Wednesday 17 October 2012

Catherine Wagner's My New Job (Fence, 2009)

What a nervy, original book! I'd dipped into it before but only recently read the whole. Here are a few favourite passages.

I lean forward on a nerve ebullient
my sweet alive and roasting in a current

from "Exercise 1 (11/28/00 PM)"

Good for M the comfortable-with-people to be away from me. tauten the cord to make it all more urgent

from "Exercise 7 (12/3/00 PM)"

The wheatrows flattened
gold, another dark
combed curve opened
like a stretchy

opening lines of "Exercise 21 (11/8/01 Am) [Back Seat of Minivan]"

starred when I looked straight up
sky dark gray, geese rose
in alarmed soft shh and hasping
long-necked geese
a-gossip all upset


all along I was alone to that
though everyone saw me
checking myself out by talking to them
when they checked themselves out in me
I tried to say O here have it all
     warm woolen flood     welcomer
          some spider-netting held it back,
kept growing over my warm and my intention to befriend

from "Exercise 34 (1/3/02 PM)"

All the following poems come from a section titled, "Everyone in the Room Is a Representative of the World at Large," and all the poems share that title. Each passage comes from a different poem.

I make the bird a flying fist
my violence goes on out along the stream.


My beast came up and hit me in the self.


It is not a hero
who will approach the mirror of
this appointment
and glide her thighs and torso to it.
That is me

These passages can't convey the experience of the undulations of a whole Wagner poem. For that, please purchase the book from Foyle's in the UK or your independent bookstore in the US.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the fragments. More than enough to warrant a further look.