A Good Day
by Mark DeCarteret
to Jim Harrison
To live, I’ve been left blank
giving up on the idea of evil, mediocrity.
So, so much for the shoreline
or the hutch I’ve inherited from my parents
where I keep things I’ve collected there.
A blue die with its eye blackened out.
A piece of paper doubling as a swan.
A pink golf ball labeled “Can’t Miss.”
Why is it my poems have cheapened with time,
lapsed like snow while yours have been raised up,
said, with so many last breaths, are desire-less?
My sky is picked over. No stars
to rate what I’ve artfully clamored for,
no gods in the market for my emptied cart.
I’m growing sore from all this asking.
When the world doesn’t want what you have
you eat fast food, attract viruses. This is that.
But in your final clip, you are scratching
your ass against a plum blossom.
Bumming a cigarette off of the world.
Leaving nothing in the way of wine.
Free of shake-ups and cleanses and passwords
you resist the camera’s reassurances, ever-readiness,
and burn as only the fitfully sacred can.
Issa’s horse doesn’t know a brick
from a bible, a car alarm from a liberal,
doesn’t read into the rain, weep itself crib-sick or blind.
I’m waking startled like an immigrant uncle.
Incisions made in my head. My dreams missing.
But sharing this with the angels now —
what to do with this lack we’ve recreated?