Route 7 Review
Issue # 2015
Late one August eve – past eleven –
a choir of angels subsumed the air.
“’Tis the bells of Notre Dame on the anniversary
of the liberation of Paris from the Nazis.”
On and on the oratorio of manumission,
so pure and sweet I was privy
to an estate beyond the mondial,
so numinous and beautiful that no one moved
- though perhaps by custom, to me by inability –
each in his own private chamber
at this sacral evocation of thought and remembrance.
Minute after minute, one in wonder at the drawing out
from the past, the surge inside many
that the ringing made surface and assuaged.
Many in darkened rooms must recall
at the behest of this celestial harmony their desecration –
only a heavenly music would dare resurrect
such atrocities without path for expiation.
Enfant terrible, on his shoulders Atlas bearing this big marble –
ours an uninhabited planet, a bucket with neither liquid nor well, a lost tribe,
the homeless who through the cold stagger from minute to minute until in an alley, under a
mattress, the last ember expires.
Overcoat, beret, Le Monde, Gauloises, coffee – in an outdoor café he,
the only to refuse the Nobel in Literature. I walked by, glanced, kept going.
Jean-Paul, you who I have studied assiduously, were as many – alas, as I ! – shredded by the
The bride, the Mona Lisa, surrounded,
but at another Da Vinci, Saint Anne, Time itself paused:
the serenity of her features abnegated all will –
an ethereal realm, larger than the Mona Lisa,
a band of wholly white mountains rising from verdant plain,
lattice of background tree finer than elsewhere foreground branch.
Self emptied in this presence of the Almighty:
Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, Velasquez –
disoriented, I sat, lost in the Garden.
Walking on sidewalk – eight-ten paces in front a gent towards café turned; as the door
consumed, over his shoulder he, his face the etch of the haunted.
Previously had I beheld such: the eyes of Apollinaire in photo, his temples swathed in bandage
from shrapnel –
while recovering would he coin “surreal”, apropos the playing fields of World Conflagration
One; within two years he is sod.
Mind drifted to Baudelaire who minted “modernity”, the Industrial Age having transmuted his
nibbling doe and fawn into the automaton of the assembly line.
Need Author be haunted? Surely aesthetics does not require said ritualarium, say Hugo and
Proust, Mallarme and Valery, emerging from hallowed tides.
Joel Netsky was born in Philadelphia in 1946, and has always loved literature and writing. Some of his favorite poets are: Keats, Deutero-Isaiah, Wilfred Owen, the Beats. After college he traveled a bit throughout the world, spending time in Paris over the course of two years. In 2007 a book of his poetry, “The Unequivocality of a Rose” was published by Poetic Matrix Press of Madera, CA. From 2008 to 2010 he owned and operated a used bookstore.
Paris Sketches, circa 1971