The Lost Rimbauds


Bible-black bound feet, one louder, one
bitten, announce his arrival from a duchy
of virgins, thorned and green

Not a sound from the crucifix, and cups and platters crackled
as ancestors prophesy
the past; the air is blue
and doesn't move. There is something fallow in this room's
yellow; and there is milk,
of milk. A bird shivers in. So much effort
for a crust, but All will sleep soon
the sky palpitates.

Each day burns more vigorously
than the last, and each day his boots become
more ragged. They are his calendar,
and his summer is almost worn

There has never been a July like this, peasants
boast, unbuttoned as pirates;
and there will never be a July like this again
for Rimbaud, though a flaxen girl, bee
buzzing and mulberried, promises to

He follows her delft blue, blue-eyed
invitation, his adventure big shouldered
beside him. In a clouded glass
among the dead, he does not recognize
himself, for there is only fire and
the flakes of ash which attend

The milky girl is twittering
at the sash, teasing up skirts
of leaves, squeezing juice from a peel, ready to
spill from her apron where his ham is
warm. She wears her heart
as a ruby; but her smile is not slim
and her fingers do not
attenuate. Dommage. Distance, resistance
excite the urbane hunter.

Still, Renoir would immortalize her.
And DeGas. He would satiate her, rose
et blanc parfumé
, her minky pink
undulations. Pissaro, mais on s’en fout
de Pissaro.

Monet. Monet would render her
as a confectioner--
but only a poet with holes in his pockets
eats in her pantry.

Rimbaud has been chosen.
He is a seer, un voyant. He is seventeen years
old and deranging all his senses
(Le Poète se fait voyant par une long, immense et
raisonné dérèglement de tous les sens. Toutes les
formes d'amour, de souffrance, de folie
. . . .*)
to pierce generations of Norman parsimony
to the fire of her
ringlets; but he does not see

the cloud in the room
above made up into a bed where no one dies
alone; and he does not see her combing
seeds of Abyssinia from his hair, kissing
the lips of Verlaine from his mouth
and dipping a strawberry into cream
she has saved for him and will save for him
every night as one by one sons

In this hour of hammer ringing, he sees
only one sun bleeding into blades and spoons
of trees and wipes hunger to his mouth
and fragments to his page. All will sleep soon
, he palpitates and empties
a second glass. Son petit doigt tremblant
sur sa joue
, and the pretty theatre of her

curtains. She moves silver things
with the quietus of a conjurer and through
the door darkly he vanishes, and the child
of the cloud made up into a bed and
the hundreds of children born from that
Rimbaud hesitate and turn

* Charleville, 15 mai 1871.

The Lost Rimbauds [#26]
© 2009 Fammerée

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Richard Fammerée

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Photograph by Susan Aurinko

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