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Mark DeCarteret and Pat Keck

The Dummy’s Logbook


I have known of a silence

of which no one has spoken--

a solitude carved from the guts

of a tree and upstaged by

my bowed shadow, being

folded into less of myself.

I am dusk squared, forever

talked out my casket on a dare--

my own tongue cobbled out

of a wood block, only granted

its own language when tugged by

a string, opts again to be spot-lit,

and I’m awarded a century to yawn

and draw in the smoke of my creation

till I’m finally fit, called upon, to tell you

just how lacking my nights have been

Dummy's Logbook Act 1


If it’s October, it’s the Catskills—

that Lowest of Bar with its backdrop

of lake lit by a cabbage-colored glow

and its seats worriedly teased into clouds,

its salesmen, unpacking everything

out their case besides hit singles, sun,

and its comics making do with that wisecrack

about billiard balls and woodpeckers,

your own mouthpiece thrown so far

south, it’s now I who play host, who

lap ghosts back to life as if strangely cast--

this second act less reassuring than the first

soft sold as if it was golden voiced,

willed up from the dregs of a glass

or hard-boiled like eggs filling a void--

post-has-beens long past-having-any-of-it.