Somewhere between midnight & Paris

maybe it’s because of what we find,
in the drizzle on a lonely path,
wet cobblestone of any city, probably,

again, again we trace them,
breathe the odor of much more than
what we see or feel, a time beyond
imagination or our dreams–

our dreams–? mais oui, we

hunt them, without guns, just words,
words, lost on slippery side streets,
fallen out of cars, driven too fast
for us to follow, snippets &
they meet us where we are– so play

that song, with shakin’ hands,
again, again like vinyl records spin
in dim light, and–

how can we be so unsure– here’s
a glimpse, a hunter, shadows of us
in a midnite scene, our decay
uncured by any antidote or such–
you sure–?

you’ll never write well if you fear dying–
so do we–?

do we love, and love enough to
push death to the edge–? just glimpses
as we walk, stumble upon lines of
fear and maybe hope–
make love again, Really
good love that will save us

from ourselves at least,
so we see different things
by looking at the same– i’ve hunted

not enough to get accustomed to the killing,
scent of blood, there’s nothing fine
and noble about dying in the mud unless,
unless— (you name it)

.

wrote this after watching Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” .. moved me quite a bit and they have wicked cool dialogues as well…the parts in italics are quotes by Hemingway in the movie.. and I’m linking up with dVerse for our weekly OpenLinkNight which goes up at 3pm EST

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80 responses to “Somewhere between midnight & Paris

  1. nice…i really like how you work in the quotes…i like the never writing good if you fear dying…and i absolutely love your questions that come after that about if we love enough…unless you name it, is a great close on this as well…a contemplative piece…really enjoyed it…i love cobblestones too…smiles.

  2. make love again, really good love that will save us, from ourselves at least,
    What a way to be saved! Love this and Woody Allen? marvelous marvelous little man with a genius brain! Bravo Claudia Bravo!

  3. Hi Claudia,
    I love to read your words. While reading they begin to dance. Inspite of words like dying, death.

    Super!

  4. I agree with the quote that you will never write well if you fear dying. We have to push death to the edge of all we do, including writing. And write like we have infinite tomorrows. Enjoyed this, Claudia.

  5. one of my favorite poets writing about one of my favorite writers set in one of my favorite cities 😉

    “make love again, Really
    good love that will save us” –

    and when it does (save us) it doesn’t seem to then matter from what or why 😉 oui ?

  6. Yeah screw death when it comes it comes, just keep on writing and living and ignore the thing. Never seen that movie that I can recall though.

  7. A lovely walk in the warm Parisian drizzle. Such a rich mix of emotions and imagery all through this. I also feel that, you are not truly living either, if you fear death. As I keep trying to tell Chloe, just by our being born, our death too, is inevitable but, it’s what we do with our lives in between those two huge events which matter most.
    The cobblestones reminds me ‘The Lanes’ in my hometown, I’m sure you walked them too when you were there. 🙂

  8. Now I don’t know which I like most – the movie,Hemingway, your poem. Your mix of Paris and Hemingway , the midnight drizzle all make me want to keep writing. And death, well we’re all dying, so let’s squeeze the juice out of life.

  9. I love this, Claudia. Another favorite 😉 I love hunting without guns just words…
    lost on slippery side streets….so great!

  10. First, beautiful poem as usual. =) Second, “you’ll never write well if you fear dying…” Ah, in the sake of honesty, I do fear it. In a little aside to your last line, I do believe there can be fine and noble to dye in the mud. I would ask ‘how’ did you fall in the mud? Mud, the perceived ‘indignity’ of death does not undo a lifetime of the miracle a person was.

    • yes..i totally agree…the quote goes: Yes. It was a good book because it was an honest book, and that’s what war does to men. And there’s nothing fine and noble about dying in the mud unless you die gracefully. And then it’s not only noble but brave… i just wanted to let the reader fill in their own thoughts

  11. This reminds me of the one time I was in Boston, alone, walking the cobblestone streets in the rain as I passed houses where John Adams etc. lived. The world seemed so small, all people closer, and I ducked into a cozy restaurant..almost like a scene in Midnight in Paris…I did not find Hemingway or Dali but I am visiting here today, new to the writing community on line..and reading a lot of what I felt on that day in 2008….an almost deja vu feeling…I am amazed by your writing.

