Jefferson Hansen

for Dan

compassion strikes like
silver on the high
underside of polish
sometimes but
I, as do many,
don’t care what silver looks
like and gold
is mere gild against
the vapor
dissipating underneath
distraction “perception
is reality” the admin-
informed me as if
to value the stink
more than the taste
in this backward
age of upside wiggle
and down
side roll
the dice, fool
they say into the pockets
left in the turn
of the tune the
migraine of must
ographed slip-up
down the sliding factor of
an announcer’s version
of homerun
we, he said, belong
to the blank…
era that cannot be characterized
more than must
or mishap
the dragon rockin’ down
the electric
in the afternoon of diminshed
daylight you try so
to give of yourself
effortless but we cannot, it seems,
be simply water
because ancient Taoist
books say we should
in this, a land
of bytes and bigots
of mis
prision and sanctified
robed idiots
gaming their way through
the funhouse
of cracked mirrors
where a dodge
is mistaken as connection
where ap
tion and passion is
mistaken as game
because cracks lead
to nowhere but the
silent tain
that is behind this
residue of a world
gone outside relevant boundaries

never, baby

because a thin green
a chartreuse
brushed the familiar grey
I thought of you
in your old guise in your old seeming style
and considered how lavender
those days were
amid the snow
we bantered too seriously
about everything that
seemed important and
missed the
the fertile color so often
I could talk
of your insipid
your guessings
at your goings
the way you said
yellow when you
meant canary
went pinkish against
maroon dove

and now the slightest
grey, say a mist of grey
in the azure sky
trips me out
of you into
long lost considerations
constructions of representation to the third
level of abstraction
I simply need a place where I can whistle
from time to useless time
it has little to
do with accuracy
with honesty or truth
but the day sometimes needs a loop
a hole
a space where considerations
drop to mere staged
and the legislators lose their paychecks
and I amid this new representation
whistle into the light
of loam
which gives anew, say,
this round shrub across the street
as the divinity
of a fat
August goldfinch
this spring day—
never, baby, say you’re stuck,
never, baby

Jefferson Hansen is the author, most recently, of the short story collection Cruelty (BlazeVox). His selected poems, Jazz Forms (Blue Lion), is available on Lulu. He edits the Internet arts journal Altered Scale and lives in Minneapolis.

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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit ( and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.