Sticky words

by N.A.N.

A few lines from a few poems/poets that have stuck:

I have with me
all that I do not know
I have lost none of it
— W.S. Merwin, “The Nomad Flute”

…we listened for picks ticking in the dark
— also Merwin, “The Empty Lot”

The terms given you were: Breathe. That starts it.
Then, do as you’re told, to please them
and don’t, to discover your mind.
Then you are imperfect
child, a wanton.
Whence came this agon? Snot and tears,
hot face, a wretched powerless,
except to cause annoy. So cause annoy.
— Catherine Wagner, “Nevermind”

Writing a poem is like reaching two prosthetic limbs
out as far as you
can on either side to grab something in front of you.
You can’t grab
it but maybe you’ll take flight.– Catherine Wagner, “Unclang”

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