  12. Yay Claudia – i watched the movie last month – and i loved it… a postcard to paris
    and a dream come true for me too… imagine hanging out with those guys during that time period: what a blast… and falling in love too – well who could help themselves with such a giddy backdrop…

    i love what your tackiling as a subject… i would bet we all share such thoughts, set in different ways according to our outlook… every day i die faster –
    i write in order to lodge my complaint – lol … i wish i could show good grace
    but i ‘ll probably be kicking and screaming – propelled by fear to the end… i love your sense of things and even if i cant share the sentiment, i can at least appreciate my time spent peeking through your nourishing filter

    thank you claudia 😀

  13. I loved this esp. since what I wrote today also had allusions to dying and Woody Allen. I wish you would read this on to soundcloud. Really loved hearing your voice. Mosk

  14. Must agree with wanting to hear you read some of your poetry again…really enjoyed this poem…ah but would have loved to hear you read it.

  15. really moved by this Claudia, this stanza really spoke to me–

    again, again we trace them,
    breathe the odor of much more than
    what we see or feel, a time beyond
    imagination or our dreams–

    beautifully penned. — C.

  16. Claudia–this sparks with such a gorgeous intensity–love the rhythmic intensity of this. My favorite image, as I cannot paste the whole poem, is this one

    our dreams–? mais oui, we

    hunt them, without guns, just words,
    words, lost on slippery side streets,
    fallen out of cars, driven too fast
    for us to follow, snippets &
    they meet us where we are

    Just love this.

  17. unless, unless… hemingway is my favorite writer, the master of choosing words wisely.

    you are coming up close behind…

    (and i loved the movie)

  18. There’s always something out there in the mud that’s hidden, in my case usually children’s toys and clothes pegs. Great write as always Claudia x

  19. ah Claudia, you are so good at titles that magic one right into the scene, and so good also at keeping one there well after the last word… i love
    you’ll never write well if you fear dying–
    so do we–?
    (and what follows)
    and feel the truth of that in my bones

  20. Where else to write a beautiful poem like this, but Paris..around midnight. Good love does push death away…or at least to a far corner…I’d like to believe that. Beautiful work here, Claudia, I love, and will be back for another read.

  21. I loved that movie too. Traveling in time in search of the words, the ambience, the “right one” but in the end these are the times given to us, these are the days my friend, and we must make the best of them. You are writing them and being a superwoman to boot! Well done you!

  22. How beautifully you catch a feeling I can hardly comment on because it is in the words you hunted down and put in line on this page!

    So easily I slip on the wet cobblestones and slide away from the here and now–especially in Europe, maybe especially in Paris where the legends of literary history live–the romantic rebels who seem to have each others back
    nowhere more than in the film “Midnight”! I watched it 3 times, once before and twice after visiting Paris. I spent lots of time in Père Lachaise Cemetery to visit their stones too. Why? I know they are not there but I feel the traces of spirit and sometimes imagine the spirit could lead me forward. Hunting for a dream of a life rich enough to fall from–one that answers why blood, why mud, why move, why hunt, why anything at all?

    It is this life, writing these poems, letting them yawp and sing.

  23. Not a film I’m familiar with – and the Hemingway is a mystery too, but that close reminded me of the “ancient lie
    Dulce et decorum est
    pro patria mori.”

    I enjoyed reading this – as I do so much of your work, Claudia.

  24. Wonderful work Claudia! My favorite movie of the year “Midnight in Paris”

    Love your words here —
    “again, again we trace them, breathe the odor of much more than
    what we see or feel, a time beyond imagination or our dreams–
    our dreams–? mais oui”

    I loved the hunt for our dreams — words upon words — perhaps haunted by
    Thanks! Beautifully done

  25. do we love, and love enough to
    push death to the edge–? just glimpses
    as we walk, stumble upon lines of
    fear and maybe hope–

    Much so! Love and hope have a way to push death away. These are elements that mend rather than destroy. Great thoughts Claudia!

    Hank

  26. I love the room and intimacy you allow us as readers. Room to make our own choices, find our own way, and the intimacy to see a bit of your choices and path. It’s a magical balance that you manage so well.

