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finding rimbaud in the stones

I visited Rimbaud in early December 2018, on a train journey from Brescia, with a stop in Paris before heading to Ardennes. Amid the protests of the gilet jaunes, my little hotel very close to the Bastille stank of smoke.

I headed for Charleville on a Sunday without knowing what I was going to find. Light rain and a few steps on foot from the station crossing the square already made me see the Hôtel de Paris on the other side. Right at the entrance, a white plaster bust of Rimbaud, much taller than one would expect.


I sketched some verses in the room at dawn at the hotel.

sun and flesh



While empty bottoms erupt from water,

the ground rises to the pitch black carriage.

My shrapnel, my sorcerer, distant and close.

The voice from the mouth of heaven

to the tongue near the verse’s teeth,

parole, pure word.


From the earth, I received your name,

propped on piangenti stones plus rain.

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How many nights are needed

to discover the curves of your body?

How many?


This city of thieves

it won't make me lose the treasures.

I plan to visit you one last time before the train leaves 

at 10:46 am to Paris.

I see your city covered in pitch-black

I import the pitch from the corners of the bridge,

the irresolute curb at noon in the dark,

I hear the bridge.

I arrive at dawn in Charleville-Mézières with dark chocolate in my pocket,


I fear my literary health, but I am at the height of my dreams.

I twist, re-twist the word and reinforce you,

lover of my darkness,

sort of jute meneliks,

I write to you in somber name

rest your body in the mausoleum of my mind,

honours, caravans, long nights

your trousers or your shorts.


I see your tomb,

I look at the bars, I watch the earth.

My statue body at the Hôtel de Paris fits in your statue body

I perish in front of your source,

full of me, full of you,

to your nature, I surrender and listen.

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