Thursday, December 7, 2023


I was the birdling

deep inside the egg

nestled down in mud.


Wind blew against

the misshapen shell—

so ugly and spotted it was beautiful.


Stirring, I set to work—

tip, tap, click, clack—

a bruised spot forming

from the egg tooth

before the gaping hole revealed me.


No song, just sweat and grit,

shell splattered with shit,

but in the midst of it—

ugly and alive and beautiful.



© 2023 Jennifer Wagner




Desperate Poets:  Desperate Voicings (Creative Method)


Monday, November 27, 2023



Hi, she said.  I’m the nice sociopath.


I appreciate you inviting me in.


You won’t notice until later,

but I have taken a few mementos

of our visit,


which I will stroke later, alone,

in the dark of my apartment, eyes gleaming.


Thanks for coming to my BBQ.

That look you’re receiving

from other guests

isn’t your imagination.


I’ve told them all about you.


And then, when you said

you needed some space,

I cried and told everyone

how mean you are, too.


They believed me

at first.  Since I seem so nice

and know how to make them laugh.


They’ll figure it out.

Like you did.  When I cut them down

and then hide behind

all the things that make them feel sorry for me.


Sniffle.  Poor me.  I’m just so misunderstood.

Wait.  Here’s my next victim.


Hi, she said, I’m the nice sociopath.


If only she would have.



© 2023 Jennifer Wagner