Sunday, June 25, 2017
Midnight in Marsielle (A Found Prose Poem)
Sun-kissed, with the taste of the sea in my mouth, I drove along the fantastic roadway that flanked the sea. I gazed to the north, awed by the wild mountain peaks in the distance, snow-capped and glittering in the Mediterranean sunlight. I slowed the car to stall to watch life resume in a glimmering fishing village near the bay, flashing past my rear-view mirror like the still life in a roll of Polaroid film. I couldn't help my tourists eye to marvel a trio of fishing vessels off the shore, the brilliance of a pink-blue sky, shimmer of the sea.
I watched the village rise before me in its street-light illuminated night-garb. A cluster of cars were parked before the cafe. Across the narrow street a raucous record played at top volume in a flat above the bakery, the forlorn lyrics undecipherable of a foreign dialect. Over a rolling suburban hill of cobblestone and crosswalk, the avenue came into view. Magnificent with its sumptuous shops, the cafes with their crowded terraces, elegant hotels and a cardboard sign that portrayed 'secondhand bookstore four blocks down.'
Perusing a street I've never known, I walked self-consciously into the cafe, a stranger to me at this hour. The lights were low and full of shadow. Candles sat in netted jars on each table, wrapping the room in an early-century aura. A sprinkling of local citizens sat over glasses of cheap wine. Languidly, they enjoyed the view, the piquant-sea accent of the air. Across the room, smoke-filled and wine-scented, a trio of Frenchmen were talking with loud contempt.
A few breath-beats after my order, made in broken French, the waiter brought my liquor and coffee. I sipped the pungent taste of the liquor, my eyes glued to the shadowed entrance of the cafe...
**I wrote this found poem by gathering broken pieces of description in the vintage book 'Where is Holly Charleton?' by Susan Marvin, 1973.