top of page


Joshua Ware is the author of Homage to Homage to Homage to Creeley (Furniture Press Books, 2001) as well as several chapbooks, most recently: How We Remake the World (Slope Editions, 2012), co-written with Trey Moody; SDVIG (alice blue books), co-written with Natasha Kessler; and the forthcoming Imaginary Portraits (Greying Ghost Press). His work has recently appeared in Crazyhorse, Diagram, Gulf Coast, inter|rupture, and Jellyfish.

-for Trish Harnetiaux and Jacob Ware

marking the minutia of miles

between boundaries and history’s desperate

advance of bottle rockets, greenbacks

and unchecked expansion. We cross brotherly bridges

in pieces, a reminder that our incomplete

bodies are divisible only by themselves and the sky

lines of foreign cities. Our nation’s forefathers

connect people to people

generation to generation, always there to tell us

who is worth saving and who is subhuman.

I've been told not to ridicule

patriotic gods: Thomas Jefferson is off limits!

Sitting in the passenger seat

of a rented car, I count curveships blurred

and oxidized. Every idiom fractures

through the window in praise of the untouchably

corrupt. We sing Hallelujah

and endlessly wait for all our failed promises.


A fly on the face of a martyr
drowns in chroma key green, cast away

in retouching, never to be seen again.
Our hermetic fantasies

no longer attuned to emotive eyes

of virgin transvestites, burn with digital luster

in a heretical pyre. Soft focus flaws
submerge in teenage angels.

A thousand flies will swarm from our throats
each one singing in a different voice

ready to die
without touching another heavenly body.


Within letters affixed to an illuminated marquee
and surrounded by flashing bulbs, a faceless man wearing a tuxedo
leads you down an endless hallway, separated

by an endless series of opening doors
to a casino hall wallpapered with eyeballs
casting sidelong glances. Dressed in fashionable dinner party attire

you hurtle through the insides of angels
projected onto a screen as you race toward the precipice
of a snow-covered mountain.

Push your brother off a landing and gut him on a spire
protruding from a steel balustrade.
Revel in the fleeting memory amnesia affords you.


in the hand means the world by its tail, is to dream through the black
and white pastiche of film noir: enveloped

in sewer grate steam, backlit beyond shadows. My chiaroscuro
memories suggest a volume I do not contain.

Never will I remember whether you aimed your gun
at me, yourself, or the figure hiding behind the velvet curtains

of your study, which housed many hardbound first-editions
by poets from the twentieth century

who found not fame but brilliant obscurity.
Jean Cocteau, bitten by twilight, wrote Clair-Obscur

in the clearing of a glen somewhere in the south of France.
All my facts are fabrications I cannot escape.

bottom of page