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Montmartre

Lyn Lifshin*

 

 

Haven't you wanted, sometimes, to
walk into some painting, start a new
life? The quiet blues of Monet would
soothe but I don't know how long I'd
want to stay there. Today I'm in the
mood for something more lively,
say Lautrec's Demimonde. I want
that glitter, heavy sequin nights.
You take the yellow sunshine for
tonight. I want the club scene
that takes you out all night. Come
on, wouldn't you, just for a night or
two? Gaslights and absinthe, even
the queasy night after dawn. Wouldn't
you like to walk into Montmartre
where everything you did or
imagined doing was de rigueur,
pre-Aids with the drinkers and
artists and whores? Don't be so P.C.,
so righteous you'd tell me you haven't
imagined this? Give me the Circus
Fernando, streets where getting stoned
was easy and dancing girls kick high.
It's just the other side of the canvas,
the thug life, a little lust. It was good
enough for Van Gogh and Lautrec,
Picasso. Can't you hear Satie on the
piano? You won't be able to miss
Toulouse, bulbous lips, drool. Could
you turn down a night where glee
and strangeness is wide open? Think
of Bob Dylan leaving Hibbing. A little
decadence can't hurt. I want the swirl
of cloth under changing colored lights,
nothing square, nothing safe, want to
can can thru Paris, parting animal
nights, knees you can't wait
to taste flashing

 

 

*2010 WOOD COIN: To Use or Not to Use Issue: Lifshin, “Montmartre”

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