Catherine Wagner - Three Poems

From “Of Course”: “In the periphery”

In the periphery I was secret gong
hanging the hammock thinking CALL MY MOM
not doing that or any other task ha
HA I'll do my job of 

putting head outdoors    the garden ringing 
unfocused my eyes allowed
  moving shadows on the lawn      
                        like baby whales playing 20 feet underwater
   to shift their noons                              

Sun on green leaves brings out their yellow
      My eye drags tree to sky, prints violet margin.

From “Of Course”: “Still a little way” 

                                          Still a little way from trash-thicket
                                                                            back of golf course
                                                     let's go IN there            into buzzing silver haze-lasso

                                                                      dang it I can never see the crickets.
Squatted by pond to spot a couple of singing disco frogs and a cricket I thought
was very close. I didn't see any of them but did see spider, tiny beige, tie a web between
grasses. The frogs talk, maraca speed slowing to plucked-string sound: “That's -how-it-is;
that's how it—is; is is—that's how it is is is is is—that's   how it is. That's how—it is.”

We get the notebook out
like we used to do.
Want to catch a cricket.


From “Of Course”: “Tense patterned”

                                                                                                   Tense patterned turmoil of crickets    sonic crowd   too large to track,
can't see them working, how they respond to one another, how they group. 

                                          Pond still. Swallows wheel
                                          reflected in trees and sky below
                                          Six Canada geese
                                          frogs, crickets,
                                          human popsong
“Crazy in Love”
                        from the PA at golf course swimming pool near road.
                        Built with public funds in 1934 by the WPA and the Kiwanis Club
                        it was once the city pool. A whites-only clause appeared in the deed.
                        In 1949, members of the Oxford, Ohio NAACP sued for desegregation.
                        When the NAACP won, the city allowed the pool deed to “revert”
                        to the private Golf Club. The same year,
                        the course incorporated as a whites-only Country Club.
                        The city didn’t build the new public pool (over on Fairfield)
                                                                                                   till 1974.            Chorus/refrain.

                                          A swallow
                                          blows in triangles
                                          folds and reappears
hits water
twice with beak    like skimmed stone flying upwards.
                                          The algae’s disappearing, burning off.
                                          Now by pond, in shady spot in tall grass behind cattails
                                          I fling some snot into the grass.
                                          Looks like insect eggs stuck on a grass leaf.
                              Fuck off work,
the grass blows seeds
                                          in sun and breeze.
                                          Some algae has detached from the edge of the pond
                                          and floats in little islands.

                                          Fell asleep on a rock
                                          Now it's raining a bit
                                          So I will walk
                                          The clicka frogs are chorusing
                                          What are they communicating
                                          Think like a frog
                                          But man’s calling his dog—"Mindy!"
He sounds impatient—I would not want
to go back to him either.
                                          Can't see well with left contact
                                          And I do not have a project
                                          stepping slowly on brown earth   between
blurred irregular    ranks of green
virginia creeper    poison ivy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ground crickets
begin their ululant rotating pauses
                                                I get married to this

                                                shimmer shaketting inside itself coalesces
                                                            into pulsing        foreground and background

                                          Let me see you crickets!
                                          The chorus has swollen—not yet a roar
                                          I can never see them
“…I find you and hold you down (Miss Sing Sing)” 

—From “Hold Up.” While Beyonce, here, seems to be taking a power stance, a dom stance, she confesses parenthetically that her monogamous demands mean that she is herself a prison: Miss Sing-Sing. Her admission does not imply that Jay-Z is not an asshole; nevertheless, she’s “miss-Sing” him. Not to be outdone, she, too, is going missing. She knows he’s going to miss her more. That’s how she’ll hold him down.

                                          I haven't seen any people since
                                          I went off course. The swallows
                                          twittering now, and a red-winged
                                          blackbird other side of pond calls
                                          (twerpy buzzsaw). Geese.
      Ground crickets, handsome trigs.
A cardinal
                                          singing birdy-birdy,
                                          liquid loose. A rabbit.
                                          A fawn switching its tail, neck
                                          glowing in sun.
                                          Starlings gathering in one of the
                                          unleaved trees, a dead
                                          ash tree. Fuck you
                                          emerald ash borer.
                                          Ash leaflets repeated themselves
                              lined up, moving back and forth,
                                          " "    " " —they rolled their r's
                                          and bristled. That’s what they used to do.
                                          Repeat, bristle. Ash.



Karolinn FiscalettiIssue 3