Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gillian Wegener Poetry Reading at Fresno City College

Gillian Wegener, author of The Opposite of Clairvoyance, will read and sign copies at Fresno City College on Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. in the Student Lounge. I hope to see you there. I will be introducing Wegener, who has been one of my favorite poets for a long time. Her work has received praise from David St. John and Jane Hirschfield, among others.

"In a characteristically authentic poem, Gillian Wegener gives us the soul masquerading as a butterfly. 'Attaching the wings is the easy part,' she begins, preparing us for flight that takes different shapes in poem after poem. Whatever her subject--the natural world animated again and again by birds--or daily human settings--Wegener soars, delivering beautiful, heartfelt vistas with her sure knowing sight."

~ Barbara Ras, author of One Hidden Stuff

GILLIAN WEGENER works as a junior high English teacher in California’s Central Valley and lives with her husband and daughter in Modesto. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Runes, English Journal, americas review, and In the Grove. A chapbook, Lifting One Foot, Lifting the Other was published by In the Grove Press in 2001, and she was awarded a top prize by the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundation for 2006.

from The Opposite of Clairvoyance


So you have trouble shifting,
have trouble, are troubled,
you can’t quite manage how to make the leap,
even if it is not a leap really, but just a step,
or not even that, maybe a sitting up rather
than a lying down. Yes, if you have trouble
because you imagined her face so differently,
and now she is in front of you and her hair
is not even close to the fine perfection
you carried in your mind, not the auburn
you had pictured, and her eyes are misaligned
but so slightly it’s not worth mentioning. And
now she is in front of you, right here in front of you,
and you are married, and in the other room
of this house that you always thought would be
bigger and more rustic, in the other room, there is
a child whom you assumed would play the cello,
or at least the guitar, but mostly the kid
seems to stare out the window. The kid is a dreamer.
And that wasn’t the plan. And you go off to work
every day and stare at yourself staring back at yourself
in the train window and are surprised because,
boy-oh-boy, is it hard to make the shift between
all that you imagined (you were a dreamer) and
all that really is, and could that really be you...
the guy with the tie and the crow’s feet and the glasses
in which there is an even smaller reflection of you
staring back in disbelief.

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