by Guy Walker (January 2020)
Café (Hotel de l’Europe), Max Beckmann
Behind plate windows, and beneath large skylights,
Thick woollen scarves and coats and autumn twilight.
“Technologies in art are superseded,
Egg tempera gave way to oils. What’s needed
Now‘s modern media.” And the crowd of French
Girls laugh and murmur; fidget on the bench.
“The lemon chia seed cake’s lovely, will
You have another latte?” Seeing light spill
Across the Common, passers-by steal glances,
“You can’t dispute that my device enhances.”
Professor Croce cleans his glasses, blinks,
Begins another peroration, thinks
Conception matters more than tools. A dog
Skitters on wooden laminate. “You’ll jog
The waitress, fooling ‘round!” — “ . . . used orpiment,
Lead white and cinnabar.” A hatstand meant
For fewer coats slews drunkenly, till caught,
And ‘busboys’ stack up plastic racks now brought
To steaming scullery door. The street-doors yawn,
Black revenant wind intrudes with dry leaves drawn
From gardens. Later on, and side by side,
The Prof and Eugene cough, their legs astride
And rocking back, sequestered maleness grasped;
They study walls and ceiling tiles while fast
Around white streaming bowls, they let careen
Their urine’s curtain, slewed on porcelain’s sheen.
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Guy Walker a retired French teacher living in the South of England. In addition to writing poetry, Guy has published articles on political and health issues in The Conservative Woman He is technically a Catholic with a predilection for a conservative outlook. He blogs at roseatetern.blogspot.com.
Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast