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Saturday, December 31, 2011

MEDUSA'S KITCHEN has published two of my poems this morning, last day of 2011. I was surprised to find that "The Trees Learn Their Standing" a poem I wrote just before I went to sleep last night was published this morning in the Kitchen.
I was even more surprised to find that Taylor Graham and I, without every speaking to each other used a very similar image in our poems there this morning. The phrase was 'magic with the hands' Go to the kitchen and have a look.

You may enjoy this.


That the moon doesn't care for Spring.

That it doesn't fill itself out as an announcement

That a season is coming. It has its own games,

Water, the blood moving through mammals,

Huge hatches of insects making another music.

Still it shines brighter than all else in the night

Sky. It opens the earth itself in rain or clear

Light and gives names to the waking of the ground.

No matter where we go, if the night is open,

Clear and the course of this spinning planet

Is open and not just showing off the stars,

There she is, her royal majesty, directing everything

From the top of the night, not caring who or what

Sees her light, the llama races or mischief

In the eyes of old magicians somewhere in Mexico.

Slipping through the fog above the Great Lakes,

Holding court before the Northern Lights,

It is still the moon, careless and reclining

On the whole of our sky with us always loving it.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

PENTECOST chapbook pubished

Today I've posted two etchings by Dore, a photo of Mount Fuji looking as mysterious as it may and Raphael's lovely angel.
Green Panda Press in Cleveland, Ohio has just published a chapbook of my work called PENTECOST. They have only done 65 copies. At $5.00, that's less than a $1.00 per poem.
D.R. Wagner 'Pentecost'. 6 poems, 9 pages. cover art by Gustav Dore. stapled, stamped, no fold. 2011. 60 copies made. $5.00 (shipping free in U.S

how to pay, u wonder? paypal (to,
check/cash (to Green Panda Press 3174 Berkshire Rd., Cleve. Hts.,
OH 44118).

Here's the title poem"


The last of nothing drifts by.

All of space is now occupied.

We are now ready to receive

The Holy Spirit. It does not

Come as tongues of flame,

But occupies the cells of the body

Like crowded subway cars at night,

Full of dozing riders and people

Reading books as if their life depended on it.

We cross the tracks carefully.

We are unable to recognize anyone

We pass. Balloons of vision lift

From the clouds of people, rise up,

Are lost in a reaching of hands to grasp

The colorful strings dangling from them.

The gift of tongues is ours once more.

Touch our hand and you shall be healed.

No one believes this to be true. We buy food,

Giving away bars of chocolate and plastic

Wrapped sandwiches. Some shed tears,

Thanking us as we move forward.

Times like this will come again.

The seas lash the shores. Tornados

Sweep the kingdom. Fire consumes

All that is left. We suffer fools

With their predictions and admonitions.

This is indeed pentecost. We can not name it other.

Illuminated display boards at the exits flash

Our names and show grainy images of what

We are supposed to look like. We lose

Ourselves in the crowd, the buzz of understood

Conversations in every language of the world.

Monday, December 19, 2011



Make no mistake, The darkness

Will come to the perfect world.

These songs are but the wings that carry

Us into those green and breezy hills.

The red deer move on the top

Of the hills. Their shadows are

Bright yellow and look like flame.

You won’t find anyone if you climb

Up past the house and the barn,

Where the cabbage has been planted.

It looks like a bouquet for giants,

But purple with leaves big as

An adagio lost on a plain

Or a field of ice. We, yes, we, can

See you even there. See the sun

Is coming even at this hour to take

Itself from the tops of waves,

Huge sheets of light full from the

Leaves of trees. We wait by the camp

Fire, telling stories.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

MASK MAKERS BIRD after Taylor Graham and 3 photos

These poems first appeared in Medusa's Kitchen.


It was only the mask of a bird

There was but a whisper of music,

A tempting scent of wild thing.

We could never remain inside.

A gleaming spell fashioned of mahogany

Seemed to pull us just beyond.

We felt we were but sweet captives of night

The mask would draw us down.

We studied the shape of the bench

Just below the mask. We wouldn’t

Let these shapes desert us, that his

Was a persistent thing, a wing a bird,

A shape of madrone but still forming

Itself, unfolding itself like a song.

We could not explain the piercing eyes as carving

Rather as a truth that we could know

Spreading toward us, opening a perfect emptiness

The point where imagination is as pure black,

Over the edge of understanding we watched

Or seemed to watch the way wood

Can find form as would bone.

We heard it sing this bird,

This mass of twigs, this truth, this mask.


Those were not tears at all.

They looked to be tears but

The purity of their crystal

Migration was like a spell,

The mouth of some errant wind

That had become confused when made

To carry the finest perfumes,

The memories of those near death,

The glass of children realizing

They have been left alone for too long

And no one is coming for them

Except the night. Corridors

Open to the cold but promising

Some safe haven, some exchange

Where trinkets are traded for

A few miles of dark woods

That have remained outside of history.

When we least expect it

The glittering of a star held

In the hand, the comforting

Word given as a token, unexplained,

Unexpected and undaunted by

Any disturbance in the atmosphere.

It is at these times when

Great silence enters any room

We occupy and holds us in its

Thrall. We will beg for any other

Answer. All we say will look

So like tears. All we feel

Will seem to be the purest

Liquid meant to redeem us,

But they will be rivers, rivers,

Truly rivers and we will find

Ourselves upon them knowing

That they are most powerful,

That they bear us where they will,

That we have no idea at all

Where we are going or what those

Choirs of angels could be or why

They might be here at all.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Three poems and some images of mine

I should keep up with this but everything seems so crowded these days and so hard to do anything. But I am writing a lot.


