|Jul/Aug 2016 Poetry Special Feature|
Photographic Artwork by Victoria Mlady
Jim Morrison in Paris
You were so drunk you fell
from your balcony onto a car's roof,
splayed there like a shot bird—
then picking yourself up
you headed off to the nearest
open bar, like any other morning,
wondering why you were so tired.
Your chest felt heavy, like a half
filled sandbag. It's the Parisian
air, nearly as polluted as L.A.,
you told yourself, not the drinking.
Hadn't you left Los Angeles to rest,
to wander the maze of Paris' streets
like any tourist? Is that how
you found your way to Père Lachaise?
Names you recognized loomed
around every corner: Wilde,
Balzac, Chopin, Colette.
Names of the immortals
paraded past you. Could you ever
write great poems? Writing songs
wouldn't get you a place here,
you were sure of that. You imagined
your own grave—fans gathering
to exchange stories, passing joints,
leaving empties behind, scrawling
obscenities on your head stone.
Why the hell were you in Paris?