The dangerous companion—the mad boy
With hell-light in his skull—who swaddled sin
About his infancy; eternally the toy
Of Genius. To feed this appetite within
Himself, he gorged caress, ate skies, unsated,
Gulped poisons—turned elixirs in his head;
Loved all the things that you have always hated:
The excrement of childhood stained his bed.
As you, Verlaine, loved beauty saw him pass
Who was its master, was the thing itself,
Drank rosaries of wine, smashed the bright glass
And took the cool assassin from the shelf;
For Christ you knew was so afflicted, cursed,
And we must slay Him always in our thirst.
~ Richard O’Connell
Richard O’Connell lives in Hillsboro Beach, Florida. Collections of his poetry include “RetroWorlds”, “Simulations”, “Voyages”, and “The Bright Tower”, all published by the University of Salzburg Press (now Poetry Salzburg). His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Measure, Trinacria, The Atlantic Monthly, National Review, Margie, The Texas Review, Acumen, The Formalist, Light, etc. His most recent collections are “Waiting for the Terrorists” and “Dawn Crossing”.