Mike Maguire CC
Bored with Rimbaud
The plague has settled in like a dumb gray fog
and we're all just waiting around
for someone to open up the world again.
I'm bored with Rimbaud,
bored with drink and bored with no drink.
Outside there's a sliver of a moon
and people more useless even than myself
shuffling through the dark toward
destinations sinister and banal.
The things that used to save me have faded
and even music seems emptied of magic.
My incantations won't resurrect my love,
the bones just rattle and creak and go quiet again.
The doctors and the politicians say the cure
is on the way, but who knows what
will be left of us?
The silence of the night
breathes like something alive
and I toss aside Rimbaud
and go back to Baudelaire.
These days the dead
come around more and more
with their warnings
and advices, their
trails of crumbs.
They make me nervous
with their bravery,
the terrible immensity
of their freedom.
More and more of the dead
used to be my friends
back when they were living.
Now they know my secrets
and all the things I never said.
I don't sleep sometimes,
imagining their conversations
in the gossip parlors of the void.
It's Saturday night and the dead are here
like they've nothing better to do,
talking shit and singing songs.
I'm trying to write it down
and the dead keep telling me
that is not what they meant at all,
that is not it, at all.
Everybody always talks
about the silence
but it's 3 a.m.,
I'm nearly out
and the dead
just won't shut up.
William Taylor Jr. lives and writes in San Francisco. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, and a volume of fiction. His work has been published widely in journals across the globe, including Rattle, The New York Quarterly, and The Chiron Review. He is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee and was a recipient of the 2013 Kathy Acker Award. Pretty Things to Say, (Six Ft. Swells Press, 2020) is his latest collection of poetry.
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