I once sat in a Paris street
Drinking absinthe on my own
At three o'clock in the afternoon.
The swelling tide of yellow light
The arabesques that curled inside
The deco metro signposts.
They did not end the faint unease
Of violins heard between tall houses.
I once sat in a basement flat
Chatting to a whore until
She asked if we should go within.
Her inner room was strung with all her better memories,
And I could not bring more ruin down on them
The things that coins can purchase
They do not decoy the hunters
And the witchmen stride down all the lost alleys.
I once sat in the gutter
While the stars above were whirling
And I kept my eyes averted out of reverence to Oscar.
There are things you hear in gutters
All the gossip of the City
All the inferential horrors of the influencial orders.
But it heals no soul to hear them, only renders
It unworthy, for the music of the chatter
Comes from oh so far away. Like the distant
cries of Peacocks.
[First two lines supplied by Paul Ebbs]