Baudelaire in Bruxelles

a silent cartoon wanders the non-descript chaussee over bridges it casts its chisel comic-book shadows illuminated by a passing policeman's truncheon light as air; that withered stare turns flowerboxes to stones or the dogs to barking fruit stalls there in the internet cafe glare baudelaire calls burundi for twelve cents - resenting the booth's semi- privacy (one hand in pocket jiggling ... hear the retort of verlaine's little gun as though he's not there & the women are all black now in this frame; thought bubbles crammed with grammatical marks suggesting curses in parlour rooms filled with that unbearable sound of harpsichords playing french tunes ... & he sees in this zone between falling empires the rest of his days spread out like a cloak on a corpse then he sets to work on his autopsy classifies quickly my various welts & cuts - dissecting this version of humanity that we thought he left behind in his native hollowed city of whoredom; (it becomes unbearable & he descends upon some poor white page wraith like the starling on crumbs of bread tossed onto the pavement - near those carefully parked diplomats' cars ... he flees the sound of an approaching score & nina simone's singing run to the river to the rock

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