The last image is of Ras Makonnen, Hallie Salisie’s father, Rimbaud’s close friend. Always this way with Arthur: the older man to learn from, and as protector, not least from his mother, who sought to destroy him and was in love with him–the bright child as hope–but who could not mother him. Or thought she was. Am finally getting through Enid Starkie’s biography, which has taken me many years to read, like his imcomporable poems, largely because of the Rimbaud poseurs of my youth, the drugs, etc., and Starkie’s off-putting fussy academic trying not to be language but now I see Arthur’s importance to me: to live as one’s self, and as one’s work, and stopping when you need to stop. In thinking about Valda and how to think about her through metaphor, I have found Arthur, the Latvian in New York, the not writing poet on the high seas.

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