d  a  n  a  w  a  r  d

Someplace Better Than This Place


           though a desperate, traitorous
                              figural hatchet
with little lost breaths for the epigram sleeps

         in a heading of blossoms

the foxiest stylus

                 dreams it’s a bludgeon

   or pond.

  on that surface the boats I lost

  honey.    I thought of bureaucracy’s spray

  & a beckoning faintness transposed over buildings
  enclosing the pamphlet’s invective.

  would I write the sea

              for a long transposition

of depth, incommensurate blue or more spots

I’m always as drunk yet beside them

A surfeit,  contempt

        holds the present together


       like that & as cherry, those light

meeting air in an empire’s dormer.

In my ear the timbres of razing estrangement

admonish delay like a love-bird.

          I can’t say the light

       that would break down a system

is real in the sense that I see

         & with what on a tiny blight’s stoop can I reach

that spacious & bracingly gone.

 To My Neighbors

                         You dispense with the feathers of greeting,
                         without which, the lights in the palace stay on. 
                         I don't know which trusts give flower to this composition of hymns,
                         or which brass bands to ask for lessons in collectivity
                         I know these traditions were murdered,
                         & I was deposed by restorative objects
                         who left me for sleek exposition.
                         Compelled by a now rabid state
                         to parrot perennial sea-ice & dogma
                         averse to fleet claims, to the flight-path of cloud
                         where the instance of every resemblance assures
                         a return to those models of power. I have seen little else,
                         & lessons so small when I have, & that pretty when extant,
                         deceive. But how make a wreath that resisting all likeness
                         would open, beloved, on each door
                         why build us a house under rainbows, when
                         that would collapse with the daily alarms.
                         the avenue's not like a song or a travesty, it belongs
                         only to mobilized quiet, it flowers against them with mildness.

Industrial Light & Magic

                              It's not spring

                              that I don't want to hear

                              without parallel

                              flowers reserved for whatever's

                              bound up

                              in exclusion but summer

                              found wrecking that metric

                              in fetching warmth

                              even the zoner would melt

                              away structures we long

                              to make eyes at.  I

                              have these seasons because

                              you would build

                              a like graciousness into

                              resistance. If I measured

                              the wingspan of every gold

                              staple, for civic space left

                              in the future is sunshine,

                              & I found the metal

                              was graciously thin

                              I would fend for that small

                              apparition in song. 

                              it is drowsy with ridicule

                              lush in Kentucky spring

                              sunshine two thousand & three.

«±  ±»

DANA WARD lives in Cincinnati & edits Cy Press. He is the author of The Imaginary Lives of My Neighbors (Duration E-Book 2003). Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in A Very Small Tiger, Aufgabe, Bird Dog, Pom2 & elsewhere.