A Poem by Jim Harrison from Letters to Yesenin (1973)

Number 19



Naturally we would prefer seven epiphanies a day and an earth
not so apparently devoid of angels. We become very tired with
pretending that we like to earn a living, with the ordinary objects and
events of our lives. What a beautiful toothbrush. How wonderful
to work overtime. What a nice cold we have to go with the cold
crabbed spring. How fun to have no money at all. This thin soup
tastes great. I’m learning something every morning from cheap wine
hangovers. These rejection slips are making me a bigger person.
The mailbox is always so empty let’s paint it pink. It’s good for
my soul that she prefers to screw another. Our cat’s right eyeball
became ulcerated and had to be pulled but she’s the same old cat.
I can’t pay my taxes and will be sent to prison but it will probably
be a good experience. That rattlesnake striking at dog and daughter
was interesting. How it writhed beautifully with its head cut
off and dog and daughter were tugging at it. How purging to lose
our last twenty dollars in a crap game. Seven come eleven indeed.
But what grand songs you made out of an awful life though you had
no faith that less was more, that there was some golden splendor
in humiliation. After all those poems you were declared a coward
and a parasite. Mayakovsky hissed in public over your corpse and
work only to take his own life a little while later. Meanwhile
back in America Crane had his Guggenheim year and technically jumped
ship. Had he been seven hundred feet tall he would have been OK.
I suspect you would have been the kind of friends you both needed
so badly. So many husbands have little time for their homosexual
friends. But we should never imagine we love this daily pile of shit.
The horses in the yard bite and chase each other. I’ll make a carol
of my dream: carried in a litter by lovely women, a 20 lb. bag of cocaine,
angels shedding tunics in my path, all dead friends come to life again.