Artifice of a Dive

When I was younger my peers would accuse me of using too many big words. I would retort that there were words available that were more precise and that if I could employ them I could use fewer ones. Precision. Concision. These are good qualities in writing.

But there is a place for grand excess in the use of language, and it is appropriate that an angry young man would experiment with it.

When I started my work life I felt many adults were fake, were compromising, were hypocrites. I was an Authentic One, and I wanted everyone to know it.

I’d heard that Jim Morrison (an idol of mine) was a fan of the poems of Arthur Rimbaud, who espoused the “systematic derangement of the senses” to know oneself  better; to become a visionary. Sometimes this meant passing out on absinthe. Here’s something very brief on the French Symbolist poets:

I drank Old Crow. It wasn’t systematic, my method, but it was thoroughgoing, I persisted at it, trying to wring Truth out of inebriated rumination sessions. I was carrying on in a tradition.

I read “A Season in Hell” and “The Drunken Boat”. These poems were intense, so vivid; they shocked me. The translations from the French were of necessity not exact, but they were good enough. I loved them.

The poem I conceive of now as “Artifice of a Dive” called “The Ride of Purpose” was an experiment using the idiom of Rimbaud and the Symbolists. My motives were to use a medium with which I could attempt to transform despair; to create beauty from those feelings; and to enjoy conjuring images evoked by concepts the words struggle to convey through emblems of the actual world.

Then, I demanded people come along. Now, I want it out of me.

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