Arthur, Arthur,

Arthur, Arthur, By Brian 37 (AKA Brian James Rational Poet on FB/META and @Brianrrs37 on Twitter)

Not the Pacific rim
Maybe 1400 baud
Your Orca on acid
Barnacles on your hull

Or was that shrooms
The lighthouse melted
Quint bitten in half
Cleat hitch knot looms

Your word stock far from placid
Leaves me confused
I look in your galley
For highest proof of booze

Frenzied whitecaps
On the north shore
Mother of pearl foam
Tube slams you on the deck

The scuba diver shocked
You’ve smashed against the rocks
Whiskey in the glass
Briny coral bleached

Was it LSD
Or CUSH in a bong
Port red and starboard green
Doldrums midday sun

Your sextant is broken
The constellations are useless
Cloud cover leaves you sightless
Adrift in nighttime raging rain

Sheets and sheets relentless
Batty-cry charge in darkness
Crack and boom and lightening
Will your ship be sinking?

The barber pole on the cliff
Is supposed to guide you in
But the blinding tempest
Will never be your friend

The mast broke in half
Leaving you tumbling
Jostling, rumbling
Lumbering, listing

The sea’s a mosh pit
The ballast wobbling
Swaying, nauseating
Leaving port regretting

Suddenly in a sweat
The sunlight hit your face
You blocked your eyes with your hand
Now you were awake

As smooth as a glass
No ripples, no wakes
Seemed like your nightmare
Went on for weeks and weeks

Did Brody pound
The junction cable
After the claw
Tugged it out of the water?

Tapped you on the shoulder
Did that psychotic soothsayer
Fleece you of your Franc marks
And tell you the nightmare was over?

I wrote this poem a few years ago, but this is the first time I posted it here in this blog.

This poem was my response to a famous poem by poet Arthur Rimbaud called “The Drunken Boat”. Although Rimbaud used rivers as his metaphor for the struggles of life and the battle between being unbridled and societal conformity, I chose to use mainly the sea.

I took his poem as a conflict between the rat race of society and conformity and feeling of isolationism in wanting to be liberated and be himself and not fitting into society causing him anguish, being the rough “rivers” but also the exhilaration of non conformity and abandon, being able to be free from responsibility.

Rimbaud was an alcoholic and also did hashish. Rimbaud believed that by doing this it would expand his mind and thus make him a better poet. I neither advise people to do drugs nor do I judge people who do them.

My response poem is more about the bombardment “rough seas”, being others expecting conformity and having a hard time navigating life, but in the end you realize others nightmares do not have to be yours although one feels robbed of time wasted on the expectations of others and waking up to know it is ok to be you.

Disclaimer: I am sober, have been for over a year now. I would not advise doing LSD or shrooms, I did, and while I was ok, I did see others have very bad trips. And as far as pot, although I never really got into it, I did do it a few times, I think it should be legal, but not high while driving. Older and wiser, while having fun was fun, it can also get you into a lot of trouble or destroy your organs, like I did. Just moderate and it is also ok to have fun without getting intoxicated.

And if you feel you are having problems with any substance, don’t try to handle it yourself to stop, get support, talk to a trusted family or friend, and there are secular sobriety help without all the religious crap attached. Just google search “secular sobriety”.

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