Tuesday 6 April 2010

Catherine Wagner's Macular Hole (Fence, 2004)

It's hard to excerpt from these poems as many work holistically; that is, individual passages often gain resonance because of their placement and so don't convey that power standing alone. Nonetheless, here's a sample.

I'm not stupidly assailed by moonlight
I'm an example, an experimental

Attempt to assess how a kid of my talents
Responds when she's given the life that I was

I'm the control and experiment bothly
you'll never get a result out of me


I'm total I'm all I'm absorbed in this meatcake
If I did all I could you'd shut up/be glad

Like fingers of a hand we all act as one
and aren't always needed, aren't needed as all

from "I'm total I'm all I'm absorbed in this meatcake"

Sleep for a long time and a thrust of activity: log rolling, fall off a skyscraper,
phenomenologues, cigarettes, korn, seeding herpes lip to lip.
Why LSD in the seventies, why coke in the eighties,
why Ecstasy in the nineties, why Ritalin.
To bolster the wandering mind; to bolster the wandering heart
to bolster the glamor; to glamor the wander.
The glamorous self and its story: no can do.

last 7 of 9 lines of "The divinity of man"

A day like a thing on a fork it arrives

from "A bash, and I wanna look good"

I call on creatures
Living in the sky today
I adjure you
Emerge and dive your wings and bodies
Prevail across the scary light
Cavernous several light

from "Song: Scary several light"

The prisoner is time, or my sense of it.
A great suction fattens
on my trés rich hours.


He can have vines because I can't drink wine
while I'm breastfeeding.
Tyrant. Asleep and saying huu,
fantastic waxen kicking
figurine, like a kick in the head, little
fat bag, a good drug
I see more of the
him in.

from "Perfect love"

Why was I writing so
much? Because I was impressed, & saddled up & ridden.

from "Imitating"

It's like we'll be together forever
so why should we talk. It's like parents.

As looking at yellow mountains
against blue sky. They're flaming
and it is your eyes.

last two stanzas of "Resume, face"

Macular Hole can be purchased from The Book Depository, with free worldwide shipping.

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