Gary Wagers

The Urban Bonus

He is a different man from the rest, For he is many and they are one, He is many, He is many, He is He is not different from himself. And of all the wild ones, he is the wild one.

Side by side by side, he screams, He screams at the passersby: “One thousand reasons!” And the people pass by, They pass by unheeding as He screams at the passersby: “One thousand reasons to scream!”

Some of him scream in Aigaleo: “One thousand reasons!” Some of him scream in Metaxourghio: “Scream as I do!” Some of him scream in Omonoia: “One thousand reasons!” And in Syntagma, too: “One thousand reasons to scream!” And he drowns out Venizelos as the planes fly in.

And he lines himself up in Kaisariani: “One thousand–” “One thousand–” “One thousand reasons–” “Scream!”

And the paint, where it can reach him, can never hide his wild eyes. And the paint, where it can cover him, can never silence his screaming. “One thousand reasons! Scream as I do!” “One thousand reasons!” The paint that drowns out the landscape can never overcome his thousand voices: “One thousand reasons to scream!”

And the passersby ignore his screaming, For they have no reason to scream too.

Ryan’s Word

Nature denies our conformity; She struggles as we throw a straightjacket upon her, Stuff her into textbooks, Drag her into classrooms, And force her down our children’s throats. She fights-valiantly, she fights, Confusing us when she can, Thwarting our understanding; Yet still, in too many things, we have vanquished her mysteries. And we know her: We have counted her numbers; We have measured her matter; We have confined her beauty into theory and law. We have formed her into a Science of equations. Yes, we know her intimately, And we use her as we please.

For the adventurous, she is simply too soiled. These close their eyes to her humiliating cage, And seek the freedom of the wild hunt. Thus they turn away from the Number of Science, And seek instead the Pen of Imagination- The universe of the abstract, The expression of chaos within order; A world continually refreshed and purified, As Hera bathing in Kanathos’ spring. A world of ever-deepening mystery, Its truths unknown, Its intentions only glimpsed from afar… It is truly alive.

Even we who call that shackle, Science, our god Cannot but love the ever-changing Word, The rejuvenating Mother of expression, As our own.

Gary Wagers was born in the small city of Elmira, New York, but never lived in it. He grew up in the country and small towns of northern Pennsylvania, with a two-year stint in similar areas in upstate New York, where he was introduced to writing by his first grade teacher. He has been writing, with some breaks, ever since. While his first formal instruction in writing came in his sophomore year of college, simply reading from the works of the aspiring writers around him has given him plenty of lessons to work with. He hopes to be able to translate those lessons into pieces to be proud of.