Blog Title Photo

Blog Title Photo

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Snowfall and Oysters

Things held together by 'roundness'.
Characters met in dreams, stand,
toy soldiers, alert, but cold to the touch.

My access to the room, where fragile things,
from memory are laid one upon the other,
in danger of being broken.


Lacking the words! Down the corridor for an orange. Pad, pad, pad on the black nylon floor. Moments of darkness as I turn on and off the lights.  An orange vanishes.


Late night is a time for poets. Peace after a long day under attack, the daytime throb to think and survive, to premeditate, to earn, is finished. Night comes, and brings peace. Solace, for full or empty stomachs, for breathing, for bleeding, for the wounded who wait. Night comes, bringing peace for poets.


Here waits the cool olive solace of my typewriter. Olivetti green, my hospital walls.

Jeff and the others cross the lawn, carrying guns. I see them, and want to run the film back, but I cannot. It is a dream, broken by the sound of a glazier's knife on glass, or a mason's trowel upon bricks and cement, or a teacher's chalk on the blackboard, or the painter's scraper abrading cracked and peeled paint from the clapboards.

Knives on whetted stone.

Time to sleep again.


I leave the apartment with my bag, umbrella, and my portable typewriter and walk outside.

Snow is falling, heavy wet flakes. The concierge's cat plays against the window trying to grab the pieces of snow as they float past. Mr. Rabelais, the concierge, is inside watching too. We laugh, through we can only see, not hear each other.

The snow falls fast. It accumulates on the outside of my clothing, the brims of hats, and on the grass in the park along Avenue Foch. The streets are still wet, the pavements melt the flakes as soon as they touch.

I take the metro, then get out, and cross Place de la Concorde. It is thicker now, and I'm leaving footprints. Gradually the snow is turning the world into shades of white and grey. I look into the Tuileries. All the gravel surfaces there are white.

I enjoy for a moment, the unsteady, slippery pavement.


I stayed, long enough to watch autumn prepare the trees for winter.

After the first frost, the maples, the beech and oaks made a display, a final dance. The reds trembled, the yellows and scarlets shimmered. Then they fell, threw themselves to the earth, and the branches they left were gray and black and brittle. The sap ran out of them, to the roots in the ground.

This somehow brought to my mind a woman I thought I knew, or wanted to know. When the icy frost dealt the leaves a fatal blow, her wound poured out the colors of her life. At night the sound of them dropping lightly on each other was her faint voice, whispering. In the damp leaves that emerge beneath the snow in the spring, I saw fragments of her face. In the green buds that are held dormant all winter I saw her smiling.


Ideas are bubbles, that will eventually find their way
out of any sunken ship.
The force of thought is weak,
but the force of will too strong to find its way.
Ours is a patient receptive mind,
that is spoiled by what it knows, but saved
by what it feels.


The moon is ringed by an icy halo, frosted lines of yellow etched in the sky.

The boulangerie and patisseries put their moist smells of Christmas banking out into the street.

I admit sweethearts to my rooms, to the warm halls of memory and experience, where echoes and laughter brighten this chapter of my life. A petite blond girl, I divide her little fruit, with my tongue.

It's a quiet morning in the rear courtyard of Avenue Foche. A refrigerator is humming somewhere.

I ate Christmas dinner in the kitchen with Marie Rose, Madeleine and Jeannette. Their faces are exaggerated, comic in their simple routines, replays of Molière.

Roast chicken, baked apples with jam, boudin blanc, boudin noir, creme de marrons, and huitres. I ate the oysters hoping I'm not allergic to the shellfish on this side of the Atlantic.

In the middle of the night I awoke, and vomited for ten minutes into a white plastic bag. My stomach processed everything except for one tiny part of each oyster. I count them. Some footy mantled part. Exactly eight. What a clever organ, the stomach. I gargled, flushed the poison down the sink, and feeling much relieved, fell fast asleep.


Sickness, feeling the nearness of death -
A comforting thought to me now, shivering.
How to replace the vacuum left inside me.
Her going may break my will.
Did I know how deeply I was falling in love with her?


I navigate in the dark with my cat's sense of the walls.
I know the doors that are open, I know the doors that are closed. I know where their handles are.
What is to explain this?
And all the many senses we have within us?

I'm losing my days,
to silly problems that could have been foreseen.
I could have steered away,
But now I must bear the consequences.

I wish I had used my cat's sense in time.


I found a place for a month. It is quiet, it has a table and light.
But it is a boat, and it jerks all day at its moorings.
How can I write when I am ill?


I am living in the womb of a city
On the twisted confluences of a river
Filled with bottles, cans, choked with mud
It flows anyway.
I float on it.

Everything around makes this city famous
Everything and nothing
I have to walk far to find the life I love
The country is far, trees are far, birds are far.
I am surrounded by works of man.
But I live on a river
That is not the work of man.
Through the center of the city it flows,


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