Corbiere Appollinaire Rimbaud

all the
French poets died young-
something
heredity in the wine, perhaps, or the strong
slug of cheap
cigarettes rolled behind
their nineteenth-
century ears

while off weakly the grinning bitter mouths
of surrealism their only little dashed pilgrimages in
the driving rain to the
tomb of Baudelaire-

oh
yet they know,
the french, the physicality
of breath overhanging the stale
bed where

the charcoal of lovers
streaked upon the rose-
print wallpaper

and
by the sea in Brittany-
throwing outwards with fluttering
frenzy of
"not I! not I!" oh there are so many others
to die young so many on which
the sweeping gasp of
fisheyed words, relinquishing the
conquistador of paper and pen-
"oh not I…"

resignation
comes at the
end of ink of the
dark scent from ink
of the lapping
wetness sputtered from the
ink lying about

the heavily worn floor.

"for it is,", the doctor taking a sudden drag on his noxious cigar, dreaming of tangerines and the taste of them "not the brandy nor the cold

drunken streets of childhood
but the poetry-

that is to be blamed for the exceedingly short lifespan of your typically avant frenchman."