Rachel Galvin translating Arthur Rimbaud



Who booked it out of there, graffitied with digitally reduced moons,
Insane surfboard with an entourage of black seahorses,
When summer anthems did serious damage to the sky, 
Clear as an LCD screen, sending it into a hyped-up sinkhole.

I had a freakquake, I could hear from 50 miles away a humungous groan  
From monsters getting it on, and some epic global warming,
An infinity pool in a blue-jean spin cycle,
I totally miss Europe with its really old stuff!

Oh whatever, I saw those star-struck traffic islands!
Because they’re full of gutterpunks:
“But wait, are you going to bounce and hook up that night,
You pimped-out futuristic Big Bird?

Translator's Note:
This is a transcreation, as Haroldo de Campos would say. I may have left toothmarks on Rimbaud’s text as I tasted it.

If Raymond Queneau aimed to write in néo-francais, or French as she’s spoke, in this translation I tried to do something vaguely resembling the same in English.

Any and all errors here resemble real people and intentional events and they all belong to me. 

Rachel Galvin

Translator Bio:
Rachel Galvin is the author of a collection of poems, Pulleys & Locomotion, and a chapbook, Zoetrope. Her translation of Hitting the Streets, a book of Paris poems written by Raymond Queneau, was published in 2013 to critical acclaim. Her essays on poetry appear in publications including the Boston Review, Comparative Literature Studies, Jacket 2, Los Angeles Review of Books, Modernism/modernity, and MLN. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Princeton University and is currently an Andrew W. Mellon/NEH Long-Term Fellow at the Newberry Library in Chicago. She is a member of Dara Keck. @RachelJGalvin and www.rachel-galvin.com.