Thursday, September 7, 2023

sitting in a cafe................

Paul Cezanne   Oil on Canvas  1894-95  The Card Players

 I’m glad Cezanne was not here in Key West

to set up an easel, and paint
the card game I was in last night,
unless he was really good at depicting despondency.

Cezanne once said that a single carrot,
if painted in a completely fresh way,
would be enough to set off a revolution.
I’ll bet he was sitting in a café that day

where such observations are usually made,
but if I had been sitting in that café
across from Cezanne, I would have quipped
“Maybe if Bugs Bunny were in charge of things,”

and I would have described in a fresh way
how the famous rabbit might be portrayed
using a carrot to point the mob to the Bastille.

Beer and chips and more beer and chips
were served at the poker table,
but no carrot soup, a staple on every menu
in the bunny rabbit stories of Beatrix Potter

and a dish that would have warmed me
inside and out the way a good soup does
and made me feel much better
about losing all my money and then some.

But at least now I have found the answer
to the old question of who would you invite
to your ideal dinner party:
Paul Cezanne, Bugs Bunny, Beatrix Potter,
and okay, maybe at the last minute, Gore Vidal.

Billy Collins, The Card Players

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