To Arthur Rimbaud by Helmut Maria Soik Your blast calculations were right on the money, my boy the armored wall of poetic imagination collapsed under your hand But what the hell happened to your right leg? The knee is swollen like a pumpkin in the African grass of your fervid nights. Why didn't the ship's boilers explode on the high seas and put an end to your misery? That you rot away in a bloody bed Arthur, as the nun's voice from the graveyard rings out through the Hôpital de la Conception That you cry out in the night from your poppy jungle That you cry out to the tam-tam of knife dancers is no longer just your own concern. It's the price you pay for rebelling against the Christian welfare state for being a partisan of absolute freedom for nailing the note "Dieu est mort" on the church door for declaring the bankruptcy of our broken-down culture. "Monsieur, I will decide whatever 'real life' they're ranting about, the non-conformists," says the god of the bourgeoisie putting his bowler hat on the head of Hugo's Hermes calling out the whole city of Paris in front of the Pantheon so the academy's brightest lights can bend a knee before the Te Deum of horse hooves. Go back to sleep, Arthur, don't wake up with your one good leg your belt of Abyssinian gold among the rotting anemones of snow. Go back to sleep, Jean Arthur, my angel under your kitschy tombstone of eighteen ninety-one! At least you only died one death like the poor sunflower that languished by itself on the table in the waiting room. Translated from the German by Supervert.