Au Café de Flore

See Luigi’s “Godot” (15-11-19)

Simone, please be quiet
and let me enjoy my pipe.
But Jean-Paul, something
must have happened to Godot,
we’ve been waiting for him for ages.
Simone, please be quiet,
ta gueule, fiche-moi la paix,
you’re giving me nausea,
I’m trying to concentrate…
does essence precede existence
or is it the other way round?
I can’t get my head round
all this existentialism merde.
Don’t ask me, Jean-Paul.
You think you’ve got problems.
I’ve got this great title:
“The Second Sex” but I’m
foutue if I know what it means.
Simone, I’ll say to you
what I always say to people
who come to me
with their problems: inventez!

Dis donc, I’ve just thought
of a clever slogan:
“Hell is other people.”
You could put it on my headstone…
It’s a joke, Simone.
Godot’s not coming, is he? Merde alors!
He’s probably engagé
like all good existentialists.
Simone, I think you’re jealous
‘cos he’s with that putain Juliette.
You miss her, don’t you?


© Nemo 2023
Views: 985
critique and comments welcome.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This is hilarious. When I was doing my research on Sartre, way back in 1997, I visited this famous Café de Flore, talked to the owner as part of my research; this poem brought back memories. I wasn’t aware that you could write such lines. Oh and the last stanza is superb!


Don’t worry I will keep reading all your changed versions from time to time. In essence I like the poem so it’s only natural I will like all the versions that follow. Are you also as insane as I am, when it comes to changing versions Gerald? My lack of understanding in the past saw me losing out on many dreamers and daydreamers; I am only trying to see if I, with my discoveries and inferences about myself through meditation and practised detachment, can bring them back into my ambit and dream together. You are indeed an erudite and I,… Read more »


I am glad that my little ditty was the inspiration for this brilliant poem, Gerald. If anything is worth of a ‘nib’ to denote its excellence, this is it. I am really impressed by your knowledge of French and French literature, although I have a inkling that you were quite a luminary in the field of education. The dialogue between Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, with all the quotes and the reference to the “La Nausée” and the “Second Sex” makes the poem so believable that one imagines of being in that room listening to the conversation, Bravo, mon… Read more »


Hello Gerald, it is good that we can inspire each other and produce fresh work. I am not a nibber but I am glad that whoever he/she is has followed my recommendation. I am curious to know who that person is but I suppose that objectivity depends on anonymity.
Best, Luigi.


I cannot pretend to be aware of the basic story behind this poem without doing some research Gerald. I do appreciate the skill of the writing and the perfect compliment to Luigi’s poem.

It brings both to life and should be placed in the anthology (if there was one) side by side.
Well done on the nib.
Alison x

Flag Content