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Pure Hash Mental Contagion
Featured Writer
Submission


3 Poems
by Alex Ward • Jacksonville, AL


About the Writer
my name is alex rainey ward and i was born december 5, 1962 in the same city as PAUL LAWRENCE DUNBAR. i'd like to DRINK with paul lawrence dunbar and play CHESS with ROBERT POLLARD who were both born in my hometown DAYTON, OHIO. and that town was never what it could have been because the river wasn't navigable that far north but it was deep enough to drown in. i used to live in a drafty house on WAYNE AVE. just down the hill from the CASHIERED MENTAL ASYLUM which was de-commisioned when it overflowed with the mad and to this day they walk HAUNTING and GIBBERING on the streets of dayton which are otherwise absolutely dead. currently i live somewhere near jacksonville, alabama and i sleep in a trailer on my uncle j. fred williams' property back towards the woods where the SLAVE QUARTERS used to be.

birmingham, al

it smelled like
trains and
the pustulant
lightcolors the
city was
sick i mean
a bird darkly
and damagedly
hugely moving
and breaking the
night. upon
which i
fell down,
the bottle broke
and lit a
cigarette i
did,
lying there in
whisky and
felt i'd
begun something
good.
flutelike the
trainnotes kept
abundantly
soothing me
as the great
whore of that
city with its
fishnet of
churchbells
began
ringing and
undressing.
(beginning was
believing in
verse-y
ossatures was
growing as a
vine. and the
venereal
lightsting of
pissy little
christmas lights
and leaving
her with
relief to
breathe the
trainaware
morning)
and grease
unctuously
thickening
pouring
blue from the
ventpipe in the
back of my
throat,
thickening-
like the
bloodnight
itself
there.
and the
airstood
forever
gastinted and
panting as
the dark
hugely
wounding kept
comforting the
city . . .


city/country

i think of
amenities for
citypeople,
the
trains come and
going under
ground, brass
taj mahal of
an espresso
machine but
silver noosedrip of
spigots in the
poor part of
town...
every
branch here's
articulate
lust is
smoothbored as
crepemyrtles
twist and
anguish of
desire it
turns
inward and
blackens its
the blackness in
the rose-
sunsteaming's
rise the
middens all in
shit and
exaltation
lane's an
alley dusting
nowhere
birdcry
peppers
blankness
but all these
trails here
have the
answer in the
negrospiritual
evening...


poem for Lorca

i tilt past the
pinewoods to touch the
autumn-clad hand
the farrowing dogs
run, to
tend their runt
maggot pups-
one spin, one
war leaf, and
curdled cursing it
falls-the last
bright autumn leaf that
on the
stem reddened
yellowly-
they took
Lorca out, shot
him, and from his
temple burned
butterflies, that lighted
blinding
executioners
and made
singing and
silvertongued
all the
dictators'
minions-
who binged
madly on
absinthe,
ran the
bulls,
and were
gored-
and in
turn they
bled
butterflies.
i think of
Agee, sitting
tortured,
staining, burning his
manuscripts,
divorcing,
spinning homespun and
roughhewn and
crude into silken
words-
and through the
silk, burning,
his heart turning
black, dark to
ultimate
brightness-
we are held here
together with the
patience of
vines, with the
patience of
horses,
with the
pathos-
of
mirrors.
in the
dark near, a
train sounds as
autumn drives down the
night...
with bridled
passions of
horses we who
hold here shall
awaken-

 
       
 
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