Gerald Wagoner

Woman #1, Steps In Memory Of My Feelings, Solstice 2021: Gerald Wagoner

Woman #1
Or Why a Painting Is Not a Picture

those unsettling pupils
that carnivorous smirk
that grand maw of paled teeth
those outsized breasts depressed
a bare knuckles belt to the bone
blues and greens scream
beneath the skirt & chair
the head in heated reds
yellow beyond orange to pink
one shoulder an impasto mass
the other wet concrete wash
this Woman is disturbed
is disturbing  in turmoil
a broil irreconcilable
a woman betrayed
tormented blind & aroused
to righteous anger
locked by De Kooning
in an ionized atmosphere
trapped by appetites that defy
space bonded on tension’s plane
by the physics of impenetrability
opposites fused
into a single dimension
roiled in a furor of pain
furiously painted

Steps In Memory of My Feelings

The Frank O’Hara room
is too much coffee,
too many cigarettes,
too much love poured
into wells to draw these
penned and penciled
laments. Marks, neither
poem nor song, one
by one, that ache
to erase white space,
are mournful forms;
are tributes unwritten.

Solstice 2021

It’s the first day of summer—
I’m on my way up 2nd Ave from the F
to read at KGB—

Overeager, early, breathe deep
noisome East Village heat—
stone & concrete

Scan for girls in their summer dresses
You know—the girls of O’Hara
& The New Yorker

that drew me
from Montana to MOMA
& The Day Lady Died.

Gerald Wagoner's childhood was divided between Eastern Oregon and Montana where he was raised under the doctrine of benign neglect. After earning a Creative Writing degree, Gerald pursued a sculptor’s life in Oregon. He moved east to study with the sculptor Richard Stankiewicz. In 1982, after receiving an MFA in Sculpture from SUNY Albany, he moved to Brooklyn NY. Gerald has exhibited in PS 1, The Queens Museum, and the Drawing Center. He was awarded a Studio-in-a-School Artist in Residence 1986-87, and taught Art and English for the NYC Department of Education from 1988 to 2017. 2018: Visiting Poet Residency: Brooklyn Navy Yard. 2019: Installation and poetry event The Tides Of Time, Gowanus Dredgers Boathouse. 202/2022: Created and hosted the outdoor poetry reading series: A Persistence of Cormorants. Publications: Right Hand Pointing, Ocotillo Review, BigCityLit, The Lake, Coffin Bell. J-Journal, Blue Mountain Review, Night Heron Barks, the Maryland Literary Review, October Hill Magazine, Shot Glass, The Umbrella Factory,