27 October, 2008

I take pleasure in rifling through the contents of dusty old boxes, sifting treasure from trash. I’ve come to know family I’ve never met through photographs.

Specimen of years I wasn’t born to see, I admire their costumes and the mask of their expressions.
Monday La Defense

exiled to the corner
window on the dusk
clouds hung like frothed milk

din of the coffee machine
cloaks jazz and conversation

green straws
whipped cream
a worn burgundy armchair

tea spicy and warm
a favorite indulgence

leaving bird's nest offices
suits patter by
pointy-toed italian shoes

girl by her lonesome
is this seat taken?

remember to avoid eye contact
he is eager to find an excuse
cheeks flush pink as my sweater
Cesar's Pouce

These sculptures have long since departed,

art in Paris, especially sculpture, being very transient.

31 August, 2008

Fete de Ganesh
Shopkeepers swathe the parade route on Rue Philipe de Girard in garlands of flowers spelling out their welcomes to the elephant-headed Ganesh. As the god of wisdom he distinguishes good from evil and assures success to worthy enterprises. Here offerings of fruit and incense are sold on silver trays outside an Indian market.
Chanting and dancing in the streets, Hindou devotees from the temple Sri Manicka Vinayakar Alayam carry flags, wear totems of fruit and feather, and balance candles atop heads.
A medicinal smell is dispersed as women tear camphor leaves from the wreaths they wear to smudge in the flames.
Bare feet tread the rinsed streets of the Paris quartier "Little Jaffna."
Powdered spices paint a street mandala.
Outside shops selling gold jewelry and silken saris, makeshift altars are erected where clouds of incense smoke surround statues posed above piles of bananas and limes.

Ganesh leads the way.

Before his feet, piles of coconuts are smashed in the streets as an offering of heart. The round of the shell represents the world, the flesh of the fruit-karma, and water-the ego. The large shards are gathered and dispersed throughout the crowd to pick coconut meat from the shells.
Read more about the fete here

08 June, 2008

From this bird's eye view atop the Pompidou Centre people scatter like ants to fit together the pieces of a puzzle. Sacre Coeur sits atop her hill in the haze of the distance keeping watch over the city.

An oddly shaped ball of tumbleweed holding scissors like pins in a cusion, this airplane flies atop my favorite room in the museum. A quilt woven from bottle tops and soda cans hangs from the wall. Visiting the Beaubourg is a sensory experience like being let out on the playground after a hard morning at school.

25 May, 2008

This afternoon I wandered into the Palais Royale.

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Monumenta under the glass-roofed gallery of the Grand Palais
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11 March, 2008

During a visit to the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
I feasted on toiles from the 1930's.
My favorite room contained these portraits among others
from Fauve painter Kees van Dongen,

Edouard Vuillard,

and Pierre Bonnard.

One like this also hangs in my yellow bathroom where I pass time dreaming of a claw footed bathtub, like hers, filled with torrid water I can float in.

27 February, 2008

We drove through the Picardie forest to get there, little more than an hour to completely displace, city to countryside. Riders were out wearing french horns draped across their chests, horses in gallop with a pack of hunting dogs trailing behind. They tipped their tall hats as we rolled past the storybook scene.
Gothic flourishes introduce nightmarish creatures to keep guard of Chateau Pierrefonds.

The rooms were intricately painted with animals, dancing goddesses and plants in a rainbow of contrasting colors and stripes, though the castle was nearly bare of furniture or other embellishment.
Admission is free until August 2008 while the French government monitors attendance so visit before then.