Catherine Wagner

Two Poems from Of Course 



Cricketsong firmly established—one hzzzh high thick thick high fence. Now I hear inside it 8–10 pulses per second, high low points of different singers' songs intersecting in acidic thrum. Some are silent, foraging or breeding in my ears a version of forever.

I know verbs move

a line, but

nothing here is moving Stop in the path. Sun strikes a log through trees. Bird: Great news. Great great great— Approach page scared Pileated woodpecker drumming on a dead ash tree.

We don’t follow the law of conservation of angular momentum because it’s a law, we follow it because we can’t help it and we don’t not murder because murder is against the law we, we, we, we, we murder anyway, we do what we think we have to embezzle tort trump property lump. I’m my bitch, I’m my bitch! I’ll have feedback to you ASAP.

Wherever I stop, the closest cricket also stops. I am a threat. Crouching in tall grass to spot them, in amongst them, still can’t see them (see other bugs—wasps spiders flies beetles). The sound changes as I turn my head— diffuse and angular ringing buzz spills over horizon-dam surrounding town

Stay silent till you know you’re safe, crickets till you know the others are safe

of course but whenever possible please be calling to your others






Dried clover flower  


Dried clover-flower on its stalk green center, white-rimmed, thin brown wrinkled petals starring out, brown hooks pointing in different directions at the crimped thin end of each petal. A record of expansion. Expansion is star-shaped if one’s reach is not obstructed. Shape of firework, classic articulated bloom, "operates according to a logic of" Spread arms, lie back on grass

Went to school in the tree I like to xylem and phloem till we push a seed out the stem. That’s gross. Seed gets a message, pollination, "time to become a billion bigger than you are" big bang happens daily. Xylem and phloem Jailem and drownem Kingdom and file 'em

Fell asleep. Geese crossed pond. Monde. My feet sweating in boots. Sun lower, wind rising. A gesture, grass upside-down. I gesture of Dead, tree head in the water

Well I don't want any more to get in translucent pond past wet.

Red poppies holding the light, someone’s yard.

Driveway cracks (mine). Kill the weeds.

Cut their throats. Drink their blood.

Late cricket shoots light-hyphens from a space-gun and the victim day is permanently charged.

I’ve had an excellent walk Sudden urge to get married to the day. Get married to my life and have a lifely life whose isn’t any else I own.


Try with and without an us. Without an anus mouth’s no help. But a mouth is helpful. Kiss the anus too.


December, marching to keep warm, heading back. I swear I hear crickets, dim silvery ringing

—"snowy crickets"?
continuous overtone
fry of
neural activity/
blood traffic?
echoes land-shape.

The bitch sleep still curled up in child's pose other side electrified fence


Mom’s getting a defibrillator pen out of juice trees no leaves yet clumpy gray sky upside-down trees in runoff pond calm doublings. Sitting on log, boots in swamp. Of course the leaves in melt puddle beech leaves, oak, are soft-silted,

funged over, mossed, can’t see edges, unshapes I could name arendt-bloat, farleigh, soft-boat, softclaws, mud galaxy, smoking clot, feinted burrow. Not going to look the same tomorrow.

                                                          Pond close to the road gray-green
                                          and the upside-down trees sharp. Hear
HVAC   cars

                              the culvert—
                                                      Stream through it.