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Arthur Rimbaud

Evening prayer

I spend my life sitting, like an angel in a barber’s chair,
Holding a beer mug with deep-cut designs,
My neck and gut both bent, while in the air
A weightless veil of pipe smoke hangs.

Like steaming dung within an old dovecote
A thousand Dreams within me softly burn:
From time to time my heart is like some oak
Whose blood runs golden where a branch is torn.

And then, when I have swallowed down my Dreams
In thirty, forty mugs of beer, I turn
To satisfy a need I can’t ignore,

And like the Lord of Hyssop and of Myrrh
I piss into the skies, a soaring stream
That consecrates a patch of flowering fern.

Arthur Rimbaud, Complete Works. Trans. Paul Schmidt. (HarpPerenM April 5, 2000)

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