Poetry and Art by Joshua Ware


-after Wallace Stevens

How clean the trees look
when seen with ignorant eyes & a head
empty of imagination

How different my idea of you
when stripped bare
of my obsessions & a singular desire

to invent you in immaculate forests
The trees must be abstract
projecting an idea of themselves

that bears no resemblance to leaves
branches, bark, or whatever
The trees must change, never

leaving, rather turning an inconstant
cause into an inconstant
thing. Like lovers accomplishing

their love, while imagining green
bodies in real spaces
The trees must give pleasure

a reason for reasoning
themselves into ourselves, closer
to the nothingness of language & naked

in the knowledge of our minds
Order does not exist in the brave affairs of
our hearts. A red robin

sings on the branch of a summer tree, merely
good for singing, merely
good for song. Parallel branches

meet only in their shadows



-after Lisa Jarnot

In the avocado night, lit green by the avocado light, we wait, suddenly, for the sun to break bright, binding us together in the avocado dawn. In the repetition of our words, of our sounds, of our songs, of our thoughts made from music from our mouths, we love what binds us together. We love to see the stars inside the radio, the stars that bind us together, stars like love, like the radio, then, like the radio of love, bind with us in the avocado dawn. We do not listen to the radio, we do not hear, we watch, instead, the radio flicker flash with stars, with light, bright like avocados in the night, lit green, but bright, before the dawn, and from our mouths these songs, songs of sounds made together of music, with love of the night lit bright with the radio made of stars, which we love, as well, until the dawn breaks, with the repetition of the sun suddenly over the avocado light, which we, as well, love. So flash the flicker flame of the sudden sun, lovely at the avocado dawn, with the stars, as well, made of music, not to hear, not to listen, but to see the flicker of what binds us together in a flash, suddenly, in the song of the radio breaking with the stars.




-for TBC

The night is colder than winter
I say this with an air
of definitive ease. I feel

therefore I know I am
the inconceivable idea of the sun
I am also a repetition of words that came

before me. The trigger on my town
pulled itself back & exploded
in the imagination. Shrink with me

is just another way of saying
that I want to grow small with you
like a nearly imperceptible

spot disappearing on the horizon
& into forgotten memory &
all our stupid feelings

It’s sort of like a love call
of which I am madly
to use a phrase from the colloquial

which is thus cliché. My trigger
my trigger, my trigger
made of hair on top of my head

which is mostly empty
& all to fucking pieces. Tonight
I will slip into the narrative of some

one else’s life & derive
pleasure from the distance I put between
myself & my memories

behind the plastic shower curtain
dotted with mildew & soap
scum. Stop. An image will always

ground you. Proceed:
the abstractions in a poem
will think you through until its end

like my last letter, like a canary
dying in a coal mine. Which is not
an abstraction at all

I am I am I am abstract
like geometry. I am I am I am
an angle abruptly shifting

Like, now, I don’t know
where I am. In your arms. One last time
The hound dog barks. The kitty cries

Everything unfolds outward
We’re dispersing into space. A rupture breaks
between us, as I break

into beauty, which you have always been
to me, otherwise known as love
some grand scheme meant to give us

meaning. I know this time
will never end. Will never be the finale
as we never forget

the canary singing in the coal mine


Joshua Ware was born in [city] Ohio in 1979.