Saturday, October 22, 2005

The boundaries between nylon and flesh

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Poésie Pour Paris

I want Paris. I want to visit dusty bookstores and dank galleries in the Montmartre, sidle and stroll rudely down Rue de This and Rue de That ducking like a drunken monk through the small archways, staggering into strangers. I want to settle into some under-lit café for a snooty espresso au lait and a scornful French twist, or some overpowdered French toast with French pommes frits and some French's moutarde and watch the lovers French kiss in France as they tip ever so slightly backward so that once, just once in my life, I could really be there when I sang: I see Paris / I see France / I see someone's underpants!

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I want to wear a standard issue floppy beret, a stripy shirt and a penciled-in moustache, swagger and sneer at people for absolutely no reason and really be myself in a place full of other people just like me! I want to smoke ridiculously long cigarettes in a ceramic holder with raven black gloves on, look at the world through half-lidded eyes from a bistro window while Maurice Chevalier croons pervily for Leetle Gurlz and Edith Piaf pours out the blood of breathless lovers in chanteuse moonlight, and all the world is a curvaceously wavering scene of tiltsome cobblestone and hissing gaslight, everything disproportionate, the marauding scents mingling as a Mistral malaise spills up through the Rive Gauche all the way from Provence carrying with it the petaled essence of its fertile fields while feather-hatted women with plum-bruised mouths sit gesturing too grandly at wobbly tables cluttered with half-wilted flowers and chipped cups, their long legs crossed like dozing flamingoes, the naked boundaries between nylon and flesh visibly pressed in hurried trenches of indelicate impassion, their beamforming attentions raking over and past me while I slink furtively seated with a hidden excitement taking it all in between measured sips of a steeping tea whose appellation I can't even pronounce.

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I want to get lost by starlight and cuss the streetlamps out, stumble into some lost scene where crazy French beatniks are improvising dismal poems in nihilist smoke, none of it making any sense but digging it anyway, lean up against a wall in the back and not one head turn around as I knock over a glass; briefly catch the eye of an Ermine-coated woman as she brushes past looking away as if she would never sleep with me in this life or the next unless they dangled her from the top of the Eiffel Tower and only then after they let her drop. I want to see if red has the same characteristics in Paris as it presumes to have here, listen to the mothertongues of ornery birds misunderstanding everything they say, press my face against shop glass and gaze at what hands have made from the light of the world. I want to sit in the rain and listen for the surge of cathedral bells that flood the heart with delirious bronze and the Europic reverbration of the moment until the rivers of my eyes let forth the salts of a common traveler. Lastly, like Cyrano de Bergerac, I want to thrust out a Dordogne-white plume unsullied before the cruelty of this world, and, witnessed solely by the only woman I ever truly loved, die a noble and unheralded death, épée in hand, before madly laughing my way into the starladen French everafter.

Joseph Gallo
October 21, 2005

4 Comments:

Blogger Kyle parried...

Wow, Joseph. You really went with this one. Amazing. Full of imagination and freedom. And it's especially apt for me now, as I'm re-reading A Moveable Feast, Hemingway's sketches of his life in Paris in the twenties.

October 22, 2005 9:53 PM  
Anonymous aharamanx parried...

I'd love to meet you there.

October 23, 2005 5:02 AM  
Anonymous anica parried...

I want Paris, too. Thank you for your story telling on the most beautiful city in the world.
:) :Hug:

October 23, 2005 12:59 PM  
Blogger ankhara99 parried...

I want to have one moment in France in a passionate kiss and encircled embrace of a man whose love I could never deserve, but have always dreamt of having.

October 23, 2005 5:03 PM  

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