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The Crisis of Infinite Worlds

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"For Dana Ward, narrative is no linear journey, but a state of being, where meaning zooms into clarity then retreats, wave upon wave of it, like God bits bursting into life from the vast emptiness of space.... I love how thick this writing is, sublimely claustrophobic yet expansive, like a child's nightmare of scale."—Dodie Bellamy "Autodidact and knight-errant, Ward often "For Dana Ward, narrative is no linear journey, but a state of being, where meaning zooms into clarity then retreats, wave upon wave of it, like God bits bursting into life from the vast emptiness of space.... I love how thick this writing is, sublimely claustrophobic yet expansive, like a child's nightmare of scale."—Dodie Bellamy "Autodidact and knight-errant, Ward often betrays the procedural forms he tries to impose on his labyrinthine ruminations in order to remain faithfully engaged to the traditional task of the post-Romantic poet, an 'ecstatic commingling' of okay-you know and 'starry anaphor.'"—Tyrone Williams "I should write a real blurb with real blurb-like things in it, but TCOIW, a kind of lullaby arranging the psychic terrain of my future prosodically, is saving my stupid ass."—Anselm Berrigan


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"For Dana Ward, narrative is no linear journey, but a state of being, where meaning zooms into clarity then retreats, wave upon wave of it, like God bits bursting into life from the vast emptiness of space.... I love how thick this writing is, sublimely claustrophobic yet expansive, like a child's nightmare of scale."—Dodie Bellamy "Autodidact and knight-errant, Ward often "For Dana Ward, narrative is no linear journey, but a state of being, where meaning zooms into clarity then retreats, wave upon wave of it, like God bits bursting into life from the vast emptiness of space.... I love how thick this writing is, sublimely claustrophobic yet expansive, like a child's nightmare of scale."—Dodie Bellamy "Autodidact and knight-errant, Ward often betrays the procedural forms he tries to impose on his labyrinthine ruminations in order to remain faithfully engaged to the traditional task of the post-Romantic poet, an 'ecstatic commingling' of okay-you know and 'starry anaphor.'"—Tyrone Williams "I should write a real blurb with real blurb-like things in it, but TCOIW, a kind of lullaby arranging the psychic terrain of my future prosodically, is saving my stupid ass."—Anselm Berrigan

30 review for The Crisis of Infinite Worlds

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Lorig

    there are no child stars in the milky way, says DW. and there are no child stars in goodreads ratings either. dana ward is the rhythm of the cincinnati river coming through his scarf. the day i got this book in the mail was a bad day. spring has been slow coming here, and it was snowing hard and full of ice pellets. i stood just outside with my bike and said no i don't want to do this. i hate this. but then i got this thing in a envelope and i opened it up and there was the rainbow and the life there are no child stars in the milky way, says DW. and there are no child stars in goodreads ratings either. dana ward is the rhythm of the cincinnati river coming through his scarf. the day i got this book in the mail was a bad day. spring has been slow coming here, and it was snowing hard and full of ice pellets. i stood just outside with my bike and said no i don't want to do this. i hate this. but then i got this thing in a envelope and i opened it up and there was the rainbow and the life savers all lined up and ready to be candy taste. this book is a stream of consciousness and trails of thoughts littered with faces and Viv and quotes, but it also swirls up into the sun of its sound (mentions of form are here in the text and a shadow of beats). i can feel the patterns of its throat no matter what page i'm looking at. i yelled on the phone. HOW IS HE DOING IT? i have also seen dana read at fucking AWP. though i was very drunk, i remember i felt the pulses and sent my friend jared badly misspelled text messages about it. i said things about hush and corn tamale husks. i was just talking to someone about the stitches (of labor) in poems. how yeats tells us to rid our poems of them or they might be ruined. i was thinking that now, we need to see the stitches. because (and maybe this is the opposite of things during the earlier parts of industrial/modern machine life) everything is so goddamned streamlined. and here it's not. or it is, but according to its own terms. anyway, this thing is a heavy bone. a long, slightly worn trenchcoat. the beach i saw in the dark when i was on the most eastern coast of korea. the interior life harried but propelled into cutting off its hairs and limbs and sewing them back on and back on using eyes full of fizzy, nicotine torches.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Griffin Alexander

