This Can't Be Life
Dana Ward
ISBN: 978-1-890311-33-9
136 pages, Cover by Paul Coors

Design by Kyle Schlesinger



$11.00 direct from Aerial/Edge


Willows on Fire

The summer night
is like a perfection of thought & Patron
a perfection of that.

So the difference between Patron
& water is that clear Sarah looks to see
her eyes through all that's left--

the image of the structure
on fire hung up in the structure is pillow talk
the thing that gets me hottest

as Willow on fire with grief
found the necessary callousness to call
the doe from nowhere out of trees

then slit its softish throat
for young blood. She loved herself
far too much to ever suffer

Buffy’s corpse in the soft agave
ground, & running water from the tap
the fucking mystery of feeling & the weirdness of sensation

where Brechtian surgical lamps
incandesce with the power smiles pushing
through blush in French painting

to light the indelible candy
this rookery yields like our lives to plainly
death as if we knew from economics.

Oh god why am I so upset
by the mildew all over this copy of ‘Motherless
Brooklyn’ is there something

growing sundial feelings washing up
on the nano-reef here at our faucet
a ribbony Mao Molly brought from Beijing

hangs beneath this kitsch ceramic clock
where an angel guards the face of a cloud
frozen up & correct

twice a day semblance of injurious perfection
it is so much like water
when it stagnates in the heart.

It makes a living culture
when the lab-work comes back
it's as if instead they tested lake of fire.

Willow’s love for Buffy though
will always be more real
than anything we’ll ever feel

between us, in credulous bodies
there’s nothing like the lively despair
of Willow’s spell? We’ll never see

its sacrificial, self-regarding picture
if we give our sails to one another well
send the body of our lover

in a vessel of pure disbelief
at their loss that stays impossible, we leave
one another inside us over rivers

dying in its commons, & heaven
an imageless pacification that engines
all the images fails.

For Buffy this anodyne nowhere
flowing with saccharine prescience
made her hate tap water then

once Willow brought her back
from the total Patron of the corporeal end.
They show her standing there hand under the faucet

thinking with this blank expression
to herself & staring where to time that's hard to tell I think
she's thinking fuck their hapless, fearsome care that brought me back