Café Apollinaire XIII (Season In Hell)

Tales From Café Apollinaire
variations on distilled dreams


Every night at Café Apollinaire
is a season in Hell for some
Rimbaud knew all too well-

Bertholt Brecht is busy
organizing the waiters
for a protest for a strike
what the staff here endures
is cruel and unusual punishment
penning their demands
pouring their ultimatum
threatening to shoot themselves
in the foot and in the head
" Oh a stage show " someone cries out
" No it's performance art " cries another
everyone cries
into their beer and coffee
the place not ready for a good time
or champagne -

George Orwell too busy washing dishes
scrubbing floors slicing up garlic and onions
exhausted dreaming of dreaming in his bed
unable to take part in these ivory-tower reveries-

Henry Miller appears at intervals
drinks a cafe au lait chats a little
retires to his room upstairs
with another whore
several times a day
appears at closing time
begging for a carafe of wine
going down on all fours
howling at the moon-

someone reads a poetic drama
with numerous characters
all with speaking parts
so he gives instructions
"When I raise my left hand thus
for this character
I raise the right hand for this one "
and his right and left leg
for others nodding his head three times
for another & on & on
the dramatist reads twenty or more pages
for half an hour or so
raising arms legs nodding his head
belching coughing farting a few times
who knows what characters these are
no one can keep track anyway
finally finished all tired out and done in
he is carried out on a stretcher
to an ambulance waiting outside
there's always one on call
this was his swan song til one night
to everyone's distress
he reappeared demanding to be heard
demanding a few minutes of attention and fame-

the posing poet pens more lines
stolen from all who come and go
indifferent to their quality
a born thief and a rogue
all of life a poem
waiting to be written down -

the xenophobic Apothecary
Thomas Dequincey finding his calling
sets up shop selling raw opium
shares his paranoid racist hallucinations
of the decline of the west
being swamped over-run
infested by the yellow plague
of the teeming masses of immoral
demon worshipping asians
running amok viewing life as cheap
he fears the lower classes of London
in their impertinence rising up
going beyond their station
destroying the God ordained social order
everyone lines up for their daily supply
buying their Absinthe from Doctor Ordinaire
to add a different tone to their visions
taking cocaine peyote Lsd heroin
to blow open the doors of perception-

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