Meeting Rimbaud

When I met Rimbaud
the bastard didn’t recognise me
I’m only the greatest living poet I said
Fuck off he huffed back in French 
or Arabic or some long forgotten
East African dialect 
I’m only the greatest dead poet 
don’t you know it
and he went on to accuse me
Yes me! Me!
of not being influential like him
reeling off a whole list of names
such as Dylan, Morrison, 
Ginsberg, Patti Smith
even Dee Dee from the Dum Dum Girls
I pointed out that influence was a by-product
of our own values and not necessarily
an indicator of true merit . . .
he looked at me vacantly 
with washed-up and scummy eyes
(not much dissimilar to my own
déshabillé state of mind)
Him a dead poet turned dead gun runner
Me a dead ringer for a doppelgänger
Perhaps we had more in common
than we cared to recognise
although I had no intention of playing
the dead Verlaine to appease any
modern day symbolism . . .

6 thoughts on “Meeting Rimbaud

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