My New Job

By Catherine Wagner Catherine Wagner
I am      Invested in
by a      Huge Fund
Heavy                    highquality
furniture
Sense of heavy
Addiction glossy pleasance
 
I was lying  Down on a yoga mat
 My bones
basketing air     Barely draped in
skin
the basket             Effulged by local
Air      Highquality        scented
humid air
to support          My orchid        Skin
 
Suffuged in this Air
expense I nearly
floated  Who was my  Body
 
I am comfortable I am
comfortable     Flying my spirit
 
On a long leash
She is            in the wind
   I am in the     belle
belle jar
shellacked and        brittle
  begins to      ding
 
 
How can I      From inside this comfort
 
Represent      Hope to
 
No no
 
I am                 Too tempted
 
To think I            Deserve it
                     Rigidly and with effort
 
know my privilege
 
 
 
I know my fluorescent doorway
 
A rectangle   Among the ceiling tiles
 
Ordinary flecked coated  1) foam rectangles
 
and one hard white light regularly rubbled
 2) glass rectangle
 
 these are my choices
the
 
     ceiling tile                      I would tear
in                         behind the
       Ugly lattice to the   Duct area
   Unscrew the grille    Smallen myself
Into the dark cold  Square pipe
    To share  My cold  What is in
       My basket    Bone-basket
              With the other      breathers/Workers
 
Or through the fluorescent door
 
 Means giving up   On going   behind
the lattice.
 
 
All that’s allowed   Through the flow light
 
Is what   Is shined upon
 
The light bends looking at my   Skin
and hair   and   green blouse
 
       When I concentrate  The light bending
All at once         Hooks my outsides
 
Hooks them into itself
 
             Now I am
     absent that
 
I am not / shined upon
 
     very small        dusty
 
     lizardlike   a  toad    a  turd
 
   on a tabletop     corner

And the outside of that is hooked away
 
         wow my parents
 
hooked away           People
 
on the street   skin and clothing
 
    hung on hangers
 
  from    electric wires
 
blooming and twisting    swells of breeze
 
leave behind             on the street
a fair       weather
 
an easy            weather
walk-through
 
 
I think I’m better    than the walk-throughs
    because something is left of me
 
that’s what I     think I must
  be wrong to     think so
 
 
 
               Would you like to    Eat at my house
 
Fill up your              Walk-through
 
You drive through               Fill it up with
 
tea and sheets
  water from the toilet
 
These could    be your eyebrows
                                       [crayons]
 
these could be your knees, these coasters
 
                  What could                be your inside?
 
   Paper       wadded paper
      It says something
 
What about              Something sticky
       For your mouth             Honey
 
Then we will read you      For dinner
 
 
 
In my  transitional housing    [dirt ball toad]
 
   I picked myself apart   With a fork
  Connected a wire      Where my belly was
                                         Coiled up   the plug
           The prongs poke hurt
 
This is the part        Light plugs
        into           My/The outside plugs
into             To light up
 
The    shine    is    from    unshiny
 
 
  sewn in place with the little
     Light hooks     Made a case for me
Visible
 
 
   so I retaliated
Against the hooks
 
I was    trying       My lizard turd
   was trying    to    join the other
 
Mud
 
 
my thrashing         harnessed
motored
made the light
 
 
 
Meanwhile       My toad
absorbed
pollution
 
from the walkthroughs       High empty
thoughts      Funneled   backchannel
 
Won’t you be mine [mind]         Be my thought
softening                   the rockmud
 
 
 
I will reorient  now          I will claymation
That is a scary    Gingerbready
 
 
    mud man
  walking          You can’t catch me       hole for
                        Your thoughts
   tunneled invisible     Unreflecting
 unrepresenter
Not wrapped
 
 
 
The Sun is here    Also   later and at
  the same time   the sun burned
    up and we revolved
 
around it dirt rock
 
    warm   dirt rock
 
    in the dark                     of coursing
    around the dark
 
I have made myself the center of
 
     the galaxy
I am very important to myself
 
  must lose this
 
visibility
 
The shine is off
 
perspect while kicking
 

Where do you      think they get the lights from?
 
   Burn it up, burn up all the fuel
into furious dirt
 
     Nematodes
don’t need light
 
When I am in a room with forest
It is not that myself comes home to myself
 
   Selva oscura,  ya
 
     Obsecurity of self
 
      I considered long and seriously before
 
           I was bornt
 
      I stood on the street
 
    With the hookers
 
Who were selling
 
Disappear into a hole
 
 Into Mama
 
    but come back out.
 
   Go in, boys.
 
   Go in and stay there.

Catherine Wagner, “My New Job” from My New Job, published by Fence Books. Copyright © 2009 by Catherine Wagner. Reprinted by permission of Catherine Wagner.

Source: My New Job (Fence Books, 2009)

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Poet Catherine Wagner

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Free Verse