Café Apollinaire XVII (Absinthe)

Tales From Café Apollinaire
variations on distilled dreams


We are guided by Absinthe addicted artists
Utrillo Modigliani and Toulouse-Lautrec 
along the Seine and Rhine
through Paris Madrid Munich
from the forests and mountain ranges
of Switzerland and Romania
to the golden sun drenched land
of Spain and Italy
as we wander along the shores
of the Mediterranean-

The city of Venus is revealed 
through the eyes of Whistler
slowly drifting in his Gondola
incessantly sketching
Modigliani carries
his sculpted delicate statues
in a hand-cart to a bridge
tosses them into the muddy waters below-

At Café Apollinaire Diego Rivera lost
for awhile in Cubist Geometrical dreams
spends nights in Hashish Hallucinations
dreaming of Quetzalcoatl 
of Aztec and Inca kings and Empires
lost in the tangled rainforest of Yucatan
flying on artist's wings
homeward to Mexico
wonders if he will find a wall large enough
for painting what his inner eye sees
from Aztec Pyramids
to the pyramids of New York
to those of Egypt to Stonehenge
to the Great Wall of China
to the Autobahn
and superhighways of America
to the moment of creation
to Haida Totem Poles on the west coast
to Aztec Knights clashing
with Cortez's Spanish Conquistadors
to the Heroic deeds and promises
of Zappata Juarez and Poncho Villa
fighting at their side for the Revolution
watching their successes and their betrayal
to the moment when the Great Raven
released us from a clam shell
Diego Rivera in a big Stetson hat
with a two foot long revolver in his holster
spreads his arms 
praises the human spirit
befriends the outcasted Trotsky
dodges bullets in a side-walk cafe
in Mexico city
his bulging frog eyes lifted
upwards to Heaven
feet planted on the ground
being pursued & falling in love with Frieda
a woman with as much genius as his
wearing belts of bullets across her chest
a rifle at her side
her body betraying her always in pain
her paintings minature masterpieces
of death and longing-

Apollinaire Dounaier Rousseau Pablo Picasso
puff away on an ancient Persian Hookah
fearing history over-taking them
Picasso stares at a photograph
shaking his head 
says there is nothing left to be said-

the Bronté sisters and Mary Shelley
comparing notes on love and passion
a passion which lives even after death
beckons from the grave
Mary Shelley speaks of Frankenstien's
attempts to cheat death
playing God
Jane Austen enters the Cafe 
dressed to the nines
her nose in the air
stands beside their table
they try not to notice her
wonders out-loud at least there
are some colourful characters here
which I could use in my next novel
a scene or two of low-life characters
who are anti-religion and preach social reform
just because they were not to the Manor Born
that is into the right class of people
like her and her friends
it will be a lesson for learning she says
to accept one's predestined station in life
except for the exceptional exceptions
why she asks do they have to dress as beggars
on hearing this Ms Shelley says there's
Baudelaire and Francois Villon we must say hello
bites her tongue says goodbye
taking the Brontés with her-

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