Ode to simple french life&that tiny restaurant in Nice// &oh that goat cheese–

from my sketchbook..

from my sketchbook..

it’s crowded
a narrow stair
leads to the 2nd floor
talking french
with hands&feet
on tiny tables,

into a low-top
roof space,

with the sound
of glasses/porcelain/
we’re the only

la menu du jour
//12,50 €
“rouget– is that fish?”
my husband asks
“it could

be anything”
we order,
next to us,
some wrinkled friends,
cheese plate,
glass of red//
excited conversation,

“loving it here”
i smile
behind my back,
a teeny spiral stair
(almost hit my head)
winds up
to the only toilet,

“there’s no button
for the flush” i say,
“just a piece of wire
out the tank”
&goat cheese
on my lips
“the fish
is fabulous”

s’il vous plaît”
she jots
the calculation
on the tablecloth
in night-black
&we leave the tip

right next to it,
it won’t increase
nor decrease
one ounce of her friendliness,
she’s who she is,
what i call this”
i smile deep-
ly satisfied,

as we step out,
&my raspberry red trench coat
mingles giggling
with the azure rain


tony has us write nerudian odes at dVerse today using short lines… so write an ode to your subject or object of choice & join us at 3pm EST when he opens the pub doors..


42 responses to “Ode to simple french life&that tiny restaurant in Nice// &oh that goat cheese–

  1. Beautiful Claudia – a perfect use of the form. I can see, hear, taste and smell this restaurant as though I were there myself. The short lines work so well for the subject – they give time to savour each image.

    Can I suggest on extra line-break? In the third to last line, i>trench coat could be a line on its own giving:

    &my raspberry red
    trench coat

    this just gives the reader pause to consider what might be raspberry red; a beret, shoes, your lipstick … smiles

  2. really very nice….yours is alive and so in the moment…i like that much…and sounds like fun times as well…the seemingly random bits are very cool and fill in the picture, like the bathroom…ha…well played….

  3. I like the personal touch of the sketch and stretch, Claudia… Such a cheap trip to France you took us on!

    P.S.-I’m sure that Hemingway ate there. There’s only one bathroom because he stole the urinal… 😉

  4. Claudia, you have really given a picture of your surroundings in that restaurant….loved the details such as the tiny spiral stair and the toilet that needed a wire to flush, the food on the menu, the waitress with her ‘independences,’ etc. Nice that you were able to experience a bit of local flavor in a French hangout rather than a place meant solely for tourists! I enjoyed!

  5. AH! The simple life, expressed in language of simplicity. It is not for everyone.
    But for who allows their heart to enjoy, it is heaven…in advance!
    Thanking you, Claudia, for this lovely ode of “loving”…
    …and PEACE.

  6. I would love to eat here. The aromas, the relaxed toes, the writing on the tablecloth, the happiness, the giggling raincoat … Thanks for making it seem I could reach out and touch it! (The comment I wrote yesterday may still show up–just pick one!)

  7. i love this, chatty, friendly, atmospheric.. by the end i feel i know the place, was there too.. & oooh, these lines:

    my raspberry red trench coat
    mingles giggling
    with the azure rain

    are delicious! the sketch delightful

  8. You promised a trip to Nice, and you delivered in spades, baby; will save us a lot of cash needed to go there ourselves; the old couple next to you, the menu in French, daring to order whatever, the wine staining your lips, the bare feet, the winding staircase to urination, the shabby tank controls–& of course, the whipped cream on the event, your watercolor; sweetness without sarcasm; thanks.

  9. I love this! You’ve really created quite the picture here. Love that you’ve described the waitress and the food and so many of the fine details!

  10. Claudia, I really enjoyed your poem and your keen observations! Seeing my fellow countrymen and women from your perspective was very interesting.
    “talking french / with hands&feet” – lovely line!

  11. ..wrinkled friends…clanging porcelain…excellent..thanks for taking us to Nice today ;)…I thought for a moment you were going to write ‘raspberry beret’…

  12. So much of this makes me think of those watercolors of Parisian life — the cafe and its happily rained-upon society, the rustic accoutrements, as if they were required for entering a happiness still available, in rare places. As if the only way you could enter it was by placing your bare feet up on the table. Sweet stuff, Claudia.