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 2020
Views: 536
critique and comments welcome.
Subscribe
Notify of
11 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Supratik
7 months ago

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!
Supratik

Supratik
7 months ago
Reply to  Nemo

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 »

Ionicus
7 months ago

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 »

Ionicus
7 months ago
Reply to  Nemo

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.

Stormwolf
7 months ago

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

Gothicman
7 months ago

Must get off to bed (on CET), but time to just congratulate you on both a fabulous poem, and it would seem for getting fluent again with your composing and writing skills, Gerald. Your brand of sophisticated humour is such good reading, and appreciated by me at least for being in modern freely-written slice-of-life (even historical life) form. Anyway, much enjoyed.
Cheers, Trevor

Gothicman
7 months ago
Reply to  Nemo

It’s strange Gerald, I was just talking to the good woman about Simone as she’s nearly finished reading a 700-page book about her life, and with Sartre, and I read your poem to her (she’s read French and she’s better than I am when confronted with it), and she thought it so funny. She mentioned that Sartre has written on ‘nausea’, and my excuse for being so reclusive, is that my motto is that ‘other people are hell’ even if Sartre himself never said it like that! She recognises so much in your poem, the waiting’ etc. is so funny!… Read more »

Flag Content