Café Apollinaire XIV (Gertrude Stein)

Tales From Café Apollinaire
variations on distilled dreams

At Café Apollinaire
Gertrude Stein & Alice B. Toklas
call each other lovey and pussy
Alice makes green tea and hash brownies
Gertrude gives lectures on modern art
reads repetitive passages
of a repetitive kind
from her repetitive novel
which she as a writer sometimes
is writing sometimes is not writing
sometimes she is reciting
sometimes she is not reciting
praises Picasso Cezanne Matisse and Apollinaire
befriends american artists living in exile
if they are up to snuff
if they realize her genius
her genius being praiseworthy
those who praise her genius are worthy
if Alice gives her approval
if Alice lets them through the door
of their house at their weekly salons
where everyone may express their opinion freely
as long as they do not contradict the hostess
Gertrude proposes marriage as she proproses marriage
on a mountaintop in the clouds outside Florence
returning from the mountain in love
faithful for thirty years being in love
being in love for thirty years faithfully
having found love in Paris the city of lovers
having the inspiration and imagination
to keep on loving having found love
each loving the other
Gertrude works on her works of words
of cubist's sentences
works from midnite to dawn
Aforethoughtfully Alice types
the hand-written manuscript
the morning before it is written
a servant serving at the altar of genius
ensures no editor alters a word
adds a comma here or there
where there is no comma
Alice loves Gertrude always
always Gertrude loves Alice-

Camille Claudel sculpts stone into flesh
reveals sensuous flesh in blocks of granite
obsesses over her love for Rodin
refusing to leave his insane wife
reveals scenes of her private life
locks herself away with a hundred cats
going mad imagining enemies everywhere
smashing her statues into pieces
her arrogant holier-than-thou
unimaginative brother a born-again Catholic
having become a fearful-jesuit 
calls her sculptures obscene
dragged out of her apartment
by the police to waste away 
to die alone in the ruins of an asylum-

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