Juan-Paolo Perre reading the poem "A Captain's Ode" from the upcoming collection, "FITS & STARTS".
A Captain’s Ode
There are seas of stars
That guide me to you.
Collections of jagged rock
And stones beneath me
Which lead my steps closer.
The fustian velvet of sky
Is coarsely infinite.
Captured, like the scalps
Of adolescent young men:
Brushed and combed and gathered in waves, forever
Drawn against the tides of their heels –
And the quarries of unsuccessful suitors
With their amorous looks and dispositions
Into a smooth, discrete tranquility.
Siena Press/Siena Films presents a poem by Juan-Paolo Perre from the upcoming collection of poetry, "Fits & Starts" with a video created by me for my poem, "Starbucks: Sunset & Fairfax - Los Angeles".
A poem inspired by my living in Los Angeles and dreaming about being back in Paris. With a great track by the legendary Jacques Brel - "La Valse a Mille Temps" to accompany.
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Here's the poem:
Starbucks: Sunset & Fairfax - Los Angeles
This is not Café de Flores.
This is not Café des Artistes...ni Pigalles...ni Monceau.
Ceçi n'est pas une terrace.
One worthy of passerby's furtive gazes
Or insolent flirting by handsome
Piques dâmes of a certain âge.
This day, although famously clear
Has no deep, calm memory
Or gilded insinuation -
Of Pauline Borghese's Jardin des Tuileries
Or repurposed train depots
Sighing with artist's watery impressions.
The petits-fours are just “little fours...I think...” says the counter girl
And the flaky, buttery crossed pain de la patrie
Should refuse to answer when called
Something contra-eponymously closer to a phase of the moon.
The milles-feuille's sugary sheets
May have all of the requisite parts
But new and unimproved things
Come between the Emperor's thousand wishes
And the peaceful rest of chef La Varenne.
These roads that flank me now
Are thoroughfares not passageways:
Epitomes of urban development, planning and upkeep.
No whimsy here in these public works.
No cobblestone grooves to trap
As they slip away to egress.
Nor are they effortless ruelles
Trod on back home with the daily bread,
Shimmering from a moody autumnal shower
That as night falls and repurposed gaslights caste
Shadows, countless Hollywood directors
Go dizzy and blatantly over budget
To recreate it.
Siena Films & Siena Press present the Poetry-In-Film series featuring the poem, "Your Garden" by Juan-Paolo Perre.
This is a preliminary draft. The final version will have the poet's voiceover of the poem. My voiceover...my poem.
No copyright infringement intended.
I believe I rolled over
In my sleep last night
And before I could hear your footsteps
Descend on a fresh dawn of this month
Of October, you had already
Sealed and locked
The door behind you
The procession of stars
That recedes into the ever growing
Brightness of the Western sky.
You couldn't have been dressed
In more than nightclothes
So when I woke and didn't call your name
The house was full of questions.
All I expected I saw
Looking out over this early city
From a window of our house:
A series of long distance drivers
And freelance deliverers.
You bare shoulders
Flush and fluid
As acres laid down on this earth
And I wonder what they tell you.
Some steady drops of pre-dawn light
Funneled through the palm
Of a leaf and the moon
Is a shattered street lamp
On the corners of Rattlesnake Drive
These days are becoming colder
By a wind thinking a thousand thoughts.
The fruit of the vine is bursting
Magnificent grace, blushing
Into a thousand peculiar memories.
The snows can come now
At any time in this part of the world.
You'll try to count
Each and every flake
And I'll watch your eyes
Blur, fall and fail.