  27. Okay, okay, my arm is twisted. I’ll make love again. Such difficult things for an artist 🙂 Really enjoyed this, Claudia. It is very smooth and I could smell the street, the city, and great images to support your voice. A+.

  28. again, again we trace them,
    breathe the odor of much more than
    what we see or feel, a time beyond
    imagination or our dreams–

    Great piece! We can’t name it but we know it’s there 🙂

  29. Hi Claudia – I think it’s a very evocative piece, but I disagree on the fearing dying part. I think one reason people make art is because they do fear dying; that they are desperately afraid of dying before they have made their art. I think people let a denial of death, or of their fear of dying, sometimes get in the way of their making art–they put so much off – at least I know I do. (Although I also have a fair amount of fear – I don’t know if it’s of dying per se, but of dying before I stop putting things off! ) A complicated subject – you handle very deftly. k.

  30. I’ve never seen the movie, however i loved the poem and I couldn’T get the image of a classic movie out of head. I could see a man in a trench coat and women looking in his eyes while it was raining before she took flight. I love when poems do that. Thank you.

  31. The whole poem (of course) was constructed brilliantly. I love the incorporated quotes, the hunter, and the smoothness of how you tied it all together – BUT! –
    I loved, loved, loved, how you left us unresolved, tempting the reader to form their own judgement in regards to the question, Unless?

  32. “maybe it’s because of what we find,
    in the drizzle on a lonely path,
    wet cobblestone of any city, probably…”

    …again, again we trace them,
    breathe the odor of much more than
    what we see or feel, a time beyond
    imagination or our dreams–

    our dreams–? mais oui, we…”

    Bonjour! Claudia…I knew that I was going to really like this poem…Because Of the title: Somewhere between midnight & Paris…
    I also like the way that you have captured your thoughts after watching the film…“Midnight in Paris…”

    …and [interspersed] Hemingway’s words with your [own] poetic words as you asked questions to the readers[?!?]

    “do we love, and love enough to
    push death to the edge–? “

    Merci, for sharing!
    deedee 🙂

  33. Claudia, this has to be my favorite of your poems so far! I’m absolutely in love with it, and I did love that movie. You’ve incorporated it so well. I like the rhythm and the urgency of this piece. Do I? well… I now have something to think about 😉

  34. ‘Hunting without guns, just words’, I love this! There is such a wholesome mix of glimmer and shadow here. Along with not writing well, I think that we are not able to ‘live’ well if we fear death. I love the weaving of Hemingway’s words in this!

    Fantastic movie! It left me dreaming and needing to write. 🙂

  35. This poem leaves me with a very specific feeling, although I cannot place what it is. Akin to the text in a Jets to Brazil song I love, “I Typed for Miles”. “you’ll never write well if you fear dying–” Love it, Claudia.

  36. How much easier it is to die for something than to live for something! I prefer to think that it is important to acknowledge fear and overcome it, move forward nonetheless. Approach everything that menaces us. Or it controls us…

  37. This is my favorite part:

    do we love, and love enough to
    push death to the edge–? just glimpses
    as we walk, stumble upon lines of
    fear and maybe hope–

    I liked the movie and I like this poem.

  38. Unless:

    GANZ UNMÖGLICH

    Weinig ganz unmöglich ist.
    Eines ist. Und wenn du bist
    kann du nicht, als alle, werden,
    ganz unmöglich in die Herden.

    ▲ A ▲

  39. This is a wickedly powerful write. I do not know if I get most of it, but what I do get is enough to make me want to think long and profoundly about lines here. I think I disagree with some of it, but that doesn’t matter because the poem speaks amazing amounts for thought, living, and listening to a silence that is very profound and which animates the action of your words.

  40. “you’ll never write well if you fear dying” … What an awesome quote. I would add that you will never write well if you fear living.

    I like this:
    “make love again, Really
    good love that will save us

    from ourselves at least”

  41. I see, a lot of truth in the first four verses.. the way we hunt down dreams with words.. sometimes, those words lost by what we say or where we say it.. Agree with Mohana.. your style is different, but expressive. Cheers, Claudia!

  42. “do we love, and love enough to
    push death to the edge–? just glimpses
    as we walk, stumble upon lines of
    fear and maybe hope” Hmmm I hope. Thought provoking Claudia.