Dana Ward

from Some Other Deaths of Bas Jan Ader

Sarah’s employer

is conducting an audit

in order to substantiate

the status of dependants

in the house receiving benefits

by virtue of privileged

relation spelled out

in the corporation’s policy

regarding who is & who isn’t

a qualified love. We hadn’t

received Viv’s birth

certificate the day

she was born though with this

audit coming up we’d

have to have it. I

went to the health center

just south of Central

on Elm & I filled out

the forms, awful forms

as you’d guess with the

price point for certification

of death being higher

than that of a birth

record next to the box

you could check indicating

the advent of a stillbirth so

concussive just to see

the empty emblem of petition

in the flesh. I wrote our

names in the spaces

provided by the forms

paid 22 dollars & waited

with the others gathered there

with our folders

& phones with our faded

shirts gleaming sun-

glasses bordered by

mini pink rhinestones leather

planners, with headphones,

 with fresh to death Adidas

dreary khakis Jesus

pieces children playing

sleeping under chairs

& the pneumatic tube

launching paper

forms from some out-

moded filing room

whose dotage is honored

by strangely subordinate screens

awaiting their inheritance

politely. The sun beamed

all over the foam of the day;

dirty marigold paint

with a buttercup border,

the walls had the color of a dwindling vigil.

One baby, face like a

rakish, aged Jeston

his candle light complexion

made him blend in with the walls

as mirage suggesting fresh

corporeality descendant

from some other, noble sphere

where the war machine

& double helix both

slain by assuagement

were set in their constabulary

boats love’s triumph punctured

& sank as they began

their maiden voyage joining

Ader, Hart Crane in the

legendary world. What’s it

like down there up here

the same command & capture

of a wonder

years enclosure going

quantum as the concertina

wire of it blisters that baby’s face flashed

with the visage of a cat it’s eyes blazed

& the whole scene

was totaled my thoughts

& the thoughts of the others

there the atmosphere

of bureaucratic languor & its

affects wow their wee Pompeii

moving ashes over interspaces

ripe for exhumation then the click

as the inter-dimensional cat baby’s gaze

wrote the fullness of the room

as one QR. I blinked

at that, & was redirected back

to the forms of life encircled

by their maintenance

with its squares, jagged

stairwells cut off beside cascading

Tetris debris little dots

seeking clusters in their free

fall grids arrays of static energy

laterals webs of black crystal

inside the new snow flake

of anyone’s core

by which I mean this song

is accounted for

& valid

in the audit of love

inside the world system

in which we went down

to the UPS Store the next day

had our documents notarized paid

our ten dollars ate Bahn Mi

with coffee & green tea in the market

napped awhile then fetched the baby

from the sitter’s. We were like those

drowsing bulls I saw en route to Oxford:

fungible children of god.

“But that”

as Anne said, “was when we were whores.” That ‘when’ in Anne’s sentence is my Leaves of RSS & it syndicates an undulant devotion. The updates all express themselves as simple light on water. It’s like hearing Time of the Season or something, sinews weaving slowly over wavelets like a net. The sight makes me honest & high.

Then I’m having serious moments inside; nascent Iliads & other infant works instill my mind with total recall of the youngest global epics, of all the ways we’ve sucked or of exigencies our frailties met, incepted by the hardcore symbiosis that harvests the ache of our autonomy as Pet Sounds I am thinking of the people & occasions that sustain me through a socio-melodic compulsion arranging these details along a continuum hostile to its regents & their time, a Taos hum.

Then I’m in some kind of museum with the people from the waiting room we’re raising up a blanket incarnation of that baby made QR, high into the vaults of the space & it becomes a skylight with a liquid constitution so its patterns flicker over all the ageless bourgeious children, covers their eyes like a band of black blindfolds the Sex Pistols queen.

Then the black band is over my eyes & I'm trying all at once too many disambiguations: light from water, holding from the way I'm being held, that embrace from the way I’m adrift on the day's Marie Celeste of bounded communism found without its passengers, with all the goods intact.

Then the only thing I see is light on water.

Dana Ward is the author of This Can't Be Life (Edge Books). Two new books are on the way out in 2012. One, from Futurepoem Books, is called The Crisis of Infinite Worlds, & the other, as yet untitled, is forthcoming from Flowers & Cream. He lives in Cincinnati, co-edits Perfect Lovers Press, & runs the Cy Press Poetry @ Thunder Sky reading series.

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