Kat Moore


  1. My father didn't know Rimbaud, but he lived in the drunken boat, broken hearted from a lost child, his first son, grown, dead from loving, at thirty one. My father shot off his shotgun, dreamed through tar and fume, and popped Loratab in his Lazy Boy chair. He fished and drew stories of big ones covered in slime, entrails dragging the boat through the rough waters. In the end, he lost his leg to the monster swimming at the bottom of the bottle.

  2. Both Rimbaud and my father died shortly after their legs were severed with knives. Their incomplete bodies buried in the earth, the phantom pains tormenting. The bodies followed. No one likes to be incomplete.

  3. What if the one-legged ghost of my father found his way to Rimbaud's? A pair of stumps, red splotched skin, somewhere in the canals of Bruges. Why Bruges? Because it sounds lovely. Floating inside canoes, prostitutes pouring bourbon into the wounds, two men telling stories of rot gut, of bar room brawls, of star-crossed lovers. Rimbaud speaks of Verlaine, the musk of his skin, the way it felt to slip inside him. My father speaks of women, my mother, and how her smile swam inside his veins.

  4. Suppose my brother is there too. Maybe Bob is the one pouring salve into Rimbaud's gash. My brother's lesions are healed, smooth flesh, a little meat back on his bones, and his cheeks a bit flushed with rose. My father introduces him to Rimbaud, and they hit it off. Rimbaud tells him he is the type of beauty he won't curse, and my brother laughs at the joke, but doesn't get it, because he never really cared for poetry, always thought A Season in Hell read too much like a whiny queen, but he understands that it's a compliment, and stretches out his hand. The poet is sort of cute after all.

  5. My father hears their two heart beats, the echo of desire, so he jumps into the canal, and swims, one leg, up the stream, the water crystal clear. He backstrokes his way past the old buildings that wrap around the banks, under the arch of small bridges, until he glides out of the city and into the mouth of the Reie, where he can catch fish all day, and roast them over a fire during twilight, and down his whiskey without worry, and sing old folk songs to prepare for the journey he will take to the North Sea, to find the monster swimming in its depth, the one he will conquer with harpoon, with ego, with his smoker lungs, and pickled liver, until he remembers his life again, and finds his way back to tell me that he caught one this big, and that Bob's run off with some drunk poet in that place that isn't France but is France, or right along the border, close enough to be a dream.








Where the sky meets sea, according to Rimbaud, is eternity. It's the place where we would fall off if the earth wasn't round. But it is round, and so we continue on sometimes with missing pieces, floating with the current, and I like to believe that the departed are out there in the sea, falling in love with poets, and drinking all the liquor they could ever possibly want, but don't necessarily need anymore. I also wrote this after reading Matthew Gavin Frank's Preparing the Ghost which made me dream of gigantic squid tentacles pulling me under water.