xxx.

Rimbaud Erasure I

Arthur Rimbaud’s ‘Being Beauteous’ begins as such: “Against snow, a tall Beautiful Being. Whistlings of death and circles of muffled music make this adored body rise, swell and tremble like a ghost; scarlet and black wounds open in the magnificent flesh.”

There is something visceral in this beauty; something that takes a specter (the ‘Beautiful Being’) and thrusts it into the organic, into the maddening shapes of trees, bones, soldiers, intestines unspooling as if from a thread. Beauty here is distinctly elemental. And so we have another vision—a letter by Rimbaud to his schoolteacher, Georges Izambard, declaiming poetic ecstasy—though it is as yet unfulfilled; he cannot know that he will one day be canonized, venerated by hippies. Rimbaud cannot know that he will be modern. The student, the poet; the artist, the subject; whatever distinctions may have remained were abolished by young Arthur himself.

So we might as well play with the scraps he left us. After all, we already have the words, the photographs, the gaps in the words and the photographs. “I is another.” I is whatever I will it to be.

Rimbaud Erasure II