The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Friday, Dig, Sacré-Coeur

The Steps of Montmartre
By Alex Grant

      – after Brassai's 1936 photograph

On the steps of Sacre Coeur
   Cathedral, in that same winter
      when junge leute filled Bavarian

beer-gardens, ten years before
   Adorno proclaimed that there
      could be no art after Auschwitz,

Brassai captured his flawless
   image. Through the tunnel
      formed by the parting trees,

battalions of lamp-posts advance
   and retreat in the morning mizzle,
      clamp chain-link handrails hard

into sunwashed cobbles. In less
   than a year, the corpseless heads
      on Nanking's walls will coalesce

with Guernica's ruined heart, mal
   du siècle will become Weltschmerz,
      and the irresistible symmetry

of a million clacking bootheels
   will deafen half a continent.
      The red brush never dries -

adagio leads finally to fugue,
   haiku to satori, and the image
      fixed in silver to remembering.


I forgot to post any poetry for Shakespeare's birthday, St. George's Day, or Yom Ha'atzmaut, so I'm just sticking with Montmartre themes to go with the photos. Thursday here was cool but lovely, overcast but with so many pink and yellow trees in the neighborhood that it looked beautiful anyway. My mother invited me out to lunch and since Kay and I had to postpone because of Take Your Child To Work Day -- her son wanted to go to work -- I went with my mother to Mykonos, where we had terrific spanakopita, grape leaves, and stuffed mushrooms. Then we did a bit of shop-browsing (meaning that apart from an entirely gratuitous $9 crystal wind chime, the most exciting thing I bought was shampoo).

My family has discovered to our horror that Verizon does not get the CW On Demand, meaning that we can't watch The Flash episode we missed this week without sitting around a computer, woe! I showed Paul The Tonight Show from last night so he could hear Russell and Jimmy sing "Balls In Your Mouth," then we watched Dig (the Jesus Clones are MEAN! And I can't believe I'm more worried about the cow than half the people). Here are some photos of Paris's Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, which does not allow photos in the sanctuary but does in the crypt (sorry about St. Denis always missing his head, that happened on the hill of Montmartre where the basilica now stands), and the path to the cemetery far below.


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