In Other Words

"Speaking of Accidents"
Peter Everwine

Given the general murkiness of fate
you might, in my mother's words, "Thank
your lucky stars," a phrase she'd drop
into the lull between calamities
like a rubbed stone, then nod wisely
while it sank home, pure poetry,
meaning she loved the sound of it
more than its truth.
But precisely here one needs discrimination.
Our town drunk, steering by streetlamp home one night,
as was his custom, got fooled
beyond recognition when a fast freight at the crossing
fixed him to its glare. "Some men
are like moths," we said, and that
was the poetry in it,
meaning his sudden somersault into light.
Truth is, the world fell in on him
as it commonly does when you stray
from the garden path and run head on
into the pain that, until then,
was as lost as you.
The trick is to risk collision,
then step back at the last moment:
that ringing in your ears
might be construed as the rush of stars.
We all want stars, those constellations
with the lovely names we've given them blossoming
in the icy windblown fields of the dark.
Desire is always fuming into radiance,
though even a drunk can't hope to ignore
some fixity underfoot, some vivid point
closer to home where all the lines converge --
scars, I mean,
not stars.



Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
I feel the same way.


Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
How Parisians love their guimauves (marshmallows)! Flavors, from left: green tea, saffron and pimiento, rose water.


Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
For all your cross-dressing and flamenco dancing needs. Which are apparently substantial enough to support a nice little shop right here in the 3rd. Oh, Paris!

I Can't Believe It's Midnight

Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
...and I'm still awake. At a party. In Paris. Somebody pinch me.

Could Stay Here Forever

Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
Misty street, six o'clock.

The Luckless Mouton

Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
A book about Michel, the sheep who can't catch a break.

Interior Designer Goes Crazy

Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
For all your bordello decorating needs.

Waiting Is the Hardest Part

Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
Jane waits for her pot of insanely thick and rich hot chocolate (served with a bowl of butter, I mean whipped cream) at Angelina's. We also ordered macaroons and ice cream. It is probably no coincidence that this is the only place Jane deigned to speak French during her visit. If there's no hot chocolate, no macaroons, no ice cream -- what's the point?

Un Philosophe dans Les Philosophes

Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
MJ philosophizes at Les Philosophes. I forget what he is talking about. Mais, pas de quoi!

MJ hearts Paris.

This Is the Small Bottle

Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
A bottle of Baby Jesus brand wine, 85 euros. Your celestial hangover? Priceless.

So Many Wines, So Little Time

Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
You know how, in American grocery stories, there are whole aisles devoted to salty snacks? Same thing in Paris, only it's wine on the shelf, not Fritos. This is a tiny grocery store in our neighborhood.

Pyramide des Macarons

Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
You will not find this in the Description d'Egypte.

A Quiet Moment

Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
...In the Tuilieres. Afterward, she bounced for fifteen straight minutes on the trampoline, drank a big cup of hot chocolate, and fell asleep in the cab on the way home.

Another Guiding Spirit.

Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
This is the guiding spirit who shows up after the, uh, spirits and makes you fall off the banquette. Not that I would know anything about it.


Only in the Marais

As if this striped armchair were not enough to induce a headache, in place of a throw pillow it had been adorned with a stuffed squirrel -- and I don't mean en peluche. Has Little My left Moomin Valley, and gotten herself a job as a Paris shopgirl?

The rest of the display was relentlessly normal.


April in Paris, Not a Moment Too Soon

I wonder if there are any more romantic words in the English language than the ones I am about to say.

I am off to Paris for a while.

Not taking much -- a notebook, pens, a camera, a few euros.

Il suffisait de te parler ...


FTD/Pick's Disease in the News

Today's NYT carried a story about a woman with fronto-temporal dementia who became especially creative after becoming ill.

Wish I could say my mother's experience is like this.


Sort of Like an Internet Bezoar

Laughed out loud today when one of my Google searches turned up the following text string, to which I have only added line breaks:

Do you believe in love
Like I believe in pain
Celexa & Trazodone
Are you also doing psychotherapy?
Usually the combination works a little better
Than either one alone

Oh dear, the things that Google coughs up.