The State of Consciousness in Saint-Denis

“Who are you when you write?”

This week I have a special guest writer Arthur Verlaine. Arthur lives in Saint-Denis and operates a stand near Notre Dame where he sells souvenirs from Paris. In his free time, he writes and plays bass in a jazz band.

The State of Consciousness

I cannot reach you
I know you feel my sorrow
You see me from where I stand
But I cannot see you
I stand tall and naked
I have turned into stone
Weeping, my body stained from sorrow

If only I could know that you
See me
You are crouched
Stones laden with heartbreak,
Grief, and the finality of death.
You want to reach me,
I know this somehow
But we are too far
In life and too
Close to

They were there, the City of Lights. The two of them did not know how they got there. They had stumbled upon this place out of pure coincidence, trial, and error, and perhaps because they did not know where else to go.  This place was a place of the sweetest dreams. The sun broke through the long white curtains in the morning, awaking in this place was a heaven upon earth. Layers of twisted rays of light and shadows from the curtains lay upon them in bed, the dark giving them hope that the night’s passions could be restored, could be sustained.

Twisted in each other’s arms, they found themselves fighting to get out of bed. To plan the day’s adventures was enough motivation to remove one another from the capsule of love they had been saturated in for the marked time of the moon’s rule.  Upon a tranquil breakfast, the day began with returning correspondence to business obligations. The checking of the news, and gently chipping away at the passions that make life worth fighting for.

After the completion of affairs, they commenced out onto Rue de Faubourg. The door opened onto a circus of colors, cafes, barbershops filled with lively conversation, the passer-by cigarette smoke of a hurried person walking towards Port Saint-Denis to the city. Walking hand in hand with cameras strung around their necks they searched for lights of inspiration. Stopping by corner after corner to basque in the beauty that lies creeping in every crevice of Saint-Denis.

Once in a while, they would stop at a cafe to refuel and quietly sit in peace with one another. Between each step was a kiss, an affirmation of the admiration and desire they held for one another. A declaration of unspoken respect they had for their dream, their common quest. The sun rose in the sky leaning towards the west, casting shadows upon the streets that chased them wherever they went.

Lovesick they were, they were terrified of the idea of the dark coming towards them, for this would mean to change, to shift the time into something they could not predict, an unforeseen future awaited. She, a scattered and spontaneous wild and free guided by inspiration, he of a pragmatic and confused sort, had inspiration within himself but did not know how to channel it, yet. So he used her as a vessel of inspiration. She, being someone who was guided by the light, brought others to it fully knowing that the dark would always be there lurking, ready to chase them.

The idea of looking forward to this place, supposed to be sprinkled with lights on every corner, was darker than one could imagine. Shadows cast across alleyways, even when the sun shone it was dark. The shadows began to overtake the sun. She went to a mentor for help.

She said to her mentor,

“The idea of trying to ask me to choose between light and dark makes my body constrict into a serpentine state and since I do not know how to digest whole I can only regurgitate the whole choice.”

Her mentor responded,

“How, a certain space can demand space. This recoiling, it only makes you dance, dance to the dark corners in the back of the room. When you face the dark, it will scare other people, for what you are not afraid to face.  This kind of action can make a record jacket burn, softly, smoking for hours. This kind of action can make a fist crumple a paper, again and again.

Space can demand a drop of water sitting on the thumb, patiently waiting to absorb. The nectar of wind is space, space can mean losing track of time. That type of space is a symbolic victorious flag of meteor colors.”

In Saint-Denis every day, the greatest beauty faces opposition.

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