    ...A long time ago, in the old Accelerationist night Let's just start by saying that Dana Ward is one of the brightest lights in contemporary poetry, right up there with Fred Moten, CAConrad, and Simone White—it is no surprise that various references exist within this constellation of writers' work as dedications and intra-work references to one another. Now this is not to say they embody some kind of unified agreement upon poetry or poetics—they use a diversity of tactics and see in each variati ...A long time ago, in the old Accelerationist night Let's just start by saying that Dana Ward is one of the brightest lights in contemporary poetry, right up there with Fred Moten, CAConrad, and Simone White—it is no surprise that various references exist within this constellation of writers' work as dedications and intra-work references to one another. Now this is not to say they embody some kind of unified agreement upon poetry or poetics—they use a diversity of tactics and see in each variation of tactics (like any informed crowd going toe-to-toe with the police) a separate means of collectively engendering success even if that particular mode of action/writing does not appeal to the individual themself. Dana's approach is one of the very-prosey varieties, but it feels misinformed to call it "prose poetry" because it just isn't that, at least not historically, and certainly not aesthetically. This is the follow-up to Dana's first collection This Can't Be Life, and my oh my what a collection to have to write a follow-up to. This Can't Be Life contains one of my all time high-water-marks of twentieth/twenty-first century poems, the long (~25 pages) work "Typing 'Wild Speech'", a prose-ridden exploration of poetry, leftism, peer envy, pop-culture, death, and the ambient strangeness of all these things swelling together to form what we have come to know as modernity and what it is to be human in the world. It is the quintessential demonstration of Dana's poetic approach, his deceptive use of what seems like verbacious prose is really actually a rerendering down of poetry back to its most evocative. When I come to poetry I expect as certain kind of strangeness in its style, now this has that, but it also has the expected of what one hears with a real smart friend ranting, it has the form of what could be a blog post broken into large chunks that are actually stanzas, it has long lines that appear to be just paragraphical breaks, and it evokes the real-goddamn-thingness of emotional valency that brings for me the love of poetic moment, of its reverberation that exists beyond the words but is evoked solely by them. Which is to say it is fucking genius. And which is all to say, how does one even begin to follow up that revelation of a book with another??? Well, Dana did, and how. Samuel Delany writes, "Science fiction is the only area of literature outside of poetry that is symbolistic in its basic conception. Its stated aim is to represent the world without reproducing it." Dana goes further with this poetry, he goes on to represent the world by reproducing it in its seemingness but not in its actuality—it becomes the swollen beautiful potential of representation and symbolism of SciFi while seemingly telling us memoiristically of a world we are completely familiar with. There is a deliberate and oh-so-casual melding of SciFi (as quotidian reality) with poetry here, and Dana just lets its ride . For example, in the poem "A Trip Back In Time," he writes of his daughter's future in the anarchist utopia brought about by the deathknell of Capital and the revolutions of the heart, going on a trip with her to Los Angeles, and waiting in line to see the alien ships and their powerful and liberating technology that had lain dormant and invisible to the human eye until a certain point in our not-too-distant past, while simultaneously disclosing that these invisible ships had been the mere whimsy of his invention for bedtime stories but now, in the future, were ineluctably real. Now I know this brief synopsis sounds like bullshit or trite, but it is truly so evocative, there is so much going on around and between the words as you read, they bring forth so much as to be maddening and headscratching and beautifully pace-stopping, they will make you lower the book and audibly say aloud alone in your room "...shit." Let me finish this poor excuse for a review with the end of a poem from this book, another partial-homage to Dana's daughter Vivian's dreamt future (guest-starring Kirsten Dunst and John Giorno), and pointing somewhat more explicitly here to the strong Leftist subtext that is everywhere in Dana's work: It idles in advance of taking off toward brilliant green, the color of even now newer affirmation deposed from its antique and voracious emanation in the winter when yes lost its serrating warmth. John and Kirsten know the disowned hear the most pristine happiness as general tone in a backdrop of salvation moments converted to music through Artemis signs & the isotropic glow of children wishing happy birthday to a genie through circadian landlines wired to slumberous Vivian as she finds the last cowering despot & kills him by laughing that punk laugh both rotten & divine. There are no child stars in the Milky Way tonight. They have all joined the liberation armies.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Troy

    Ok. This book blew me away. It took awhile. Parts of it sailed right over my head and the first "poem" didn't register as a poem and took me several re-readings before I could make any sort of sense of it. And really, really I wasn't sure if I liked it and I put it down several times thinking, 'fuck this; what the hell is this? What the hell is going on here?" But finally I read something that was more of a story (and still doesn't register to me as poetry) and I really liked it, but then a few d Ok. This book blew me away. It took awhile. Parts of it sailed right over my head and the first "poem" didn't register as a poem and took me several re-readings before I could make any sort of sense of it. And really, really I wasn't sure if I liked it and I put it down several times thinking, 'fuck this; what the hell is this? What the hell is going on here?" But finally I read something that was more of a story (and still doesn't register to me as poetry) and I really liked it, but then a few days ago a friend read it to me out loud and it sang. It was beautiful. It was about the birth of Dana Ward's baby. (Dana is a man, btw.) And it was beautiful and touching and smart and damn it was good. And then a few days (a week?) later the same friend reads it to me again, and it isn't great because I'm drunk and it isn't great because she's reading it to me while sitting on my back (don't ask) and it isn't great for any other reason then it's great. And then today I read out loud with another friend a "poem" (still, these don't 'read' to me as poetry, but it's also definitely unlike any prose I've ever read). In the other poem, Dana's baby is now an adult and the whole thing is in the future and once again it's really funny and smart and wow and... Ok. So my friend, the second friend, is a horrible reader, so I took over and we were both amazed. And a few days ago I read it out loud to myself and it was great, and I've been doing that every day and it's great and I'm nowhere —nowhere— near done with this book and I plan to re-read chunks of it over and over again and until I finally get tired of it. It's still over my head. And it still doesn't seem like poetry. And I still think, often, what the fuck is this, and/or, are you for real? are you just kidding me? But I'm still re-reading. And I still don't know shit about poetry. But yeah... I'm not done yet. What I wrote before: I'm new to poetry. I mean, I read some stuff in a few courses, and I liked a bunch, but I've never read much on my own. But I've met a few poetry heads and they're pushing a whole litany of unfamiliar names past me, so much that it's a bit overwhelming. But one name came up over and over re: new poets: Dana Ward. So when a copy of this came to the book store, I picked it up. And I really don't know what it is. Or how to read it. I mean, I read fast. I read dense philosophy. But this? This slows me down to a crawl. I'll re-read certain passages over and over again and still, still I'm not sure what I read. It takes days to read a whole poem. And 16 days later, I still haven't read the whole book. More to come...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Joe Milazzo

