wind
Rolls inland.
Heal, heal, fungus on toe,
Heal, toe.

If I lose this job
[I have other skills?/There are other workers].

If we all lose our jobs
We go to Ocean City
  and photograph ourselves
   as human pyramids.
My grandfather spent the thirties
Thus on the beach.

Abundant poverty to live in. Many years.

Between you and me is chestbone.
No meshing.
So eat my face for hours.

If a poem is active
Its action aborts in you
As colored light flies into black.

Keeps flying
The light from long ago
Until the night-blockade.

So shut the book.

The man who mends the fence

Leaves a space for the caissons to roll
    down valley from sea.

Let me eat your face, neighbor
   who owns the Bagel and Deli on High
and has two children,
Lily and Garrison.

Catherine Wagner's latest book, My New Job, is forthcoming from Fence. Her other books are Macular Hole and Miss America (both Fence). Recent chapbooks include Articulate How (Big Game Books/Dusie, 2008), Hole in the Ground (Slack Buddha, 2008) and the forthcoming Bornt (Dusie). She teaches at Miami University in Ohio.

Originally Posted March 12, 2009

Click Here for the MP3 of this Reading.


  1. Just read this. Love the poem, Cathy -- look forward to your next book!


  2. Lovely poem, Cathy :)
    Thanks for sharing

  3. Interesting poem! "We go to Ocean City" - you must be from Maryland, too.

  4. This brings back memories of family vacations at the beach. At the time I thought the places were magical but seeing them as an adult, they are rather shabby.

  5. Reminds me of summers past. I enjoyed your reading - ellyn deuink

  6. I'm a student at Miami. Love the "Bagel and Deli" in-joke here. Cathy is an awesome professor and an inspiration. And hilarious.

  7. Wow! Really Great Poem! Thank you so much!!

  8. Incredible job you done here. I already bookamrked this articol and i request your pesmision to get it to my readers also.


  9. Very interesting topic. Well-writtend and enjoyable to read. Keep it up!

  10. Very interesting topic. Well-writtend and enjoyable to read. Keep it up!

    unique hoodia

  11. Great poem, very well written. Thanks for sharing it.

    Brittney @ Recent Chick Flicks

  12. I really like this great poem i really appreciate it.

  13. It is really amazing to read such a nice poem. it touches my heart