Big City, Little


Margo Berdeshevsky
on hearing Pergolesi

Michael Gause
In Paris

T. J. Desmond
Laissez Faire

~ . ~ . ~

on hearing Pergolesi, a Friday concerto
Margo Berdeshevsky

Not yet Easter now but dark,
but dusk, how this nearness of March-soprano
strays exposure, like old light -- layered, and multiple.
This dust of the moon, breaking.

This is magnolia, in the courtyards,
and April, climbing the shoulder of its Stabat Mater
for a better view of joy, after.

This is the slow-hipped walk of winter's late fugue,
and the mimosa's promise.
This, the dust of the Hôtel Dieu
across its island of stone.

Still, a shoulder soft with Saturday's
desire, sips her warmed, day-drowning hour.
Soft, because skies, and copper light,
lost on its own thread.
Soft, because it bends into the Seine
like some redhead on a silken sheet, already
rumpled for her arrival
and His death.
Soft, because He hung by dust
and thread
and promise, and love.

And she mourned with her high voice
and for ever, layered, and multiple, and music, and mother.

©2000 Margo Berdeshevsky
M. Berdeshevsky is a contributing editor to
Big City Lit™. She lives in Paris and Maui.

~ . ~

In Paris
Michael Gause
for Georges Bataille

The laughter of ignorant women
makes this night more romantic

in Paris, where not knowing is
more beautiful than all the smiling virgins left,
whose drawn back bodies are almost releasing

the trickle-sound of my contentment.
As I sit encircled, I caress it from all sides at once.

(Michael Gause's work has appeared in The Venerable Seed, ArtWord Quarterly,
Rape of Narcissus, Poetry Motel, Unarmed
, and Red River Review (Nov '01) and
online at and Co-founder
of "The Day on Fire," a televised reading series, he is creator and host of "The
Bean Counter Coffee Reading Series" in St. Paul, Minnesota.)

~ . ~

Laissez Faire (connotations of delinquents)
T. J. Desmond

And silence.
The silent businessman looks at his losses and from outside of the café where he has admired the sun for over twenty minutes, he raises his eye to the chastening young ladies in maroon and Damask perfume.

Dirty streets Paris sprawls and raises its infants on diets of Pepsi and bottled water. Laissez faire she says to me with a delinquent reticence and cool liquidity designed by Gautier for over a century.

The silent businessman says nothing and still…

And still she protests, I think too much.
Too much arse tattoos and bottled water
Stifle the imagination
And make boring conversation a pre- requisite for sex with you.

Laissez faire she says
Her liquid eyes liquidise my heart and I quietly realise how feminine she is. Not that I could forgive the grumpy bastard I am and have become. I walk these infant streets, which are narrow, and I make them narrower than the children that walk them.

Then silence, silence to contemplate the dirty air, the high heel shoes and the Parisian summer. I see the sun go down like a corpuscle of ectoplasm in the larger scheme of things.
I wonder does she know that this silence goes on forever, or care.

Born in Hackney London to Irish Catholic parents, T. J. Desmond immigrated to Ireland at 18, where he developed an interest in art. Following an illness, he wrote a series of poems entitled, Rhythm 1,2, which won an Irish Literary Award, which was adjudicated by Paul Durcan and presented by Mrs. Erskine Childers, the President's wife. His work was published in the Irish Independent. He has offered no work for publication until recently. A teacher of inner city students of various races and cultures, Desmond lives with his Irish wife and children in London.

~ . ~