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tearing the rag off the bush again
New Poems by Fevronia Novak PDF E-mail

Gaga Oh là là

or men’s wars

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Our Lady Gaga daughters


our daughters will grow up

to be perfect artists

like Lady Gaga

they won’t fear the ridiculous

Gaga Oh là là

or men’s wars

c’est comme ça

they won’t let their lovers decompose too fast

in their latex beds

to become sand from tall skeletons

by then

they will be friends with men

they won’t wait for them

dressed like Catholic nuns

boys with exotic names

Alexandro, Fernando, Roberto

coming from the dry mountains of Afghanistan

their red hearts open on inlaid trays

under a tall wet sky pouring snow over New York

our daughters will not wear machine guns

sticking out of their tits

not even a lame sword

they will dangle their burkas,

their Kaldarash skirts or red dresses

for their bad romances

with one breath

over the picture of death

and rule the world


On your way home. Paris


the bus is always too slow

on your way home

crawling through luxurious stores

Nina Ricci, Versace, Jimmy Choo

at the Rond Point des Champs-Elysées

in front of the Grand Palais/Petit Palais?

a marble skull grows

white gigantic butterflies

from his nose

and from the top of his head

while down the road at the Madeleine

the red lights like a magic carpet

invite your eyes in the patio shared by Chanel and Dior

you’re a face like the others on this bus

tired bored indifferent

when the little match girl steps in

with black garbage bags full of essential

matter for sleeping outside

she smells like the dirty sidewalks she lives on

you’re certain she’s younger than she looks

it’s your stop and you forget about her

and all the other ones in your neighbourhood

walking through imposing hôtels particuliers

you can’t forget Walter Benjamin

on 19th century Hausmann’s Paris

and the commerce rivalling art

how he ended his essay with a coup de tonnerre


treading in the shoes of his flâneur

you see the inhabitants of these demeures

growing giant butterflies

from their noses and foreheads

coming up from the realm of hell


The Granny on Rochechouart Street

The Granny who begs at the metro station doesn’t have a shelter
She sits in the cold all day on her suitcase
And is happy when an NGO brings her a sleeping bag to keep her warm at night
She is a Romanian lost in Paris
Her daughter lives in Germany, married to an orthopaedist
But her husband is in a Parisian hospital
And she lingers close by
She tells me she would like to work, to nurse older people
She would rather work than wait all day on the rue de Rochechouart sidewalk
She lives in the street and I can’t imagine what she eats
Since it’s not the little I give her in the morning that would suffice to help her survive in the cold and humid November weather
She has a small curly dog she always keeps tight so he wouldn’t escape in the street. Sometimes she walks him but not too far from her little spot/home on the sidewalk
She enjoys the street show: the busy passers by, students, all the eccentrics march before her eyes like tonight when I get off the metro and in front of me walks a dandy clad to perfection in an epoch suit, with a cane, a young man skinnier than Oscar Wilde but dressed exactly like him and Granny smiles, turns her head towards him and she could become a writer inspired by the great number of performances she watches during her long days outside
she doesn’t have a bed to sleep in, she doesn’t have a shelter but she has Paris with all its splendour and craziness
in her heart a show with bright spheres and ribbons is going on
in her heart there is light
and her soul smiles with a beautiful toothless mouth
with a joy you don’t understand where it could come from


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