Thursday, February 28, 2008

A little bit of Annie

Since I am sick today (thank you, Africa), and since I'm wearing a black turtleneck, I think I will set aside tales of Moroccan exploits for another time and instead share with you a little poem in honor mon cher ami in Towson who lays away money for a Hermes 3000 manual typewriter.  This one is somewhat atypical of this particular poet but I love it nonetheless because it reminds me of my home and all the dear friends whom I think of so fondly.  

I Remember by Anne Sexton

By the first of August
the invisible beetles began
to snore and the grass was
as tough as hemp and was
no color--no more than 
the sand was a color and
we had worn our bare feet 
bare since the twentieth
of June and there were times
we forgot to wind up your
alarm clock and some nights
we took our gin warm and neat
from old jelly glasses while
the sun blew out of sight
like a red picture hat and
one day I tied my hair back 
with a ribbon and you said
that I looked almost like
a puritan lady and what
I remember best is that
the door to your room was 
the door to mine.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Black History Month

Yes, it exists in France.  I think.  Actually I'm not even really sure.  But I do know that last night a few of my friends and I attended an American-soul/operatic celebration of Black History Month in a small Alsatian town, approximately 45 minutes outside of Strasbourg.  Bribed by the American Embassy with free transportation and hints at hors d'œuvres (read: champagne), we thought, "pourquoi pas?"  In true American fashion we arrived at the cultural center of Fülfenhagenahëanwhöanen (this is not the actual name of the town) in a charter bus big enough for 60 people (there were 10 of us) which was longer than 5 French cars and probably created more carbon emissions in one night than a French person does in a whole year.  We didn't hate it.  After all, what better way to rep' the Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Brave than to roll up in a needlessly large vehicle that takes up the whole street?  

The evening's performance was given by Mr. Kevin Maynor, and featured the ivory-ticklin' piano skillz of the blush-sporting Mr. James Olsen.  Mr. Maynor delivered song after song, inspirational quote after inspirational quote, video clip after video clip, long into the night--even after the management had subtly hinted at an imminent end to the art by turning on the auditorium lights.  As I watched Kevin wave his arms and point fingers at the crowd as he shouted his passionate speeches (in English), I was reminded of videos I've watched of dictators giving similar discourses at rallies in languages I can't understand and realized how scary this must be for the audience of francophones.  At this point I quietly laughed, causing the old French man to my right to turn to me and wink.  (This never happens in France!)  Proof! once and for all that Black History Month really does bring people together, albeit in sometimes unconventional ways.  

Kevin Maynor, Pure Bass

Don't worry, I'm not going to include "Black History Month" by Death from Above in this post.


Monday, February 4, 2008

I live in France


More to come.  



"Sensation" by Arthur Rimbaud

Par les soirs bleus d'été, j'irai dans les sentiers,
Picoté par les blés, fouler l'herbe menue :
Rêveur, j'en sentirai la fraîcheur à mes pieds.
Je laisserai le vent baigner ma tête nue.

Je ne parlerai pas, ne ne penserai rien:
Mais l'amour infini me montera dans l'âme,
Et j'irai loin, bien loin, comme un bohémien,
Par la Nature, herueux comme avec une femme.


On summer's blue evenings I will take the beaten paths,
Pricked by spring corn, crushing the short grass :
In a dream I will feel the coolness under my feet.
I will let the wind wash over my bare head.

I will not speak, I will not think :
But my soul will swell with infinite love,
And I will go far away, very far like a gypsy,
Through Nature, happy, as if with a woman.