To a Hero of the Interior by Rick Mullin

To a Hero of the Interior
For Jim Day, 1953 – 2018

This year’s fire season dwarfs all others.
Thus the California facet of our standard
glows behind the paper lanterns.

And the hurricanes.

But in the afterburn of a fact
that changes the future,
there is lesser light
and too much space.

A DJ on the Saturday morning after
opines that the Stones never got off
a good live Satisfaction,

that it’s all about how the parts
come together in the studio

and
that’s why everything is possible
and most of it believable if it happens.

Up the sidewalk newspapers lie
where they were tossed in
their blue plastic bags.

The boy in the park crouches
like a shooter with his fingers
at eye level before counting
in a game of hide and seek

and there are faces in the wood whorls
but the neighbors do not wave
nor do the strangers nod today.

I do not whistle past the graveyard
but jog straight through it
in our accustomed way.

And I am not invisible if you see me, Jim,
among the lonely champions
of your consecutive seasons,
the children in your meta-spectral classroom
and everyone at the Anchor bar
in Wanaque.

For there you are
sitting in cross-legged apotheosis
on the white sheets of your day bed
typing a dissertation.

Your killer’s association with Asia
and birds bends the sardonic grin
of sublime figures.

Buddha,
Belushi before Belushi
Jim!
Explicator of Robin
and William Carlos,

I know you understand
why I treat myself today
to wearing
the sky blue underwear.

by Rick Mullin

Editor’s Note: Sometimes there aren’t enough words to create a proper memorial, though poets always try. My sincerest condolences.

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