Dana Ward: “Roseland”

Rhyming poems about love

Dana Ward


SO, apostate meet-cute with
by a well-spring of wood-fired ovens
waiting on
sumptuous derelict longing
enfeebled by an excess of sun there’s no way out–
SO, the one thing I’ll say about Capital is
I want to feel
the pall-bearer’s hands
start to break when they lift up the living.Eight glass hoursshatter in my glands

the twenty hour work day

the thirty hour work day

in the summer of the candy-cane road inside the ‘O’, road

not going to Roseland.

Gayblades Ice Rink
1932. A teenager was shot to death,
in 1984 I’m getting to that
a new venue hued therapeutic pure
ratio between punished feeling
& saturnine disco.
A teenager was shot to death. Their youth.
Loose feelings loose talk
soft lips sink
glistening some way to talk without idealizing it. Nothing.
Let me just tell the cat something about the reaching
feeling of death but my dear
is premonition
the feeling a youngish police person summons
as they change from worn Chucks to black boots
it’s a feeling
like Roseland, a venue
where performers come
by force like police to police.
–bad fairy-godmother stare–
–hazy, moving gender here–
–spasm in the finger–
–the Princess Line at anchor in carnation-colored harbor–
–vagrant honorific on myriad cusps–
–adoring Glinda eyes on the surface of my mind–
–spasm in the finger–
–data barge, Princess Line–


give it everything

a wishful life

thus my dignity

I’ll give it that.

It’s waiting

for summons

to change it

like Roseland

from ice-rink to stiff

Maui grass

Which is not like the coat of a giant white cat
or the carpet above the Palm Court,
no matter how soft in the wish the object is
it’s finger hooks
& beckons.

Eight glass hours

shatter in my hands

the one I’ve been waiting for

many, the break

we can see in advance

Roseland I mean as a stand in
I’m putting it up on the wall of my heart
to cover a place in New York is Hawaii I’m trying to hide
spun with Ativan
tessellate all up in front of the mind
with faint candy & hidden by

So I can arrange

so I can prosecute

so I can negotiate


Still the juridical conditions don’t change
the poly-armored mother chord
plays. Spell ukulele well
or poorly
the strings make the same divine sound the charmed dress she would wear
to the Roseland dissolved into the lustrous Pauline medicine– “I
am the one you’ve been waiting for. It’s
not my story I bring you though
please, by any means necessary, please
kiss the messenger”
It’s so good
when it touches your lips
with a quality of consequence that liquefies my happiness there is
no lambic coast.

The “O” at my lips, “O”
in Roseland, the Blakean/Ginsberg-y “O”
though we get to the other, the one
you & I know at the front of our mind like an archipelago
stranded out there
it’s so good
when the Maui wind brushes your lips
it’s not my story I bring you but please
you are the one I’ve been waiting for,
flood the Caligula light box my feelings dispense they are Onan’s Cornell.

Back home the moon
is all over the Honda I bought from my mother
she gave it to me like moonlight,
a car.

Later I’ll hear Claire De Lune in a crumbling church
then see a carousel lousy with malware (my ardor)
for the pink & pewter horses as they circle, the sting
going out of the universe slow.

But this carousel?

This carousel acquiescing to trade-winds will turn me away
from the angels & saints in leis at Maria Lanakila, back
Toward the Hard Rock Café.

I will stand there
like a millionaire
until the views from Wailuku have ruined my eyes.
They come in like a lion
& eat you.
They go out like a light
that a lamb observes, punishing

Is that what the blazing semaphore of general mortality is trying to do to this sunrise?
Re-write it as it achieves pinnacle dazzle, radiant climax, the really big ‘O’?
It will hammer the light from your heart until it is an over-busy metal.
between birth and death it is always hammer time.
It’s like Swiss clockwork, expensive shampoo
or on a hot day an ocean rain that doesn’t so much cool as re-enforce
it rains that way everyday
& we do it.

Maui 2008/Cincinnati 2009

Modern Poets

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