George Moore

The very last was Paris
but who would have known,
it was years

out there east,
Afghanistan, India, or
a year and a half blending

visits to heroin friends
spending time in a Delhi prison
where heroin was

plentiful and cheap,
visiting the Mashhad jail
first stop out of Herat,

where they picked apart
Volkswagen buses
like softshelled crabs

to find what was
the hope of lost minds.
Paris was a city

of light, finally came
through to me what that
meant, the shadows

waning but not gone.
The Greek pouring coffee
on the Boulevard Saint-Michel

mentioned the place
old Sartre was last seen,
with some sweet thing,

and I hunted nights
for the difference,
the in-between

that was my destiny
I thought, or unthought of
making ones own breach.

The final days
done up in mascara,
the boys of the Cordon Bleu

practicing their
orange ducks on me,
without enough for coffee

or bread, the plan
to abandon that old hotel
at night, slip out of the room

shared with a Canadian
student constantly screwing
in her bed just across from mine,

my Indian pilgrimage
like a sore, the world shifting
ever so slightly to the West,

and three weeks til
the flight, and the scotch
and the planned reunion

that lightened my feet
down past Shakespeare & Co
to the Seine to watch

life struggles, sweeping
up things, discarded but by few
or unseen, the continual

renewal, muddy, incomplete,
returning as all we do
from the moment we begin.


George Moore
George Moore has published poetry in The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, North American Review, Orion, Colorado Review, Nimrod, Meridian, Chelsea, Southern Poetry Review, Southwest Review, and Chariton Review; and was a finalist for the 2007 Richard Snyder Memorial Prize, from Ashland Poetry Press, and earlier for The National Poetry Series, The Brittingham Poetry Award, and the Anhinga Poetry Prize. He has three collections in print, the most recent, Headhunting (Edwin Mellen, 2002), is a travelogue of ritual practices of love and possession. He's recently become the managing editor or Poets Chapbooks (.com), and teaches with the University of Colorado, Boulder. Most recent is work in collaboration with a number of artists internationally, both in Spain in 2007 where he did an installation at Can Serrat, outside Barcelona, and another planned for Skagaströnd, Iceland, as well as a reading in Portugal, both in 2009.