The Legend of Arthur Rimbaud (Part 2)

Since his arrival, ten years had passed
and the boy grew, drinking only the finest

spring water and consuming the most potent
of herbs. It was time to reveal his portent

nature, securing his place in history.
Now was the time to meet his contemporaries.

2. In Which Our Hero Meets His Contemporaries

"Have you heard about this Rimbaud boy?"

"Is he crying for his favorite toy?"

he won the contest over breakfast,
claimed his prize
and shouted, 'who's next?'
and if I'm able to guess
I'd guess that he meant us."

"Good for him. How exciting.
How quaint and uninspiring"

"Don't you know that he'll come here,
call us names, recite that queer
style of poetry that borders on prose?"

"Yes, I see. How deriding
for our art and for our earning.
I suggest we go down fighting
and put an end to his rise."

"For the sake of all that's holy
I suggest that we hide."


From a boy?

He can have your trembling "hide".
Do you know what I did today?"

"Do tell"

"I wrote a sonnet for a lord,
a sestina for his daughter,
then I got a little bored
and drank some mineral water,

but it didn't end.
Those cretins pretend

to know how to compose
verse. As I lay in repose,

cursing Phoebus, they had
the insolence to ask

whether I was sleeping
or if I was working."

"Shhhh! Keep it down I hear he has
excellent hearing.
Oh shit, here he comes."

My name is Rimbaud and I am rock hard.
Lock up your sons,
but you
can keep your daughter and I
came to earth with dearth, curt
to spread to word.

I lay the hurt with mirth,
you thought I wouldn't find you?

Can I blame them?
Shall I shame them?

Pinned to the table I pity
their fixed position,

their neckties pulled too tight
they're stuck in some perdition

and all they can manage is
to write in introspection.
The post they've been tethered to
does not allow creation.

Your lord and master was not chosen by the muses,
confusing silver spoons as proof that is conclusive.
I don't know why he stood aside and let you do this.
Your gift was wasted,
now it's vacant,
consecrated by your maker
and He takes what He has given
with no trace of human feeling

cause the bourgeois don't care to be immortal,
their work still living when they
exit this mortal coil.

You're a novelty
of society.
Typical trinket for those
of notoriety type.
It's not right.
You should be the one to get the hype,
cut the tripe:
the fat cats,
those hazmats,
controlling what you have of a life.

"And give up our toast and tea?
This is the 16th century.

Would you have us in a field
or better yet prepare a meal?

We would much prefer to keel
over dead than know what's 'real'."

This is what you choose?

Sitting in a tea room,
eating all the good food?

Where the starving artist,
hungry for new ways to impart his knowledge?
Oh yeah,
he just up and left for college,
lost all the fight in him just get a wage.

I take large bites out of life because
I can't afford to.
Measure in tea spoons?
How bout a revolution?

"See here young man.
Mind your manners, watch your tone.
The style you employ is not
something you own.
It's origin speaks in a
primeval moan.
The meter you break may be
a human bone."

It's not broken, you see
it's still moving, you see
I'm not moved and, you see
it's only syncopated, related
through evolution, you knew
this day would come

when a young man would speak up
and tell you that you're done.

"You think this match is won?
You think that we are done?"

Fun as it is to converse with has-beens
my rhythm has corrupted your minds so I win.

"Where did you get the thought that we were beat so easy.
Your rhyme scheme
is sleazy;
your choice of words is measly,

and all you can manage is to-



A Fly On The Wall In Palestine

In my living room the television blinks
vehemently, confirming a reality
worlds and words away; compressed
and delivered in northwest English.
I cut the volume down to a low hum:
something comforting to go with my tea.

The seeds sown in spite must serve
some greater good like children marching
around the neighborhood under one flag.
It's understood there will be no
compromise, no reprise; promises
linger in the air, exhaled
by different lips every year or so.

My stake is on the news: half
a child's body draped across concrete
slabs; hazardous dust obscuring my view.
It is news that stays news.
As the image is exposed to the outside world
it oxidizes over. Now a story on potential
epidemics. Why isn't it covered every day? Time

on a global scale barely fits within a
God's window let alone sandwiched between
talk show hosts with commercials that go, go, go
though I'd rather see something I want than something
someone else needs. Call me a realist, a gymnast:
too squeamish to address the cancerous abscess

I contort my understanding, whiting out
the more colorful areas of my compound eye till I
am left with a blank canvas and I look wide-eyed
to the world: a stunted crying child
fast-awake and dreaming from all sides.

Can I have a stunt double to fight
in the war I saw on t.v.? To be brief:
no, but knowing is half the battle.


Close That Wound Or Keep Bleeding

See me standing here
holding a bouquet of red
hot irons. You say, "No, no, no,
okay." As if a heart
can be cauterized half-way.
"Stay," your hands find me,
mine are miles away.

You say we are only two people in a sea of people
in an ocean of humanity, ever-expanding toward
our swirling mirror image, yet caught between
chemical desires as our molecules were charged
to form the double helix and, step by step,
stored preferences for feeling, communicated
our deepest thoughts, yet left me guessing.

You are heavy-handed,
but keep the iron at bay.


Careers for Sad People

You could do nothing
and not make any money

or your could become a poet
and not make any money,

but have something to show
for all of that time you spent
being sad.

You could be a mortician
and contemplate death all day

while dressing it in nice clothes,
but people would think you are creepy
rightly so.

You could be a tiger tamer,
tempting fate each and every day

and maybe seeing them in their sad
cages could make you appreciate life
even temporarily.

You could be a 9-5 cubicle worker
if you like being sad in a numb way.

You could run a suicide hot line
and have a level of sadness to aspire to.

You could visit a third world country
and achieve new levels of depression.

You could become a recluse and create
your own world where you are king

and, in a way, you will be happy, but,
in a way, you will be much, much more sad.


A Art On Pike

"If you keep yelling at me, I'll have an orgasm,"
my back suddenly stifled,
my mind reeled for so long
I reached my wits end
and it went flip, flip, flip.

Because her error was palatable, it throbbed
between my temple
for good over a week.
Why do mistakes sic
out while wit flows?

That poet on Pike Street found the secret
to the memorable line:
something on key
with "scuse me while I kiss this guy."
or "hold me closer Tony Danza".

Not a rehash, but a miss-hash.
Have faith I made it
with the meaning in mind-
as if I can effect
its established shape.

Can one over-do the fox mistake?
The poetic mind places
each phase within
context, defining where
is what and what is not.

Reputation can only pave
over literal shortcomings
for very long so I fail
and supersede.

In the mine, words are
dessicated by sound,
meaning assigned,
giving one half an orgasm
and the other an aneurysm.


Motherfucking Birds

the birds struck,
were struck,
were sucked
into a jet engine
effectively canceling
their winter trip to the tropics.

The plane: once a steely monument to indifference
wept flames from one side,
claiming there was only something
stuck in its eye.
Now in a nose dive,
shrieking, pleading
that it wasn't so high.

The pilot speaks calmly
over the intercom, choking
back an emergency fifth of whiskey
shaped like a black box
and if that box were recovered
from the wreckage
it would say,