Café Apollinaire XII (Wordy Wordsworth)

Tales From Café Apollinaire
variations on distilled dreams


At Café Apollinaire
wordy wooden wordsmithy Wordsworth
tirelessly works with anvil and hammer
on wrought hot iron
erecting a wretched tower of Babel
in a field of golden daffodils
trailing clouds of glory
the visionary Blake bastes 
and bakes his brain
in visions of Angels & demons
of Heaven and Hell
of Innocence and Experience
of gentle lambs and ferocious tigers
of weepy chimney sweeps
blasting the Satanic Mills
of the age of reason
crying out of the wilderness
in a hair-shirt and ashes
on a roof-top gnashing his teeth-

William Carlos Williams
enters Café Apollinaire
exited wanting to share
his epiphany
spends his weekends there
bathing himself in American Jazz
discussing poetry and Art
returns to his medical practice on Mondays
living the life of a conventional man
sitting in his Model T Ford
writes poems on prescription pads
about red wheel-barrows fire-engines
sweet juicy plums his gut reaction
to the paintings of Brueghel
searching for a new vocabulary
spends hours amazed inspired
by canvases and statues
at the travelling carnival 
of art at the Armoury show
discovering new posibilities
ways to play with words
dances naked with his shadow
in his attic retreat-

the romantic poet
wearing a green absinthe stained shirt
recites for the one for whom he lays his heart bare
wrapped in her cloak of cool blue shadow
of smouldering cinders
of passionate mysterious eyes
presents a bouquet of purple perfumed flowers
whose lips speak in satiny mauve tones
brings her the head of Medusa
he holds in his hands
dripping blood into a basket of pomegranates
and golden apples of the sun
fiery stallions neigh & snort loudly
dreaming of pulling the sun
stamped with delicate butterflies                         
all to no avail
she averts her eyes
gets up from the table
in search of someone and something else

A seminary student
with patience & compassion
talks to the Mad Reclusive Monk
to cheer him up
to get him out of his shell
fears the wounds go too deep-

Lewis Carroll sits sipping sips of tea
before returning to the hunt
of the sly slippery Snark
quotes Zen koans
of caterpillars slugs & bats-

Under the cover of night
Gabrielle Rosetti claws through graveyard soil
in desperation
to steal his manuscript of verses back
placed by his lover's coffin
in a moment of manic posing
of romantic mindless madness-

the Marquis DeSade tells his tale
a quarter century in jail
his deeds exaggerated
confusing his fevered
imaginings of sordid collected tales
of mad orgies of flesh eating
drinking bathing in human blood
victims tortured bodies mutilated
copulating with corpses
in the one-hundred and twenty days of Sodom
in the story of Justine
DeSade working for the Revolution
secretly saving friends & enemies 
from the guillotine
later going mad in the Bastille
dying in a Madhouse-

Classicist and Neo-Classicist
paint pious Biblical scenes
scenes of ancient Greece & Rome
sad melancholic scenes
scenes of jubilation
all in exacting details
painting the rich and kings 
Queens Dukes and Earls
into these scenes 
Nobles and the Medici
standing round about
in a stable in Bethlehem
weeping outside the tomb of the Nazarene
on Golgotha kneeling at the cross
Writing thousand page long novels
of pseudo-realism
parceled out in chapters
at a dollar a line
in a popular newspaper
the longer the better
giving the public what they want
paying heed to their supportive
& complaining letters
for poor sweet little Nell
little Doritt Or Oliver Twist
of pity and too easily spilt tears
of the superficial sentimentalist -

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