At the end of my trip to
Nice I discovered that you
too can have too much caffeine
I had two double expresso’s
on an empty stomach and
shook the entire car ride back
to school.

I returned from Nice with Marie
started school and found
I could not understand my
drawing teacher he spoke
in flowery, light and airy
words that were so artsy
they also were not in the
dictionary that failed me

Almost unrelated musical interlude
The Interpreter by Brazilian Girls

My ceramics professor
was a French Canadian
so communication in French
was impossible so we spoke
in English and had a great
time with clay baguettes and
the net I made to contain them

Obviously a photograph or a
doodle is needed to clearly
describe the installation
sculpture I had created by
mistake. Subconsciously

I had a complete French
experience since I made clay
baguettes each morning
that no one could eat
then created a sisal net to
contain them that was suspended
through the circle of the ceramic baguettes.

A circle contained within a grid
That was my life
The exchange committee
got so excited over my
French expression of
time and space and
made me move my installation
to the center of the school

I borrowed my supplies
so I had no expense and
at the end, I gave my art
project away to the school,
my professors and my friends

The baguettes were suspended
from a wooden board that spanned
the balcony rails as drilling into
the ceiling was prohibited.

The net was exchanged for
a grid of steel squares placed
upon the floor, that everyone
walked into and on. The French

had a wonderful time with me
as an artist. French people
really interact with art, they
touch it they rub it they breathe
on it they step on it.

I was quite lost working
during the day time
and having three hour lunches
Looking back on my experience

it was a much healthier way to live
but at the time I just wanted to make
art and make art and make art I cried
when they first sent me home to get out
to see the city and visit with my dorm mates.

Terrified, I found that my African friends
were more generous with their French
lessons than the Europeans. It was their
style, not a competition to help me with
my French communication. I left France
with a Moroccan accent, no one knows why.

My friends were from Burkino Faso,
Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Central African
Republic, Algeria, Tunisia, Cameroon
and Morrocco, though my closest African
friends were from Senegal. By the end

of the trip I could argue with a Parisian
cab driver who generously spent time arguing
with me as I had to stop at pay phones to find
the correct arrondissement for the friend I was
supposed to stay with, whose road did not exist

so I called the US and spoke to a friend, then
spoke to my junior prom date’s mother and
she gave me his address in Paris and was
walking out of the shower in a towel when

he walked in from work. The look on his
face was absolutely priceless. I gave him
a wet hug, then got dressed. Funny small world
that it is. His Irish mothering roommate let me
in, she gave me the door code that allowed
me to push the door buzzer so I knew it was a
real address.

He had another roommate from England
who had beautiful black hair that was wavy
and she was so kind to me, I think I shared
a room with her, she put me back to bed one
night when I woke up speaking in French
saying I was cold and asking for a blanket.

She had had too much to drink at a party
and some guys were all over her so I
did what I always did which was step in
and impose my six foot self between her
and the guys so they would leave her alone
I felt she needed to make her own decision
about a threesome when she was sober. She
doesn’t remember much, but she thanked me
later for coming to her assistance.

Yeah, that was a long story I left a lot
out. Haha you say, but I did ask me about
massages and stalkers, photography art
my private tour guide of a museum in Paris.

These things are a part of who I am
though who I am to myself is a mystery
most days. Am I 12 going on 46, or
have I earned the 45 years that give way
to 46 this summer. I wish I could tell you
but that is another story entirely. See ya.

2 thoughts on “My Great Adventure-Response to Jane Basil- Part 2

  1. Try it in prose, short paragraphs with white space between. Use headers to organize the various tangents. This is great stuff, but I don’t think it’s a poem unless you’re willing to condense a lot. Little micro-sketches of these people and the places they inhabited. I LOVE all the details about the sculpture. even more about how you made them.

    Liked by 1 person

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