An Outing on the Water

4 december 2022

By Philip Kuepper

Rimbaud?
His would have been
too incendiary an aura
for me to be near;
too much passion.
I would have been ignited,
and burned to a crisp.
Even to board the boat
of his poetry, I make certain
I am wearing my life jacket.
At the Communion table with him,
I would have asked him
to lay his gun where I could see it.
I wouldn’t have wanted
to trigger any reaction I couldn’t duck.
That’s the way with poets,
possessed by an ever-changing
complex of emotions played on,
incessantly,
by the heart and the mind and the soul.
There is no harbor pilot present.
And the rower of any boat of a poem,
however sober, is always a poet.
And the waters, however drunken them,
the poet must row, must row
with the thought of not capsizing,
or drown.

(28 November 2022)

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