Pathing – Vivian Wagner

Jack Kerouac, I never
wanted to follow you,
never wanted the road
to become a series of
encounters, never wanted
to forget my name or wake
up drunk in an alley,
alongside train tracks,
behind a dingy bar.
I always wanted a party
more like the one I’m now at:
brash cardinals
in morning branches,
a feckless stream,
and abundant acorns
picked up from
a wild, winding
trail in the woods.

Vivian_WagnerVivian Wagner is an associate professor of English at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio. Her essays and poems have appeared in Slice Magazine, Muse/A Journal, Forage Poetry Journal, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Gone Lawn, The Atlantic, Narratively, The Ilanot Review, Silk Road Review, Zone 3, and other publications. She’s the author of a memoir, Fiddle: One Woman, Four Strings, and 8,000 Miles of Music (Citadel-Kensington); a full-length poetry collection, Raising (Clare Songbirds Publishing House); and three poetry chapbooks: The Village (Aldrich Press-Kelsay Books), Making (Origami Poems Project), and Curiosities (Unsolicited Press).