Zone


At last you're tired of this elderly world

Shepherdess O Eiffel Tower this morning the bridges are bleating

You're fed up living with antiquity

Even the automobiles are antiques
Religion alone remains entirely new religion
Remains as simple as an airport hangar

In all Europe only you O Christianism are not old
The most modem European Pope Pius X it's you
The windows watch and shame has sealed
The confessionals against you this morning
Flyers catalogs hoardings sing aloud
Here's poetry this morning and for prose you're reading the tabloids
Disposable paperbacks filled with crimes and police
Biographies of great men a thousand various titles

I saw a pretty street this morning I forgot the name
New and cleanly it was the sun's clarion
Executives laborers exquisite stenographers
Criss-cross Monday through Saturday four times daily
Three times every morning sirens groan
At the lunch hour a rabid bell barks
The lettering on the walls and billboards
the doorplates and posters twitters parakeet-style
I love the swank of that street
Situated in Paris between the rue Aumont-Thieville and the avenue des Ternes

Here's the young street and you're still a baby
Dressed by your mother in blue and white only
You're very pious and with your oldest friend Rene Dalize
Nothing is more fun than Masses and Litanies

It's nine o'clock the gaslight is low you leave your bed
You pray all night in the school chapel
Meanwhile an eternal adorable amethyst depth
Christ's flamboyant halo spins forever
Behold the beautiful lily of worship
Behold the red-haired torch inextinguishable
Behold the pale son and scarlet of the dolorous Mother
Behold the tree forever tufted with prayer
Behold the double gallows honor and eternity
Behold the six-pointed star
Behold the God who dies on Friday and rises on Sunday
Behold the Christ who flies higher than aviators
He holds the world's record for altitude

Christ pupil of the eye
Twentieth pupil of the centuries knows its stuff
And bird-changed this century like Jesus climbs the sky
Devils in the abyss look up to watch
They say this century mimics Simon Magus in Judea
It takes a thief to catch a thief they cry
Angels flutter around the pretty trapeze act
Icarus Enoch Elijah Apollonius of Tyana
Hover as close to the airplane as they can
Sometimes they give way to other men hauling the Eucharist
Priests eternally climbing the elevating Host
The plane descends at last its wings unfolded
bursts into a million swallows
Full speed come the crows the owls and falcons
From Africa ibis storks flamingoes
The Roc-bird famous with writers and poets
Glides Adam's skull the original head in its talons
The horizon screams an eagle pouncing
And from America there comes a hummingbird
From China sinuous peehees
Who have only one wing and who fly in couples
And here's a dove immaculate spirit
Escorted by lyre-bird and shimmery peacock

Phoenix the pyre the self-resurrected
Obscures everything ardently briefly with ash
The sirens abandon their perilous channels
Each one singing more beautifully arrives
Everyone eagle Phoenix Chinese peehees
Eager to befriend a machine that flies

You are walking in Paris alone inside a crowd
Herds of buses bellow and come too close
Love-anguish clutches your throat
You must never again be loved
In the Dark Ages you would have entered a monastery
You are ashamed to overhear yourself praying
You laugh at yourself and the laughter crackles like hellfire
The sparks gild the ground and background of your life
Your life is a painting in a dark museum
And sometimes you examine it closely

You are walking in Paris the women are bloodsoaked
It was and I have no wish to remember it was the end of beauty

In Chartres from her entourage of flames Our Lady beamed at me
The blood of your Sacred Heart drenched me in Montmartre
I'm sick of hearing blissful promises
The love I feel is a venereal disease
And the image possessing you in your pain your insomnia
Vanishes and it is always near you

And now you are on the Riviera
Under lemon trees that never stop blooming
You are boating with friends
One is from Nice one is from Menton two from La Turbie
We are staring terrified at giant squid
At fish the symbols of Jesus swimming through seaweed

You are in the garden at an inn outside of Prague
You are completely happy a rose is on the table
And instead of getting on with your short-story
You watch the rosebug sleeping in the rose's heart
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Guillaume Apollinaire

Guillaume Apollinaire was an Italian-born French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic born in Rome, in Italy, to a Polish mother. more…

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"Zone" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 24 Mar. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/16290/zone>.

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