    The title turns on misprision (DC Comics' CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, itself an attempt on the part of that publisher to unsnarl the innumerable continuity issues that had piled up over decades of writing, drawing and cross-promotion), but Ward's lines and paragraphs, no matter how convoluted their own prosody, are exquisitely clear-sighted. It could be that the vision Ward offers us here is a generous elaboration of the confessional mode that used to be so characteristic of American verse. No di The title turns on misprision (DC Comics' CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, itself an attempt on the part of that publisher to unsnarl the innumerable continuity issues that had piled up over decades of writing, drawing and cross-promotion), but Ward's lines and paragraphs, no matter how convoluted their own prosody, are exquisitely clear-sighted. It could be that the vision Ward offers us here is a generous elaboration of the confessional mode that used to be so characteristic of American verse. No diving into the wreck, or not so much; but Ward does entertain "garbage time." Certainly, this is some sneakily, fearlessly singing stuff.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Some of these poems were mind-blowing, some left me puzzled and I am honestly not sure if it is me as a reader or Ward as a poet. But, despite the uneveness in the collection it is still a stunning work. Ward employs everything in his work, his poems are unstructured flowing from stanza to paragraph and everything in between. I imagine if you could read a fireworks show it would feel like this, the afterglow and the next volley of thought echoing together in your eyes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    William Patterson

    This book has everything. It has freedom, but not in a drab grab bag way. It's got freedom more like bulldozer's chasing geese off cliffs. It answers questions like: what can words do? what are books for? What is life? in bigger and funnier ways, that are sadder and more beautiful, than I thought were possible. It's a better book than almost any i've ever read, but in the way that no book could be better than a very close friend. It's sad to realize that Dana hasn't published a full-fat book sin This book has everything. It has freedom, but not in a drab grab bag way. It's got freedom more like bulldozer's chasing geese off cliffs. It answers questions like: what can words do? what are books for? What is life? in bigger and funnier ways, that are sadder and more beautiful, than I thought were possible. It's a better book than almost any i've ever read, but in the way that no book could be better than a very close friend. It's sad to realize that Dana hasn't published a full-fat book since this. I miss him! Dana, do you read goodreads reviews of your own work? You would! I hope you and your family are happy. I'm glad to have peeked into your little world, however briefly, among the dizzy infinity of many, many infinite others.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Krestan

    What a weird book. I consider myself a pretty open minded person, so the themes in the book were not a problem for me. However, I believe that this was poorly written; either that or this book just really isn't my cup of tea. I must admit I was surprised by the high ratings; nobody in my English class particularly enjoyed this book (wow I'm the only person that gave this book 2 stars) What a weird book. I consider myself a pretty open minded person, so the themes in the book were not a problem for me. However, I believe that this was poorly written; either that or this book just really isn't my cup of tea. I must admit I was surprised by the high ratings; nobody in my English class particularly enjoyed this book (wow I'm the only person that gave this book 2 stars)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Todd

    Kind of restored my faith in contemporary poetry. Dana Ward could do the same for you.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brian McLaughlin

    seems like the future

  10. 4 out of 5

    Evan

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chris Holdaway

  12. 4 out of 5

    Adhem

  13. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

  14. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Trevino

  15. 4 out of 5

    Robert

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kaplan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Durbin

  18. 5 out of 5

    donny

  19. 5 out of 5

    mark mendoza

  20. 4 out of 5

    Oki

  21. 5 out of 5

    Devin Becker

  22. 4 out of 5

    Zack Pieper

  23. 5 out of 5

    Felicity

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  25. 4 out of 5

    Futurepoem Books

  26. 4 out of 5

    Buzz

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sam Lohmann

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tanner

  29. 4 out of 5

    Adam

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

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