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Sunday, September 15, 2019


Montparnasse at its 1920s zenith, cafés like Le Dôme and La Closerie and others such as des Lilas, La Coupole — all of which are still in business— were a lifeline to the starving artists that populated Montparnasse. French poet Jean Cocteau [1889-1963] once said “...poverty was a luxury in Montparnasse....”

From Ten Poems and Three Stories & Ten Poems, 1923.
From the public domain by Ernest Hemingway [1899—1961]

There are never any suicides in the quarter among people one knows
No successful suicides.
A Chinese boy kills himself and is dead.
         (they continue to place his mail in the letter rack at the Dome)
A Norwegian boy kills himself and is dead.
         (no one knows where the other Norwegian boy has gone)
They find a model dead
alone in bed and very dead.
(it made almost unbearable trouble for the concierge)
Sweet oil, the white of eggs, mustard and water, soap suds
and stomach pumps rescue the people one knows.
Every afternoon the people one knows can be found at the café.

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