?

© David Alfaro Siqueiros

15 March 2017

I.

Did you know
Rimbaud’s “Drunken Boat”
image came about
when he saw a skiff attempt
to cross a river current,
and the current took hold
the skiff, turning it, wildly,
this way and that?

II.

Did you know
the night Li Po drowned,
he was trying to embrace
the reflection of a full
moon in the black glass
surface of the river
where anchored his boat?

III.

Did you know
Shelley, in his Ariel,
refused to heed the cautions
of those who knew not to sail
in such wind-written waters.
The storm exploded like a bomb.
Ariel flipped.  The poet drowned,
with “The Triumph of Life” unfinished.
Even Sophocles, and Keats
failed to keep the poet afloat,
works of their’s found
on his body when it was found
washed ashore, at Lerici,
where he was cremated
under Byron’s watchful eye.

IV.

Did you know
Hart Crane took voyage,
and, at some point,
mid-ocean, leapt
overboard,
into Poseidon’s embrace?
I have long wondered,
did Crane think himself a crane,
and, if he were to leap, would he
take flight?

Philip Kuepper
(25 February 2017)

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