Tuesday, April 26, 2005

We'll always have Paris...

April 25, 2005

The workshop poets gave a final reading on Friday evening at Polly Magoo's, upstairs and next to the backgammon room. Everyone read beautifully and the audience, by all reports, was "blown away" by the quality of the poems. Even the French barmaid was listening attentively, and asked if she could buy me a drink afterwards. Jenny H. brought a bouquet of lilacs and Jen D. brought books. Even Sarah's old flame, Christophe, came. I was surprised, though I shouldn't have been, by his handsomeness. Similar to Lukasz's handsomeness. That man-standing-out-in- a-meadow-in-his-underwear kind of good looks. Christophe, for his part, was surprised by Sarah's performance -- "comme les autres!" he said. Later, a big group of us went to Zenyama for sushi and beer and etcetera. Then some of us walked back to the right bank across the Ile St. Louis. A warm spring night. So I treated Eve and myself to a midnight ice cream cone from Bertillon. When we strolled up rue Vielle du Temple, we saw Jen D. and Steven sitting at a sidewalk table in front of l'Etoile Manquette. Stopped to chat with them for a while. Then I turned the corner into rue "Saint Cross of the Buttonerie" and headed home to bed.

On Saturday, everyone -- but everyone -- who'd been involved with the workshop all week slept until noon. (Don't ask how I know.) A gorgeous, breezy, sunny afternoon. I got all my laundry done and hung it to dry (bad me!) on the balcony. In the evening, Jen D. and Steven and Elizabeth and I dined on the terrace of the Grizzli cafe. Amazing duck (!) spring rolls and salad with toasted camembert and a tartin of monkfish and aubergines and dried tomatoes that was to die for -- French food again, at last, after lots of meals at places where American vegetarians could also dine ... Then Jen and Steven and I metro'd to the 18th for the big soiree at chez Carolyn. Carolyn was dressed as a nurse (not a bunny!) and her apartment was packed with cute French boys, as promised. I borrowed one of her feather boas -- the electric blue one -- and invented a new dance with Jenny H involving jelly-lizard castagnets and predatory moth-like motions. Home in a taxi at 2 a.m.

Sunday was rainy, and Steven and Nancy and I met Lisa at her lovely home on the villa des Tulipes -- a sweet little cobblestone alley strewn with wisteria -- for tea. Then we all opened our parapluies and headed for the flea market at Porte de Clignancourt. We ooh'ed and aah'ed and drooled over lots of lovely antquities, but ultimately my only purchase was a bright red t-shirt emblazoned with the golden arches and the word "McShit," though I tried on a lot of little silk dresses, too. For Steven and Nancy's last Paris meal, we went to le Coude Fou.

I'll miss being surrounded by all these poet friends here. It seems we're all dispersing now for the summer. The workshop participants have almost all returned to the US by now; Lisa is heading off for a few months in Canada; I'm getting ready to head to London for a long weekend, then off to Poland and etc ... But we'll always have Paris, as the saying goes. More soon ...

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