Rimbaud hammered out his poetic program in 1871, just as the Paris Commune was being blown off the map. He wanted to be there. It’s all he talked about...
(Sean Bonney. Happiness, Poems After Rimbaud)
The transubstantiation of Stephen Mallarmé continues while there’s still juice in him. Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Apollinaire are often at the ceremony, take a pew.
This 2020 stopover with Mallarmé etc began with enthusiasm for two new things: first, the new translation of Mallarmé into wordless matter by Eric Zboya. And second, discovery of Henri Barzun, via karl kempton's essay The Enigma Of.
Alongside the algorithmic shapes that Zboya has produced is shrapnel of original text from Mallarmé; these lines determined our running order. Contributors’ work is titled with a line that seems to speak to it.
While we were compiling this feature for Synapse International, the poet Sean Bonney sadly died. He flew a black flag for Rimbaud, holding space in the head and heart against surveillance capitalism, against fascism, against the firmament. Tony Trehy picks up from where Sean left us, in an essay fragment at the end of this feature.
Everything here is dedicated to Sean ( — and the red swans still swim on your canal, in Berlin.)
Philip Davenport, Co-Editor
Mohammad Arif Khan
Mahmoud Mawad Sokar
Yohanna Joseph Waliya
Above, top and bottom Eric Zoya's Translations; between them, Sean Bonney's Bohemians
But then again, THESE POEMS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RIMBAUD.