you are in the diode archives spring 2010



A Kiss Less Consecrated

An elegy
of entwined
limbs, supple
skin.  One
body trans
figured, another

sing myths for
the millennium: rose
water spills in
to the ground, fallow
soil and flowering

“I wonder what I thought/ When I wrote that.”

“I wonder what I thought when I wrote that,” the poet said of the above poem.  “In the original, pre-HOMAGE version, there were distinct traces of The Bridge era Hart Crane, but regarding the purpose, I can’t remember.”

The poet extricated the Hart Crane traces from the above version of the poem.  Most of the aforementioned traces were in the form of diction and, to a lesser extent, syntax.

The problem with being numerous is a problem of memory: everything eventually dissipates in the cloud of multiplicity, no matter how well documented.  Events disappear and reconstruct themselves as history, which is always already ideology.  Something new emerges: a fantasy world of sorts.  Poetry, it so happens, aides in this process, hence the danger inherent to it.

The poet always thought Rod Smith’s skin was both doughy and beautiful; he misses it.

Whereas the camera once replaced the hymnal, the hymnal appears to have, in recent years, replaced the camera.

“Pouring water.  Shedding it”

The poet once asked: “Why should you assume that ‘the poet’ is me?  The two of us have almost nothing in common.”


Disintegration Loops V

—for William Basinski

Landscape flakes
into a pile of iron
oxide: a nation’s
pastoral rusting
behind the ears.
Landscape flakes:
       a pile.     Iron
oxide:    nations
behind       ears.
         piles       on

behind       ears.



In 1982, William Basinski recorded a series of minimalist feedback loops onto analog tape.  Nearly twenty years later, he transferred the original compositions from analog to digital formats.  During the transfer process, the metallic component of the tapes began to disintegrate and flake off.  With each subsequent transfer, the individual tapes would further decompose until little, if anything, remained upon the originals.  The resulting digital collection is titled Disintegration Loops.

The poet once wrote: “There may have been a message lost when distilling the past into/ earthenware.  There may even have been a mix-up at the/ crematorium.”

The poet once wrote: “It was the transference, from one form to another, that made/ the ashen sunset memorable, at least the first few days.  Afterward/  it was the absence of all the things they thought they had, but didn’t.”


Inevitable Peaking Of Conventional World Oil Production

down saurian
depths, geologies
collapse collapse
into tell a
               vision: white
noise and babble
water through
recovery of a nation
         too soon fields
dry into shadows
and evening

One reason the poet was attracted to Rod Smith was the social and political interests of the latter and the manner in which they manifested themselves through skepticism and indignation of mainstream culture, thought, consumerism, and politics.  In recent years, these attitudes seem to have altered rather remarkably, according to the poet.

Hart Crane once wrote: “Imponderable the dinosaur/ sinks low,/ the mammoth saurian/ ghoul, the eastern/ Cape…”

The poet once wrote: “My baby and I do it geological.  I watch towns crumble.”

Adorno once wrote: “By exposing the socio-psychological implications of television, which often operate under the guise of false realism, not only may the shows be improved, but, more important possibly, the public at large may be sensitized to the nefarious effect of some of these mechanisms.”

Primary extraction methods of oil reservoirs utilize the pressure from ground water and natural gases to force oil to the surface.  Once a particular field has been sufficiently depleted of oil, secondary recovery methods are employed.  Most often, water is injected into the ground so as to increase pressure and cause the remaining oil to rise to the surface.  In addition to signaling that a reserve is nearing depletion, experts speculate that such procedures also dilute extracted oil.

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, bases its operations out of Ras Tanura.  Its approximate coordinates are 26° 41’ 00’’ N, 50° 5’ 20’’ E.  The amount of oil left in their fields and reserves is unknown, or at least, is not offered to the public-at-large.

Although the Saudi dynasty emerged circa 1774, it was not until 1932 that the disparate regions now considered part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were united.


Lullabye (I)

communiqués tilt day
light into moon
                        waves: ear
eee, ear eee!  Knock
turn all seeds
cast across land
escape.  Azaleas
drench memory in a
lick, an oral history
our bodies will never

As a child, the poet would sing himself to sleep at night with lullabies composed of spontaneously generated, nonsensical lyrics.  He called these lullabies “dream songs.”

On January 7, 1972, John Berryman, an American misogynist and alcoholic, jumped to his death off the Washington Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis, MN.

Hart Crane, who was also a victim of suicide, predicted Berryman’s death nearly forty years earlier when he wrote: “A bedlamite speeds to thy parapets,/ Tilting there momently, shrill shirt ballooning,/ A jest falls from the speechless caravan.”

“Knock/ turn all seeds/ cast across a land/ escape,” no doubt, refer to the wet dreams the poet experienced once he reach puberty.

Scholars have written at length about the declining faculty of memory in humans once oral traditions gave way to written traditions.  Such a decline is only exacerbated in the digital era and with the advent of the internet.  The World Wide Web aides in the acceleration of memory degradation, due to the fact that information and the subsequent knowledge-base associated with that information is more readily available to consumers.  Mental storage, then, becomes obsolete, or at least superfluous.  


Joshua Ware lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he is pursuing his PhD in poetry and poetics.  He is the co-author of I,NE: Iterations of the Junco (Small Fires Press), as well as the author of A Series of Ad Hoc Permutations, or Ruby Love Songs (Scantily Clad Press) and the forthcoming Excavations (Further Adventures Press, 2010).  His work has appeared or will appear in many journals, such as 580 Split, EOAGH, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Laurel Review, New American Writing, and Quarterly West.