Thursday, July 14, 2011

Andre Breton's Nadja... in San Francisco



Andre Breton's Nadja ... in San Francisco

Rather than appear for her audition
at the theatre on Geary, she sends a wine cork.
There is a moral value to presentation.

Nights alone at the Gaylord Hotel:
Breton's ghost flaps along hallways...
his red concrete blanket turns to powder.

The stamp collector in room 314 shouts,
Who gave me this paisley bellyache.
Nadja toasts him with raspberry vodka.

Nevertheless, it is Bastille Day among electric
palaces up on Pacific Heights, in the homes
of staved-in, intoxicated diplomats.

And Nadja feels tardy.  She begins a letter,
Dearest Andre, If I did not appear affectionate,
my map to joy was cigarette burned at its folds....

Long-legged Nadja strolls naked across
the Golden Gate Bridge... the ocean westward
no more to her than weed-green curtains.

I am a chilly river, she sings, caught
behind a movie screen... Clark Gable roping
wild horses as Marilyn Monroe smolders.

Nadja is in San Francisco with Dominican nuns
-- Mission San Jose-- now crowding her every step,
so she hides in her room, drinks more vodka.

There is cheering from the street below her room.
It is Bastille Day and granite-eyed Andre is falling
one silent raindrop at a time from a perfumed cloud.

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