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Robert Gibbons

Saturday

One lolls. In the river between windows & dream. Or a barge on the Seine, time running underneath. Life, a film. Godard begins Perriot Le Fou with Belmondo reading aloud in the tub to his daughter, "Reaching 50 years old, Velazquez stopped painting things in detail & precise drawing, he went drifting like air or dust, piercing through the world of material. He captured the unexpected nuance hidden in the glimmering shadow, then pushed it into his inner world of silent symphony...." Indeed, space exists to rule supreme. Saturday’s space = Childhood shapes & colors, rain-soaked confetti of New Years’ Eve on sidewalks of Boulevard Beaumarchais, rue Rambuteau, rue du Temple, joining the rest of the trash from the night before. In a sort of dejected, but imaginative pirouette we turn down the street, rue des Petite-Champs, to the truly rustic Aux Bon Crus. Marianne Renoir, played by Godard’s former wife, Anna Karina, in her Parisian garret sings "Feelings slipped between our merry-mingled bodies. Words of love rose to our naked lips." With her perfect perky breasts, she sings, "We never would have believed we could wake up every morning & be just as surprised to be happy in the same bed, desire nothing more than that oh so banal pleasure." Even when they didn’t go out during the day the Spanish painters communed with the evening. The dead man in the [Kitch] kitchen, the back of his neck riven by scissors, the blood on white shirt looking as if his tie’s on backwards. A story (all mixed-up.) The Algerian War. The lovers leave Paris by a one-way street. Tender is the night. Picasso vs. Lichtenstien! RatTatTat! Belmondo looking in the rear-view mirror sees a man about to drive a car at 60 mph over a cliff. Anna sees a woman in love with a man about to drive a car at 60 mph over a cliff. They tell stories. What kind of stories? It doesn’t make any difference. The suicide of Nicolas de Stael? Belmondo as poet. In stories which comes first words or things? The poet whose mouth is separate from his head, but who thinks a man should be unified. This isn’t a movie.

II

Chapter eight = A Season in Hell. Godard, the Dictator/Director/Revolutionary. Vie Vie Vie! Ten minutes ago he saw death everywhere, now, look, just the opposite, look the sea, the waves, the sky. The dream where I feel the need for money (to enrich) & know where I can find gold, dig it up, the gold, & walk toward that landscape, sky darkening, threatening land-long-outstretched toward the sea, where at the edge of land & sea gold can be reached, dug up, when because of the threat (of what, death?) the need changes at mid-stride, (to what, safety, survival, life?) & the sun rises out of the water & clears the horizon rim of clouds. The new sun is gold, all the gold I need, that celestial body rising inside my Soul. = The RiVIEra!

"What will we do?"

"Nothing, just exist."

"It doesn’t sound like much fun."

"That’s life."

See it through to the end of the night. He writes in his diary, "Any creature faced with nature will believe." "Tuesday: nothing…" "Friday: my girl…" "Ruins beget the language of poetry." Godard so much more language than image. Saturday is space. White landed on the moon & forced a Coke into the man in the moon’s mouth! Fox scavenges the picnic table. Parrot on shoulder. Action! "Poetry is the game of loser take all." "Courage is staying home, close to nature." Mise en scčne: The Vietnam War! Her fate line is short, her thigh line long. Gasoline on water.

III

She has a subject for him for a novel: A man walking around Paris sees Death. He goes south to avoid running into him because he figures his time isn’t up yet. He crashes & dies on the way there. Belmondo writes in his diary: "Words can lighten the shadows. Words retain only what is pure." Jean Seberg makes an appearance in a movie newsreel!

"Wonder where the cops are, we should be in jail by now?"

"They’re smart. They let people destroy themselves."

Destroy, she said. Golf de Lion, where we sailed, Champagne corks macheted into the air! Right now there’s a war in Yemen. "It’s easy for a girl to kill a lot of people. There’s no reason why soft breasts & thighs should keep her from killing everybody to stay free or defend herself! Just look at Cuba… or Vietnam… or Israel..." or Palestine… or… Chapter by chapter: Despair, Freedom, Bitterness. "Reaching 50 years old, Velazquez stopped painting things in detail & precise drawing, he went drifting like air or dust, piercing through the world of material. He captured unexpected nuance hidden in the glimmering shadow then pushed it into his inner world of silent symphony...." Indeed, space exists to rule as supreme worth like Saturday.


Robert Gibbons is a contributing editor to Niederngasse in Switzerland, where he write a monthly column on writers & writing. His work has appeared in The America Journal of Print, Conspire, The Drunken Boat, Frank, and the Evergreen Review.

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