the Party

The party without delay
time's memory we all may share
it's 1909 we conjure Rousseau 
le peintre moderne notre ami Henri

onboard a leaky boat 
the Bateau-Lavoir is sailing 
down market Montmartre the plan
hatched in a cabaret le Lapin Agile 

tip them off spare nobody
'cept of course poor Henri, he
the tribute our guest of honour
stalks tigers in city parks

Alice Gertrude Pablo et al
dream Paris herself would be there 
Andre Georges Apollinaire Kiki big stares
Fernande calls for red carpet more bread

maitre 'd still the mystery assembles
our cast who intend whatever mayhem 
to make this soiree the legend
dear Sonia later claims as hers

inevitably our galleon begins to sway
too tight to swing a cat she creaks
hundreds spilled and some lay down
like wine too, splashed in gutters 

looking up at stars that fateful night
from the start proceedings fell apart 
spontaneous music and a new dance
shouted all over hollering laughter

by Act two the game was nearly up
songs and speeches drag on too long 
Guillaume loudly farting barely softened
Marie lurching as she face firsts dessert

no one really remembers Act three or 4
who danced with whom and what gems
parted lips or when they departed whose shoes point up from beneath the table 

never the less one epilogue can be drawn
one hundred years slip-by and the din
is heard by some every now and then
time stands still to sing Viva Le Douanier

image: The Dinner 1909 / (detail) oil and synthetic polymer paint on linen on board JS



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