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An Afternoon In Paris; or, The Way Bookshops Change The Light [REVISED]

In the company of so many great words
I seem to lose all mine.
- the 'great' of the city's vaulted cathedral ceilings
  the first time you can recall seeing the candles in Notre Dame,
  the transcepts thick with incandescence -
But in this silent maelstrom
is the eye of a storm and the point of a life,
the point of all lives.
For the writers live here in every atom and dust mote,
spreading their fictional fingers down shelves,
beckoning at those come to browse and buy
or just to breathe,
to muddy or purify the waters of their minds
with the thoughts of another;
they whom you never meet but fall asleep next to.
All the words I have written collect in pools
- opening doors
  drowning doubt
  paling and morphing under such lofty comparison -
until writing is a memory
a painting
a feeling behind my heart.
Then all in a moment the things I'm most grateful for are:
the spine dust I can blow from my fingers,
and the way you are waiting here,
beside Fitzgerald, Tolstoy, and TS Eliot,
for me to set down this pen
and remember how to breathe.

10 Sep 07

Rated 10 (7) by 1 users.
Active (1): 10
Inactive (2): 5, 6

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the title caught me.
i feel like i am reading my life story, and i love it to pieces.
last word - it should be breathe not breath. let it linger.
 — sophiesword

How lovely to read that. We are in the same place though at different locations.

Glad I could please you.

 — musicwords

mmmm this is lovely. This is the way I want to feel but have somehow lost my way.
Thanks for this, it is like a remedy for the day I am having.
 — DeformedLion

That's lovely to hear D-lion, I am glad we're on the same plain and that you connected. We are all a little lost, don't forget.

 — musicwords

Hey MW,

The love of words and the admiration for how other’s have used them is clear in this poem. The lingering effect they have on the human heart is profound, remaining with us in testament to the many ‘firsts’ we have in our lives.

I have a few suggestions for your consideration:
To avoid some repetition in L’s 2 & 4 which (to me at least) seems of little value, and in L5  I assume you mean ‘remember the first time smelling her hair’, rather than ‘the first time you remember smelling her hair’ and also in L6 ‘open skin’ creates a picture of a wound and bleeding - could the opening be re-worded to something like:

In the company
of so many purposeful words
meaning seems to escape mine
- the 'great' of vaulted cathedral ceilings,
remembrance of the first time you took in the scent of her hair,
the feeling of the sea on your prickled skin, and his –
nervous fingers tremble tentatively over piano keys,
soundlessly ringing out
keeping time with our busy hearts -

Unfortunately work is pressing and time has beaten me, for now – hopefully I’ll get a chance to get back soon and finish the comment.

All the best for now
 — unknown

Insightful and helpful crit, thank you. I will consider carefully those things that you have suggested, they actually all seem like good ideas. Expect prompt revision.


 — musicwords

L4 confuses me, but this is possibly because its 11:34 eastern time and I haven't slept in days.
L6's "blank" - I feel like stronger word choice could be implimented here.  This is your strong suit, so I'm sure the best word will come to you.
Ls10-11 the repetition of "storm" is distracting.

This is deadly beautiful.
 — WordsAndMe

Hey Music, great to hear from you - have missed your comments immensely.  I actually will be in Bath from July 6-26 - any chance we could meet up while I'm across the pond?  I'd love to grab that glass of wine <3
 — WordsAndMe

This is a wonderful piece of work--It boggles the mind why it's rated so low.
 — PaulS

PaulS, you're kind words are appreciated more than you know.

 — musicwords

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