City of light

CITY OF LIGHT

I

the Paris subway is a subterranean labyrinth

which      like the underground tunnels of mines nourishes

and bleeds

the glittering surface life

 

we advance

from darkness to darkness

through tunnels of yellow light we walk

through long corridors standing       motionless       we float along automatic stairways

or perpetually moving sidewalks like dolls

or silent mannequins from darkness to darkness

 

until suddenly

unexpectedly

we come

out

in the open air

and the white perfection

 

of Notre Dame   clear and precise dazzles us

 

II

                    atmosphere of the Seine


          white sun against white clouds


a white bridge stretches
                     lingering arches

over water that runs to us from the past

laden with recollections

it merges        with ours

 

as diving gulls

merge with

 

reflections of the sun

on the water

 

. . . Hail . . .

. . . those who are to die . . .

 

 

 

 

Ill

 

again

we descend

below the surface

here a man seated on the ground has removed a boot

to display the hideous stump of his mangled foot as he stretches out his hand

a little further we are met by the dissonant screams

of a young man accompanied by his guitar who sings with his cap on the ground a song of joyful    contagious    rhythm with a face of paralyzed despair

 

the hordes rush by them

 

it has been ten hours since they left their homes through black and frozen streets now they return again

through black and frozen streets

at times their faces

devoid of expression

twitch

 

in tiny muscular spasms

 

IV

during the journey                       and then on the platforms

we are met by

one advertisement after another that promise happiness at a discount

or on the installment plan

 

all we have to do is buy

a pair of stockings       tube of toothpaste   building lot or the brand of television that guarantees

the happy union of a family

 

(upon the wall we see displayed the happy faces of the children

watching the image of a cowboy behind them the happy faces of the parents

happy to see their children finally happy)

in one such station

next to the vending machines for cigarettes and candy there is a glass behind which several mannequins model the effect of different wigs

 

one of them

by means of an ingenious mechanism demonstrates the contrast between baldness and hair by the slow and rhythmic raising and lowering of a luxuriant toupee of natural hair

V

 

on the 26th day of November

in the Louis Blanc station

of the Paris subway

there was an explosion

that reduced a ticket booth to rubble and wounded several passengers

 

the detonation was tremendous

but the causes have not been discovered

perhaps it was due

to an accumulation of despairs

 

that sooner or later had to find an outlet

VI

that sooner or later

will explode

and send up flying through white air

among the gulls

fragments of the white bridge that stretches lingering arches

over the Seine

before the terrified eyes

of the prophetic gargoyles of Notre Dame