Two Poems by Michael Vagnetti

Words and photograph by: Michael Vagnetti

Michael Vagnetti’s poetry tunes the reader’s ear and flexes the reader’s eye with rhythms and imagery that demand a steady attention to the chaotic world that it enacts, critiques, and collapses into. His work is “another instructive sculpture” that engages “the grace you were foraging for.”



the revelation is in the clutter.

when plastic gets caught in the zipper,

it’s another instructive sculpture,

like a piano contains the foundation

for writing jingles. some singers

describe things trapped in other things,

like appendices or unwanted creatures,

and after the story’s done they cooperate

with what’s cleaned up and funny,

but punctured, healed, bruised again,

punished like the nonviolent banana

slipped on and peeled repeatedly into oblivion.

of all the nothing I should say to you,

I do pretty much say everything.



a composite of leaks from the future
++dangles like wisdom

a trap propped over a sieve
++a silica gel of feeling

the grace you were foraging for
++with rubber bullets

the nodder in the corner
++staining the concrete like structure

there is another who wants to sit there
++so I’ll leave the runway open

if it comes in wisps and dribbles
++or with a freight of flankers

that aren’t supposed to be a part of us
++but are: push play and record it

who ever actually heard
++a worn-out tape

or saw an owl turn
++its head around like a volume knob


Michael Vagnetti is a writer and photographer whose poetry and criticism has appeared or is forthcoming in Prelude, Chain, The Rumpus, and Blackbox Manifold. A native of metro Detroit, he lives in Brooklyn.

0 replies on “Two Poems by Michael Vagnetti”