Another cramped summer on the Left Bank,
though I guess the problem's in every arrondissement:
buskers clogging Châtelet and Les Halles
and pesky men at the gelato shop
polishing their disdain for your accent.
We all know God hates the fucking tourists but
sometimes it takes a squall of fanny packs to remind us
something is always beautiful
and not just there on the days
we choose to see it,
because even in Paris
the soul stays mostly at rest,
unprovoked by music
or combustible love
or maybe some implacable, dapper-looking fellow
who seems mostly right when he says
we have the right to beauty
but no right to comprehend it.
Je cherche la région cruciale de l'âme —
well, what do you dream about?
I'd always imagined falling in love
to classical music, the better Debussy,
though I guess if I were a different person
it could have been anything:
old movies, gardens, cars.
In our dream lives we
are always dallying about
with certain set pieces
plus the leading lady, and
in mine there was always
a grand piano casually left about,
plus maybe some snow.
When I was a musician
they taught us to bound the world
in elegant leaps,
but those were big words for such crippled lives
spent lurching to practice rooms
in tiny, exhausted steps.
It's there I learned how much practiced dreams
are good for practical lives,
and affection's as real as a dream, anyway,
because dreams are real,
they're just our rented selves.
So when wandering the Rue Mouffetard
with a lover
and barely a care,
except for maybe later
when I go to lay another rose
on Debussy's grave,
how much should we ask what it all means?
In the worst scenario
I find out that mine's a rented life,
where I need nothing,
and can only be turned out.