Salonnière, a poem by Tali Cohen Shabtai at
Anicet Charles Gabriel Lemonnier



written by: Tali Cohen Shabtai


I live with a vieille dame
Among her Prozac and cigarettes
She welcomed me by a first introduction
With Anne Sexton’s book in 1967

She gave me a contract to stay neurotic in her
And behave like a
Petite Muette beside her bedroom

At that time she looked like a hostess in a house of ill
Walking like a salonnière in her salon littéraire (never with visitors)
With that appearance of maison-close, then
She invited men to clean her old furniture
From new dust

I met her first seven years ago,
The time it took for her foundation
To blend un parfume
To her taste
Less than the time it took me to find
The favored delicacy for my
Lady cat

I barely could read her language, but –
We were aware to the provocation of

She would not be surprised by any disgrace
I would bring into my life
Neither by any sensation I would choose to have
In my colors le matin.

She warned me from being a
Poète maudit – a cursed poet.
I watched her, I knew.

It all started with a clothes cuprard.

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