Joshua Ware

11 February 2014

A wasteland is a wasteland
no matter how chromatic your palette
Poison shoots through the phenomenon
of your letters. A soundtrack pounds
from my bedroom: a rhythmic acknowledgment
that I’m headed straight toward Hell
Snow covers Cleveland’s landscape
Urban decay is inescapable, even in the white
washed patches of February
So many fucking potholes punctuate
the streets around my apartment
The advance of technology forgot
most cities lining the Great Lakes
Color foregrounds most of my dreams
which have become lucid and electric
with Ambien. A full-grown thickness
arrives while I’m sleeping. This is not a euphemism
but a realization that I am walking
through a forest, its leafy canopy
blocking out the sun, except for the small
slivers of light cast against the trunk of a big
ash tree, similar to the one Niedecker
chopped down in her front yard in 1959
One foot on one branch, another foot
on another branch. $90 today
will get you very little in the way
of landscaping or tree removal services
To create a bloody desert, a filmmaker
commissioned a set-designer to paint
each individual grain of sand the color red
It took him well over 67 years to complete
the task. By the time the set-designer finished
the filmmaker had long since died
In early experiments with green, I spoke
into my hand, recording every breath
in archival fervor. I called this an aesthetic break
through, but everyone else heard nothing
but the pulsing of air through the softest trees

Joshua Ware is the author of Homage to Homage to Homage to Creeley (Furniture Press Books, 2011) and several chapbooks, most recently Imaginary Portraits (Greying Ghost Press); How We Remake the World (Slope Editions), co-written with Trey Moody; and SDVIG (alice blue books), co-written with Natasha Kessler.

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