Don’t Let Me Be Wistful

By Dana Ward Dana Ward
The heat out there this evening
 
is contained heat like things keep applicable boxes
 
at the ready then subsume their diverging constituent parts
 
long ambivalent talks into midnight, all those
 
glowy Sophia Coppola movies, Prosecco
 
the sexiest records I know. I don’t feel
 
how I know anymore to be more than something seeking
 
my appalling lack of cinematic knowledge, fictive innocence
 
& something like the break-down of those little boxes
 
little tombs put their hands up in front of my mouth
 
there’s a tacitly humiliating eulogy to drown out couldn’t feel
 
much more stupid about feeling stupid over feeling
 
stupid, living. Let me go & watch something
 
moving several images some of them symbolize humility broken
 
postures bloodshot eyes, intimately talking through this
 
publicly I am not developing at all but just the same. So hot
 
outside in the evening heat locking hazy jonquils
 
& sunflowers dead for two weeks, ridiculously
 
mournful as I’ll try & dimly think of the last real shock.
 
I remember disgust perhaps & something like alarm (the phone
 
going off in the middle of the night) pervasive disappointment
 
&, for sure, horror, but shock?, as if the heat were seceding from the frames
 
of its containment thought & feeling & establishing some wonderama
 
ratios & beanpole features quick to surge beyond the human model.
 
I know I do the heat out there this evening
 
will & maybe I should be the one I know who has to stop.
 
If I have to heal myself completely every time before I start
 
I shouldn’t be. I think about the god of demurrment in the world
 
or I think about it later having fallen to its love spell — the heat
 
keeps me shut up at the table in the evening
 
at the laptop arranging each letter with the same affectless love
 
it’s nothing moving Avery born & Vivian to come December
 
Kermit the Frog sings the Ave Maria while the white flag is endlessly
 
lowered & raised through the whole master/slave dialectic forever.
 
Don’t let me be wistful. Let me be the actual heat, forgiven
 
its severity & leaving for the year. Mercy is just like the children’s zoo it’s real
 
weird to think about anything now, think how fucking hard
 
a fucking beach read used to be sewn into its spine
 
delicious words from start to finish I could just
 
lay there & die it’s so goddamn nice in this sigh vitrine real 9/11
 
kind of midnight Friday midnight, lamely shifting in my chair, the fan
 
that stops the love that moves the world that stops goes out on gold
 
weeks other weeks it just sits in the back.
 
It collects statically. I hate that.

Dana Ward, “Don’t Let Me Be Wistful” from This Can’t Be Life. Copyright © 2012 by Dana Ward. Reprinted by permission of Dana Ward.

Source: This Can't Be Life (Edge Books, 2012)

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Poet Dana Ward

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, The Mind, Nature, Summer, Weather, Arts & Sciences, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Dana  Ward

Biography

Poet Dana Ward is the author of a number of chapbooks: New Couriers (2006), Goodnight Voice (2008), The Drought (2009), Typing ‘Wild Speech’ (2010), and the full-length This Can’t Be Life (2012). Influenced by the work of Alice Notley, Jack Kerouac, and others, Ward’s poetry is densely patterned and highly allusive; he is known as a skilled reader of his own work. Ward lives in Cincinnati, where he hosts readings, collaborates . . .

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SUBJECT Living, The Mind, Nature, Summer, Weather, Arts & Sciences, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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