At the hoity-toity entrance to the George
Cinq, a grand guy, looking George his own
self, opens the door, and bows me inside,
past Ms Deneuve or Ms Bardot or someone,
a U-Drive sabled hooker, as it happens.
The desk sneers at my jeans and cowboy boots,
just as he ought, unmottled by abuse
in perfect idiomatic French. He waves
a boy over--this creaking, spavined geezer
buttoned up like an organ-grinder's monkey.
He barely lifts my beat-up leather gladstone.
The concierge sneers, but blushes as I pass,
Bardot attentive to the suite assigned.
I hear this on the Middle Fork of the Salmon,
the yarning boatman bitching that his degree
in fluvial geomorphology
wasn't worth a sou in Paris, grinning
that he'd said, "sou." Explaining to a dude
that this entire valley had been dug
as part of a WPA project by
starving painters and that the river flowed
under the ocean, hooking up with China,
he said that the worst was, when she finished up
and smoothed her francs into her reticule,
she wanted to discuss her pension plan
and whether ECUs would appreciate
against the yen. Them Frogs, he said, and spat
his plug against the current, steering right.