Friday, November 30, 2012

Prologue to Our Time

I piped up to say, We need to understand Southerners.
A friend replied, I wouldn’t worry about murderers.
James had lived in Paris. In meetings after May '68,
acedia thick as pollution. Complete destruction!
Let nothing survive in this totalitarian state . . .
Then on TV oceans bleeding oil, baby seals
clubbed to death to sell what they have–market
values, with hemispheres left to be conquered . . .
L’education sentimentale was his favorite Flaubert.
The age out of step with the young demanding love,
and though Edwige loves Michel she goes to Charles
believing she can be all things to every man
who needs, deserves her love to be understood,
and (a la Proust) Alberte, who too loves Charles.
I drowsed off. Someone knocking on sleep's door,
I woke. Charles was paying to be murdered,
the gunshot interrupting him in mid-sentence
of his last words. His friend Valentin, having done
the job, empties the pockets of the dead and runs
to his dealer, presumably, for he has a dire habit.
Debbie comes from Denver to live with James,
who wins an NEA fellowship to write a novel
and loses her after more than a year and nothing
done on the book worth keeping. I know, James.
Charles is in heaven or hell but it can’t be bad,
anyway you know where you stand. Suicide is
one way to learn what goes on on the other side.
I asked Chicago's John Froines about Appalachia.
He said I should go there. If Paula would come with . . .
She went home to live out her dying father’s days.
Because I was gone my father and mother died alone.

(after Bresson’s Le Diable, probablement, 1977)

(30 November 2012)

copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander

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