The Wagner Room - Poem by John a'Beckett
“Sorry, sir. Booked out.. but then...”
The patronne’s voice is calm, you’re
penniless again in Paris, facing doom
and banking on the hope her “then..
..again” - will mean a room.
“.Eh bien, there is..the Wagner one,
“That’s fine”.You sign and slip up to
the premier etage, aware you’re in
a debt of gratitude whose depth
is verging on Wagnerian
and gingerly approach the desk
on which the “Parsifal” composer
must’ve had the opening thunder
chords in music mind, . But find
you’re also forced to wonder-
was it this room’s compression,
exile, mounting debts, Minna’s
moods, music-drama’s dreams
had him contemplate such mad
mythic and Teutonic themes?
An overture begins. The Rienzi
chords cross-fade with strums
on a guitar, some Latin Quarter
busker shouts and in the bowels
beneath the metro drums,
a duke-box Piaf bleats Love Ever
and you have a letter to dash off
that is a winding -back of tape
in which you piece together all
these bits of Paris into shape.
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