Between Here & There

By Dana Ward Dana Ward

for Brandon Goacher

Let me speak with expressive
hesitation & a feeling for
interment why even
lineate what isn’t broken by
music let me speak with
inextricable reluctance.
I want to tear the heart
from refused convalescence
& feed it those long fronds
of river bed grass. I want to
tear the heart out of style
& put it between
utter thrall & the infancy
of all things impure.
Torn out, a flame thickens
between us as if
not right now we’ll be
ripped from this life
or each other a white
lie not a little more tender
than quick. Inextricable
reluctance to die or even
leave youth culture ever.
What a stupid feeling.
Do you think it isn’t
true? The very existence
of flame throwers proves
that sometime, somewhere,
someone said to themselves
‘You know I want to
set those people over there
on fire but I’m just not
close enough to get the
job done.’ Someone
puts their arms around you
in the cold. There’s an al-
most disquieting closeness
as gossamer clots &
becomes an impasto derivative
of some newly visible
interdependence. Flame
throwers then are just
a description of prevailing
ideology, relics, the life
of the party, a soul
flirts by burning
that name for itself
up in jonesing that comes
at the end of desire?
Well I wouldn’t know
about that. A little
goat. Why would it
nuzzle dreamily up
the way I nuzzle dreamily
up to my knees. In the
‘fatal position’ as my
nephew used to call it
estranged from play
waiting on the fox hunt.
Oh baby
it beats up my lips
the somatic effects
of contriving a psychic
blockade against death
with the contours of your
face & healing
in constant eclipse
where all things
inextricably broken by
music make the basic
rhythmic unit go
something like this — I
don’t want to loose you. I
don’t want to be
empty, clever hold &
keep you. I was lost
to you to start with still
I keep on coming back.
Do you think you’ll
keep on coming back to me
forever? That’s the meaning
of our life together

Dana Ward, “Between Here & There” 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 Love, Desire, Realistic & Complicated, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Dana  Ward


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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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Desire, Realistic & Complicated, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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