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Idealized Dream

In my mind there is a bar on the Left Bank of Paris

Heart of Europe

Where Hemingway still pounds back the bourbon

As Kerouac dances on stage

While the bar sings Kurt Weil octaves

Sky is a persistent twilight

Smoke rises to the ceiling

Curls in the hair of Marlene Dietrich

As she makes the girls cry with lust

Watching the gay boys slink across the floor

Their muscles glinting in the candlelight

Stars a constellation of glowing cigarettes

The absinthe buzz slowly grabbing me

My brain sliced to ribbons by the sound of James Joyce's voice

As Mapplethorpe snaps our pictures in an intimate embrace

Picasso and Van Gogh arm wrestle over their tab

In a corner Josephine Baker shares a banana split with Quentin Crisp

Quietly sharing secrets about shedding your skin

As young David Bowie glides by, bussing the tables

Pausing to share some stardust with Sarah Vaughn and Nick Cave

Mordecai Richler makes Morley Callaghan stand on the bar

Demonstrating his legend falling punch

Feet dancing amid the glasses and mist

The passing trains grind to a stop, decreed never allowed to run on time

The bar filling with those lost to time, safe from being numbered

As Leonard Cohen gives singing lessons to Ingrid Bergman

Gravel wrapped in Taoist silk

Lost to ourselves

Lost to the everyday

Falling into a drag queen's dream of Europe

The thrum of history beneath our feet