Drunken Boat (song)

All those intoxicated poems and letters
Could bring down civilization
May he be forgiven
For the slightest hint of errant living

And his friend with the gun
What a short day in the sun
This "green hour" has come and gone
But it's still raining on the young

Pray for him
Pray for him
Everything that touches man is
Caught up in sin

I'm a mossy rotting boat shot
Full of holes long ago
Calmly floating where I have to
You cannot steer me anymore

I'm passing in the beauty
I see they've nailed you good and naked
Nobody sees the monster
Just below the water

I have drank the river
Now I drink the blue
Of an ocean sky
That rains down on
Every magic boy... and girl

Every man who forgot
How to dream.... how to see
Walking in a barren vision
As if life had never come to be

It's all so green and flowing
Every molecule is telling
Of a light beyond fantastic
Known to precious few

Lift your head and look on high
A million birds are escaping
My keel is finally breaking
That I just might find the sea

(Softly, slowly):
I'm gone for the better
No longer a ship of fools
I am no longer just me
I am free.......
I am free.......

photo: Vincent B. Rain singing Drunken Boat song in Charleville, France at eastern tip of Ile du Vieux Moulin (the Island of the Old Mill) in the middle of La Meuse River. The sidewalk traversing the small island ends at this concrete abutment shaped like the bow of a ship where someone has previously spray painted the word "poem". Arthur Rimbaud undoubtedly played on this island as a boy since his main home was right beside the west end of it where the old mill, now the Rimbaud museum, resides over the river. The island is the equivalent of about two town blocks in length. Photo is a freeze frame extracted from a video shot 2011 June 06 Monday.

This song is an invocation to the ideas, writings and short life of Arthur Rimbaud, whose hometown I visited later in 2011, for ten days.

The refrain "Pray for him" is taken directly from the short epitaph of his tombstone. Rimbaud drank absinthe . He was a cut-up youth, a sensitive boy, a dreamer and a visionary. His writing life was incredibly brief at a very early age. It is most noteworthy that he told of a magical and fantastic world, a sort of cosmic and spiritual intelligence behind the mundane of the material world. This sacred vision, he said, was known only to the rarest of humans. To wit, it was scarcely present in the Catholic system of ideology that educated him. At least not as we know it historically, in his time or more recently. The freedom that Rimbaud sought in his wandering life of so--called "sin" was actually a spiritual journey and an intentional one in some respects shown in his writings.

The final epitaph of "Pray for him" would almost aeem a condescending summation of a beautiful life by suggesting that Rimbaud, like all mortals, is bound up in sinfulness. But sins are very much a pathological perception of the sanctimonious. Rimbaud was in fact not just a teenage cut-up or "enfant terrible" like many of us are or were, but he was a bonifide spiritual soul of great value and inspiration to writers.

Rimbaud and Verlaine were often identified with the preexisting Symbolist movement, which mined dream worlds for meaning and exploited various intoxications. My usage of the phrase "green hour"is a reference to absinthe drinking, that was common in the bars at 5pm daily in mid-late 19th Century France.

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Started 2011 March 13 Sunday (12:57pm DST mtn time) and essentially completed at 3:53pm same day. After many edits, the current version was completed 2011 April 04 Monday (evening). Drunken Boat posted online 2011 April 5 Tuesday. Last edit occurred 2011 April 07 Thursday.

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© Vincent B. Rain