Paying the Captain by Russell Edson

Paying the Captain

We get on a boat, never mind if it sinks, we pay
the captain by throwing him overboard. And when he
gets back onboard we say, captain, please don’t be
angry. And he forgives us this time. And so we throw
him overboard again just to make sure we have fully
paid the price we have set upon our passage. When he
gets back onboard he is not anxious to forgive us,
and he would like it much better if we would get off
his boat. There is nothing left for us to do but to
repay him and hope that this time it will be enough.
And so we throw him overboard again. When he comes
aboard again we say, now this must be the last of
this, we will pay no more, we want the journey to

But it seems there will be no journey since we have
gotten the captain used to a good thing. And so we
must spend the rest of our days throwing the captain

Russell Edson 1935-2014

Russell Edson
Born: 9 April 1935, Connecticut, United States
Nationality: American
Died: 29 April 2014, Connecticut, United States

Edson was a poet, novelist, writer, and illustrator. Son of the cartoonist-screenwriter Gus Edson, he studied art from an early age and attended the Art Students League as a teenager. in the 1950s Edson began publishing poetry and his honours include a Whiting Award and a Guggenheim Award

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