This Can't Be Life
Author: Dana Ward
Publisher: Edge Books (2012)
Dana Ward's first full-length collection of poetry. Although some of this writing may look like prose, everything here is written both as, and under the sign of, "poetry." This Can't Be Life is an infinite frame-dissolve between art and life engined by the thoughts and feelings associated with the relationship between mortality and politics. These things, working together and against one another, constitute the funeral fun-house physics which delimit the (temporary) reality in which the book operates. Following Notley and Kerouac, Ward's poetics is a generative problematics of voice in which "the counter-poised figures of porousness, multiplicity, & instability are first principals."
"This Can’t Be Life bonds the idea of friendship and alliances together with a strong sense of romanticism and destiny, despite the irony, which are always beating away the existential crisis that creeps up to unravel these illusions that lay bare the material suffering that is the occupational hazard of writing poetry. Despite the irony, this gives the book a deep sense of tenderness. This idea of illusion shoring up one regular bourgeois life is less memoir, and more of Dana Ward’s Pateresque Imaginary Portrait of himself, fueled by a constant appraisal of the present, everything, artistic and otherwise, becoming an art object of the eye."