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Bons Appétits 1977

A simple formula:
wake up, make love,
ignore the maid who’s knocking at the door
who says she’s cleaned all other rooms, below, above
and cannot wait for us a moment more.

Some time later
stroll out to breakfast in the brown café.
Big coffees, bread and jam and pains au chocolat
will set us up to walk
(the only way to travel)
all over Paris, randomly, all day,
stopping to watch
in every park, on any piece of gravel,
the parties de pétanque at play.

Back in the hotel at six
make love, and shower.
Then, freshly dressed,
step forth into the hour of the apéritif
on the pavement outside the green bar.
The air is still
the evening luminous with limes in leaf
and we could eat a horse. We will.

Squeezed on to benches, no elbow room to spare,
we dine where once dined Valéry and Gide.
No literary pleasure can exceed
the joy of filets de hareng, steaks chevalins and frites,
Roquefort, apple tarts,
at least two litres of vin ordinaire.
The toilet is listed at the Ministry of Arts.

On to the red bar for several digestifs.
Back to the hotel at two.
No stars, no lift. Creep up ten flights.
Make love, approximately, and sleep,
omitting to turn off the lights.

Repeat this for eleven days and nights.

Such steady pleasures. And such appetites.

Audio file

Listen to this poem — read by the author