R.S. Gwynn 
(photo by Gerry Cambridge)
  • R.S. Gwynn (photo by Gerry Cambridge)
  • Image by Gerry Cambridge
  • Gerry Cambridge
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  • My agent says Los Angeles will call.
  • My broker says to sell without delay.
  • My doctor says the spot is very small.
  • My lover says get tested right away.
  • My congressman says yes, he truly cares.
  • My bottle says he’ll see me after five.
  • My mirror says to pluck a few stray hairs.
  • My mother says that she is still alive.
  • My boss says that I’d better take a chair.
  • My enemy says turn the other cheek.
  • My rival says that all in love is fair.
  • My brother says he’s coming for a week.
  • My teacher says my work is very neat.
  • My ex-wife says I haven’t heard the last.
  • My usher says the big guy’s in my seat.
  • My captain says to bind him to the mast.
  • My master says I must be taught my place.
  • My conscience says my schemes will never fly.
  • My father says he doesn’t like my face.
  • My lawyer says I shouldn’t testify.
  • My buddy says this time I’ve got it bad.
  • My first love says she can’t recall my name.
  • My baby says my singing makes her sad.
  • My dog says that she loves me all the same.
  • My pastor says to walk the narrow path.
  • My coach says someone else will get the ball.
  • My God says I shall bend beneath His wrath.
  • My agent says Los Angeles may call.

— R. S. Gwynn

R.S. Gwynn’s poetry has been characterized as “Bleakly serious and wickedly humorous.” “My Agent Says” was published in No Word of Farewell: Selected Poems 1970–2000, published by Story Line Press. Reprinted by permission.

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Comments

CuddleFish Jan. 14, 2010 @ 10:32 a.m.

Oooooh dang, the Reader publishing poetry?

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Shane_F Jan. 14, 2010 @ 7:42 p.m.

I hope so, especially if it's all going to be as tasty as this. Good stuff. Opening stanza is tremendous.

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Fred Williams Jan. 15, 2010 @ 1:25 a.m.

I'm not usually a poetry fan...but this is very good stuff.

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SDaniels Jan. 15, 2010 @ 5:46 p.m.

Yeah, when it sounds easy and conversational, and is still poetry, it is good stuff. Don't know about you people, but I swore off poetry readings a long time ago, even with famous individuals reading their own work, because of that annoying cadence everyone seems to feel it an obligation to use. Wait--ok, Leroi Jones aka Amiri Baraka would be a certain exception--he reads wonderfully.

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CuddleFish Jan. 15, 2010 @ 6:51 p.m.

You are so right, Daniels! Golly, I thought I was the only one who noticed it! It is the rare author that displays a unique voice in reading his/her work. I rarely click on the link on sites where the author reads his work, that cadence just drives me out of my tree, much better to read the work and let it work out its own music and rhythmic sense in my head.

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fosen Jan. 20, 2010 @ 4:05 p.m.

Kudos to the Reader for recognizing there's a market for good, funny poetry - and for leading off Gwinn's hilarious "My Agent Says." I'll be looking forward to reading future issues, even though that's a mighty tough act to follow.

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