PARIS DISCO LIFE
by John Grey
Black stockings on fine legs,
I blame myself for staring,
and yet still praise
dresses rustling in neon
under the spinning ball,
even putting myself out there humbly,
prouder than all right to be,
best clothes, hair combed,
cigarette drooped from half-open mouth,
copying my French film masters.
For a week, I’ve cruised the Louvre,
climbed Notre Dame stairs to stare at Gargoyles,
trudged behind a Versailles guide,
unimpressed the ticket seller at the Metro
with my nasal “Parlez vous?’
But what’s the point of being here and not living,
outside the hotel, waiting for my tour bus,
one more cobbled street to buck down,
another church, a gallery.
Enough lessons already.
So what if I paid for the predictable.
Let me see how tine the lovelies look in flight.
I can deal with the canned disco music.
Despite my pushy rivals,
I can stand out in a crowd,
handle all indignities, every gibe.
Even drink the cheap yin rose
surly waiters keep sloshing in my glass.
I can doff my criticality, fit in.
Look at my steps. Watch me swing.
Hear my pick up lines,
hastily translated from the book under my arm.
I’m not tourist whining at the expense of everything.
I’m just who I am at home,
a wannabe Casanova
trying to drag some lovely back to my place.
Or chez moi as the case may be.