I stand in awe at the wake of Verlaine and Rimbaud’s poetics spilling forward over your opium-fueled drunken boat—siren-drawn by the echoes of a space-sparrow’s eternal song across an ocean of absurdest symbolism. Paul Verlaine smacked Arthur Rimbaud with a fish. Then he shot him in the hand with a gun—perhaps the same proverbial hand where many years later in a dark cinema somewhere in France, the painted mouth of Cocteau’s poet spoke out in 'The Blood of a Poet', became a statue, told our protagonist to enter a mirror, and concluded when the poet shot himself in the head.
Me: Jean, what was that you said about Radiguet in an interview in the Paris Review?
Cocteau: If I remember correctly, (I’m dead, you know…) “…he said we should imitate the great classics. We would miss. And that miss would be our originality.”
Me: What is a fact we can be absolutely certain of regarding your life’s work?
Cocteau: “There's no such thing as love; only its proofs.”