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Mark DeCarteret

Good Luck with This

When you meet about the trees over there,

then their heart rates and stems, then

the rest of them.  When, after a few weeks

it all starts to look the same, little you’ve

carved into your t-shirts mattering,

staring at Mr. Christ’s ankles till even

He cools on the idea of salvation.

When for His sake you give thanks

and raise a drink of fermented rice.

And they say, “There’s an art to this kind of thing.”

When all the seeds are diseased from the start.

And you’re wearing Mighty Mac coats again

and tugging what’s left of your face.

Eating fish-guts like Olson.

It will be as if time was struck from the records.

Not scored into rocks that read “Disorder.”

You never resting.  Instead, asking for forgiveness

out those eyeholes you have stolen from Eliot.

When sirens keep demanding more of you.

Sticks figuring in everything.  And stones

substituted for your once eager bones.

At the Rehabilitation Center

I’m starting to think there was

someone inside of Loud Guy

who was louder than Loud Guy.

Someone who talked into the night.

Who talked into the dial tone.

Someone so crowded with devils he died.

My sutures work the room like these muses.

And my staples have rusted shut my groin.

There’s a void to prove it. Where everything

volunteers its love. Too much of its love.

Look under your mattress, Loud Guy yelled.

And there was my lost underwear. My car.

When he asked for my name I gave yours instead.

Now I’m no longer vulnerable, totaling nearly

a cloud. No longer living with death.

Ten times this in love. Ten times that in love.

Like scars I travel across enemy lines.

The wheels never turning like they told me.

One minute takes years, involves everything.

I am only in it to see it gets ordered.

See how well the universe listens.

Mark DeCarteret has appeared next to Charles Bukowski in a lo-fi fold out, Pope John Paul II in a high test collection of Catholic poetry, Billy Collins in an Italian fashion coffee table book, and Mary Oliver in a 3785 page pirated anthology.

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