After Rimbaud

A borrowed title for a book of plums,
or rather, poems, jockeys
for permission in my mind with a falling Gothic helmet,
an image of wheat crackers, and news
of a “thousand holes in Blackburn Lancashire”—
imperfectly remembered, ad hoc
as a crown of violets, clothing made of straw,
hollow men on a stage, all illusion,
the heart salvaged from misery and mystery
capering in wan light. Dawn resists,
thieved and symbolically dismembered,
aligned in arch commiseration with the stars,
while the bar of progress blinks unwittingly
on a computer fallen, and “the dream cools.”

Kevin J.B. O’Connor received his MFA from Old Dominion University. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD in English at University of Kentucky. He has work forthcoming in Notre Dame Review this fall. He lives in Lexington, KY.

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