Monday, December 25, 2006

Le Deauville Flyer

a cafe favoured by people
with bad hair and limps,
with scars on their hands
and pants which are
a little too short
or a little too long and
suits which are frayed at the cuffs
not quite enough to notice on first glance,
Le Deauville Flyer
is the only cafe in Paris
where i feel wholly comfortable.

the cab drivers and the
various soaks of Rue de Sevres,
the laundry workers and
the labourers,
gather for the races shown live
from some mystery racetrack somewhere
and they don't want to be noticed
as much as i don't want to be noticed
and we share complicit silence
as they blow their wages
over cigarettes and coffee
and rough red wine
and i sit alone looking out at the
rainy scuttling street of
perfumed shoppers and
shitting dogs
and the cat-eyed slinky girls
of Montparnasse passing on bicycles
in red cheeks and berets and
devastating disinterest in
anything at all

there is the taxi driver who parks on the footpath,
here is the reedy man with the unsteady gait and
hands that shake
who doesn't work there
but still sometimes brings me my coffee
and likes to pretend he's the doorman:

if Bukowski were alive,
he'd like Le Deauville Flyer.

he'd like its sense of genuine purpose
for it's the only cafe in town
that provides a community service;
the winning and the losing,
the smokes and the soaks,
the coffee that keeps you awake for weeks
and no food avaiable
and ciggie butts stubbed into
the hard tiled floor
and Laurent the owner smoking out of the doorway
with his ciggie held in his palm between
forefinger and thumb
and who knows that i will only ever have
a cafe au lait (like no one else does)
or a glass of red (like everyone does)

and the stylish missiles
heading for the boutiques of St Germain de Pres
enquiring with quick eyes about
the viability of this cafe for a visit
but quickly averting eyes
and walking on
after seeing the blaring TV screens
and the haunted looks of
the patrons and
the air of desperation which hangs like a neon light
above the entrance.

Le Deauville Flyer:
my favourite cafe in the
captial of France.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Adam!

Hope you're well amongst the ciggies and soaks of seedy French cafes. Great poem -- sounds like my kinda place.

It sounds like you're getting around and, I hope, having a wonder-full time (well, and a wonderful time as well, obviously).

It'll be interesting to see/hear what happens to that Aussie lilt by the time you get back.

Very best to ya mate.

Kind regards,
Steve Grim