Pamela Spiro Wagner
Biography of Pamela Spiro Wagner
The author of We Mad Climb Shaky Ladders, Poems, (CavanKerry Press 2009) Wagner lives with schizophrenia. She graduated magna cum laude from Brown University and attended medical school for one year. Despite having spent at least ten years of her life in psychiatric units and hospitals, she has won many awards, including a First Place in the 2001/2 International Poetry Competition sponsored by the BBC World Service. Her first book, co-authored with her twin sister, a psychiatrist, Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and their Journey Through Schizophrenia (St Martin's Press,2005) , won the national NAMI Outstanding Literature Award and was a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, LA Weekly and Tikkun, among other places. Wagner has a second poetry manuscript, Learning To See In Three Dimensions, which is ready for publication. She is working on a sequel to the memoir.
Pamela Spiro Wagner's Works:
Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia (St Martin's Press,2005) , co-authored with her twin sister, Carolyn Spiro MD;
We Mad Climb Shaky Ladders (CavanKerry Press,2009)
Pamela Spiro Wagner Poems
How To Read A Poem: Beginner's Manual
First, forget everything you have learned, that poetry is difficult, that it cannot be appreciated by the likes of you, with your high school equivalency diploma,
Cool as Christmas plump as a wish and simon-pure as cotton
The Catatonic Speaks
At first it seemed a good idea not to move a muscle, to resist without resistance. I stood still and stiller. Soon I was the stillest object in that room.
Articles Of Faith
Black ice. An accident's chain- reaction crumples 28 cars one by one. Forgetting the latest advisory you steer into our skid
He says: I was always more important than you thought with your cutting me down to size quarrel about just who I thought I was. I thought I was
Consider The Bullfrog
Who night and day belches "jug-o-rum" to a teetotaling
The Song Of The Ant
"For the listener, who listens in the snow..." Wallace Stevens
Tyrant, they called you, emperor, bully, the first time I was in the psychiatric wing. Yes, you finger-painted, getting down on your knees to smear pigment with stiff abandon
Beggar At The Feast
We've learned to hear them, haven't we, the sounds of silence in subway graffiti, in a Zen hand clapping, and on the railway trestle over the thruway, in names we’ve seen a hundred times
Unpinned, words scatter, moths in the night. The sense of things loses hold, demurs. Everything means. Numbers soldier with colors and directions, four by four
Off the corridor plumed with oxygen the blue incandescent symmetry of your tiger burns blue behind every door, consumes and is consumed
To Those Who Believe We Are Living In Th...
it goes with the territory - end of the millennium, end of the world. Criswell promises a black rainbow, a perfect symbol against thinking we will live
Our Mothers' Daughters
I dreamed my mother cut off my baby toes, the suturing so perfect she left no gangrene, no scars, just a fine line of invisible thread and four toes on each foot
Touch me. No, no, do not touch. I mean: be careful— if I break into a hundred pieces like a Ming vase falling from the mantle
My Mother Was Medea
An absurd delusion, perhaps, but
I maintain she always loved me
even as her dagger pierced my chest
and I felt my breath go black and tight.
There was much aggravation beforehand
and I had never been the easiest child.
Plus, you should understand
her own childhood had left scars.
Certainly, my father was always difficult