Café Apollinaire (Epilogue)

Tales From Café Apollinaire
variations on distilled dreams


The poet dinning alone on a cold supper
reading books like people
mistaking books for friends and lovers
finding passion in music
conjuring pictures and stories 
a movie inside his head
watching movies for sustenance
food for thought
setting the table for an invisible guest
lighting candles
for a romantic evening
for a woman who never arrives
finally eating gruel and potato soup      
on the best china the finest cutlery -

night falls the walls close in
the blue round ashtray
holds the burning cigarette
upon the white oval table
propped on the red carpet
the yellow light flows over it 
into the shadows beside the bed
against the browned smoke-stained walls
in the room of a surrealist poet
who heads for the door
to spend some time
at Cafe Apollinaire before it's too late-

At the end of the night
After leaving Café Apollinaire
poets & artists stroll arm in arm
along the shadowy streets of Paris
in the twinkling yellowish glow of gas-lights
inebriated by heady discussions
wine and absinthe
Fire-Dragons circle the moon
St.Denise wanders around
holding his severed head in his hands
the cynical Gargoyle Stryge
sticks out his tongue from atop Notré-Dame
returning to humble ram-shackled
cold dark garrets in the squalid slums of Bohemia
on dead end streets in rambling
make-shift cheap rat-infested          
rent by the week hotels
a crazy maze new sections
added on willy-nilly
eating one meager meal a day
lighting candles stuffed in old wine bottles
dripping with hardened wax
struggling through another night 
of a thousand hours
hearing a series of single gun shots
the sickening splashes of water 
another poet or artist a genius
a third rater a poser
caught up in Romantic delusions
ends a life not worth living-

at the end of all our struggles
we shall be carried out
in a coffin by strangers
or on an ox-cart
abandoned in a common grave
or in a grand funeral procession
a multitude of mourners
jesters in motley 
all their jokes hit the pavement stones
with a dull thud
led by a New Orleans Jazz Band 
through the Gate of St.Denis
to the Cemetery of the Innocents
where we all are tossed
beneath a coating of lye and dirt 
burried left to ponder eternity -

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