Learning in Québec

My photo
I'm someone who began learning French when I was 53. I took a BA in French at 60 but wasn't happy with my level of comprehension (though I read very well). So, having really become comfortable with Spanish only by living on the Mexican border, I'm spending more time in Québec and near the border of Quebec, in Vermont, to see if I can do that here with French. I want to encourage others to do the same.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Another friend, another window, another prose poem, and perhaps the most perfect bookstore in America

In a prose poem I admit that I've not been in all of America, but even so my guess is that Le Librarie St. Jean Baptiste is the best there is.  This is its window onto rue St. Jean.

Here's Edmé, poet and habitué of le Librarie St. Jean Baptiste.  Shortly before this photograph was taken he said no, he wouldn't want to go to Texas.

Another customer.

Near the door, something from Flaubert. Basically it says, when you get to thinking about something, you get confused, so it may be better to go barefoot.

But not today! Today was cold. I almost needed to wear the boots Monique lent me (mentioned in the piece below).

Monique will be one of the featured readers at Le Librarie St. Jean Baptiste later in November. I was lucky to get to read here just after arriving, at an open mic.

This bookstore has a piano and an open area in back where smokers can light up. The bar serves tap beer and expresso. That's all.

My prose poem, What I Learned Today, written November 6, 2014:

What I learned today

Pascal designed an arithmetic machine, an early calculator.
A train derailed due to avalanche near Sept Isles, Québec.  The first of two locomotives went into the river Moisie.  The conductor at this writing, alone in all the train, is still unfound.  This train carried diesel oil.
Restent en feu refers to death; I don’t quite understand why or how.
Pascal was a mathematician, a geometrist, a Christian, yes, a contemporary with Leibnitz.
The owner of the last perfect bookstore in America is named David.  The name of the bookstore is Librarie St. Jean Baptiste.  (I say this with certainty though admittedly I’ve not been in all of America.)
I do not know how to upload photographs from a Dell tablet computer.
Thirty cities in the United States (which often calls itself America) have made it illegal to feed the homeless.
There’s been a second fire in two months in the Museum of Civilization.  Today.  But not as bad as the earlier.
There’s a hostel in this city called L’Auberge de la Paix.  They let old people stay there because, as one of the founders, sitting still at the desk, still beautiful, says, “We are all young at heart.”  L’Auberge de la Paix was founded in 1972 by someone with long hair and beautiful eyes, perhaps the lover of the still beautiful woman sitting at the desk who says we are all young at heart.
Time is intimidated by Love and Wonder.

A story takes its own form.  It must.
I can tell a policeman on the street that Rape written large as graffiti on wall behind le Palais Montcalm may traumatize women passing by.  He tells me, I think, that graffiti is usually removed in spring.  It’s autumn.
These beautiful days.  Aujourd’hui.
T-shirts with Rusk TX are for sale on St. Joseph Street.  Why?  A band named Texas in July will play somewhere this month, after I’m gone, headed to Texas in November.
My friend Monique fears her cataracts can no longer be removed.  The system has failed her because she doesn’t drive and she has no answering machine.  She lends me boots to wear if it snows.
Fear not.  Neither be afraid.  Give us this day.  Nous sommes en train d’aimer.

November 6, 2014, Québec, Québec

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave a comment!