She puts on the cape of swans.

She puts on the cape of darkness.

She puts on the cape of dim music.

She puts on the whispering cape.

She has the songs already in the chamber

When she fires. They look for corners

In the night where they may hide as darkling beetles

Do. She puts on the chorus of stridulations.

It is so easy to be distracted, to look away,

To lose sight of her movements. She wants

It that way and drives her car as if it were

A moth finally escaped from the flame charms.

The sea horns begin to make their low pitched

Bellows. “There are dangerous rocks here,”

They announce without any words at all.

Everyone cowers in fear, the sound of the waves

Crashing against the cliffside. Let us hurry.

Bring the instruments. Find where the words

Are kept, what shapes may be noticed in deepest

Night, where the moon is resting right now.

She puts on the hood of stars.

She puts on the shoes of the sylph-footed.

She makes the gestures learned from the old days.

She slips away before we ever get near her.


This belongs to the night.

It has those lights about it.

It has that shape we love

That curls into our own body

As we lie abed, not sleeping

But remembering how sleep

Was and what kinds of gifts

It brought to us.

We are unable to speak,

Think ourselves still asleep,

Covered in the cream of darkness

That pulls on our legs, urges us

To dance if only for a moment.

We stand upon the water.

This must be the part of dreaming.

But we find we are water, we

Move through one another,

Scooped into an iridescence

That we can barely remember,

“Mommy, I was glowing. Am

I still glowing? I think I am.”

There is Saturday everywhere.

The morning leaks through the blinds,

Slides across the room and finds

Our eyes. “Yes, you are still

Glowing.” Right now, it’s the sun

On your skin, the soft, tiny hairs

On the body captures light for

Its moment and fills the morning

With smiles that will stay with us.

They are the daughters of longing.


Ginger and cotton,

Pistachio nuts, poppy seed,

Nutmegs and raisins,

Muslin, red and gold bolts.

A vocabulary of things.

Our conversation could not

Find words and did not use

Them when they could be found.

A drape of fabric was more

Articulate than talking of its

Form could ever be. Rain

Was always welcome. It made

Great gestures that caused listening

From both of us. We undid

Mornings and stumbled to our beds

Describing with a sweeping hand or

By pointing at the moon behind

A screen of leaves showing only bits

And splatter of the night in

The trees. It was more than enough.

They were our cargoes. We took them

To bed with us, our heads swimming

With dreams even before we laid them down.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Bill Roberts at Bottle of Smoke Press in Deleware is going to do a chapbook at some point of my work. It will be called private archeology. BOS does excellent work and I am honored.


They have left us alone.

The ice itself is quiet,

No shrieking or whooping moves

Through it. Even the wind has left

It alone like the end of a story.

The skin begins to seem less

Of a barrier and more like chordal

Movements in an adagio for strings.

Suddenly there is plenty of room left to just

Sit with the others by the sides

Of the road and listen to the questions

Posed to us by the travelers.

We do not wonder any longer.

This place was once a city.

When we look now it still seems so.

We can see the ghost buildings through

The rubble, think the dark crows, swans,

The crying of the children, the kind of dreaming

Worth remembering. We have come too far

To leave this place now. Some still

Fight with each other for a place

To sleep or possession of a blanket.

We look toward the palace, wondering

What it will be like there. No one

Remembers being unhappy. Every room

Seems full and bound to memory

As waves to the flat sea surrounding

Us. Superstitions abound, collecting

souls to form desires one can still

See as they take on faces, erase others

Or are erased themselves. They mingle

With their pain to give it form

To fill the places where the soul suddenly

Becomes empty and obvious, left

On a corner or in a doorway without

Any of its moments intact. They disrobe

And claim to be princes and high ranking

Women who came here long ago and now

Possess all the things they see around them.

We see sand and those things that cause

Unhappiness. We wish them possibilities.

They truly think we are only songs.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Michael Diaz-12th c. Irish work-Harry clarke-etc

BUNCH OF DIVERSE ILLUSTRAtions etc. + Boris Karloff in his greatest role. Lovley Brazalian cover from the 1950's some Irish illustrators and the delicious images of Michael Diaz. Just one here but more to come. The Wyeth illustration is a good one. The Great Falls is Passaic in New Jersey in full flood.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Composers-Jolly Roger-Wyeth-Pyle


Whatever is broken will remain so.

The universe does not know when

We decide things like broken. It

Just continues to move without regard to

Names and degrees of importance. All is

Equal here. This time I am equal to you.

I will tell you what to be concerned with

When the night makes that noise it does,

Telling us we have no right to be here.

Sparks fill the atmosphere and join our

Language as words of compassion or damnation.

There is no regard for the fact that we might

Have family or that we might be in love with

Someone who is quite important to us. No

Rules here my friends.. The herds of migration

Have no trouble flattening the trails toward

Water or a safe harbor away from the teeth

The sea brings to our voyages there. You

Can place bets but chances are I will have

Sex with those you love and you will have

Sex with those that I love and when migration

Is over we will have no memory at all. Everything

will be the change. Everything will be old again.

We will have no memory except that we once

Could dance. There are sounds, of course.

The great composers play with our libidos

As with flutes or double reed bassoons. We

Will delight at the tickling the tongue makes

Across the reeds. We will think each note

Is special, is ours alone. It is not. The great

Symphony moves into our loins and our minds.

We are lucky if we can remember who wrote

The theme. The memory for music is always

The most difficult to posses.

We will always salute you.