Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New Poem at The Camel Saloon

My little poem, "Destination Unknown", up today at The Camel Saloon (yay!). This title is from a quote on the poet Conrad Aiken's grave, in Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia: "Cosmos Mariner, Destination Unknown". I've always loved the quote (and in fact, plan on getting it tattooed on the back of my neck sometime, right underneath my Jolly Roger tat), and the story behind it, as told in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt:

“Aiken loved to come here and watch the ships go by…one afternoon, he saw one with the name Cosmos Mariner painted on the bow. That delighted him. The word ‘cosmos’ appears often in his poetry, you know. That evening he went home and looked for mention of the Cosmos Mariner in the shipping news. There it was, in tiny type on the list of ships in port. The name was followed by the comment ‘Destination Unknown’.  That pleased him even more.”

Also on his grave, which is actually an inviting bench (he wanted people to come to his grave in the beautiful cemetery, and enjoy a drink while they also watched the ships pass), is the inscription, "Give My Love to the World". Well, I've sat there and enjoyed a drink myself, and that quote, "Cosmos Mariner, Destination Unknown", has been my travel motto ever since. In that spirit, this poem came about. And that, my friends, is an awfully long explanation for a very short poem, ha ha. You can read the piece at the always-awesome Camel Saloon, run by the always-awesome barkeep/editor, Russell Streur, at this link:

And by the way, here's a shot I took of Aiken's grave/bench in Savannah. Hopefully, I'll make it back there someday for another drink.  Cheers!

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