Jack Spicer’s Martians are back, but now they’re talking wild girl-talk. In Catherine Wagner’s Miss America, public and private collide in a new way, like matter and anti-matter. This is a conflagration. “That is damage talk,” she says, “Want to watch me/Make it”. And I do. In fact, if I died, I might want to come back as Catherine Wagner.
In serial sets of Fractional Anthems and Magazine Poems, Wagner lights out for the territory of layered lexical eroticism pioneered by Lee Ann Brown. Yet she infuses her lines with a sardonic and foreboding edge, as in the second of Two Poems for Entertainment Weekly: Friendly and forsaken/ Is it hotter to wear a bra/ Or let my boobs stck to my chest/ Melanin, melatonin, metonym, melanoma. For the pimply and shiny generation ten or so years younger than Deborah Garrison is Working Girl, this book, one of the first from Fence magazine is new publishing arm, will strike definitive chords.
—from Publishers Weekly