Winter Paris, pavement cafés, vacant chairs and poor sparrows look for
baguette crumbs. Artists had gone to their loft conversions, in bed with
their models and plates of goose liver pate, waiting for a better time.
I came across a posh bistro, people inside wore silk suits, doors locked;
invitation only. A famous philosopher came out, said something deep
about peace- in broken English- then asked where the camera was.
When he saw I wasn’t a journalist he said: Merde, and walked back in.
At the bookshop Shakespeare, academic tourists had assembled, they
looked through books of famous writers, thought of saying that two of
my poetry collections were there, but they looked so educated, wore
capes of superiority and poetry workshop shoes, I lost my nerve. Rain,
found a bistro at a side street, had coffee with an Armagnac, thought
of the days when Ernest Hemingway scribbled away here, other writers
too, when Paris was not so haughtily conscious of her artistic status.