Issue 4 – Summer 2003 – James Wagner

James Wagner



The normal pain of weddings or weedings or 
Plus. A man is a box out loud. A man drains 
A dangerous coal. There are dignified hides 
Of curative–spelled green–in which the vats 
Of practice spoil the ozone. If you are deaf, 
Don’t bobble the coins that far from the soda. 
A gallon of failure. A man is an oat on which 
Not one fly garage attempts wonder. Not a 
Grave, but a very foldable maxim. Attempt 
To see the shaky litter of comportment while 
Aligned with snow and cursing. Cursing sounds 
So mild. A man is a few dented sheep boxed 
In a man is walking and talking about traffic.



Mustard volume the size of values, watery, doltish 
Afternoons. Promise me no more holes in there. 
Or they will come down the hall. In boots and long 
Abated anger. Where for the belt. Tip-tip, a bag 
Of snow. She said her feelings felt too big for the 
Room. Running through and divots. Mesmerism 
Of affable people. Yet the moon hits them full: cold 
On the shoulders. I remember…and immediately 
It is a version. A version to house the paint with. 
It was never enough to follow the points of the ruler. 
A kind of what was it murder is so newspapery. One 
Did show him the blue eyes of the piano handler, the 
Talk of love in the offices, the boredom of reflecting.



for Bei Dao

Aperture, design, frame, precept, ion. Amble 
In every grade, per the house wine, as is lisped. 
Most of the wagon tossed the ore from books. 
I or that equation pixilated, thought-taped, is 
A fig meant for those shoals that have cats? It 
Goes on, the deaf closed moon, arranging a twin 
Secret, that irrupts a sheet’s queendom. I felt 
Something erase itself, eel off. A no. A question 
Affixed to a word’s birth, the causal shell wind- 
Aided, alarmed into was. O.K. As they dream, 
With fingers in many places. Earth even a death. 
The fire quaking like a telling. Into buildings that 
Vanish in waves. Where to. Grovel, lovingly. 



James Wagner’s poetry collection, the false sun recordings, will be published by 3rd bed this August. Recent work of his has appeared in AughtCastagrafDenver QuarterlyMcSweeney’s, and elsewhere. He teaches an online poetry workshop for Syracuse University.