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Who sang La Mer? Charles Trenet sang La Mer. This is what you asked.

Who sang La Mer? Charles Trenet sang La Mer. This is what you asked.

A Story by Ken Simm.
"

A Continental Confounded letter

"

 

Who sang La Mer? Charles Trenet sang La Mer. This is what you asked.


 


 

Your name was long for Harry. Which was what I called you. The older woman. Thirty five you were, and your name was Women in Love. Hermione. You loved your Pavane in black skirt and head scarf

Crows that cawed over the impossible yellow fields of the South. Just as he said when he painted his insanity. Wine drunk rainbow headaches in the sunshine of the marsh of the flamingoes and the bulls. We argued insanity consistently, giving and taking talking grey, galling, grief. Wondering when it would end. A painted clay pipe for the drudgery of every night drugging and driving the old car through the crucifix shrines of littered and melted offerings tied to the belief of Gauguin paintings. The sharp straight up sunlight giving the lie to whatever was enjoyed, together and individually righteous. The bright red poppy flower by the side of the road.

Druid mistletoe in the trees by the river in the west. The voices raised in the chorus chorale of a whitewashed shafted sun  burned out cathedral. Asking in the cafe square for a pen to say goodbye. She was older enough. I was younger enough then, but only just. Being less than a man because of no military service, they told me.

The barge trips with a bike, asleep on wet grey green tarpaulin valleys, chugging past vineyard and oak aged château hills. Bridges, Breton exploded in temper. Groucho, Harpo & Chico in Italian with French subtitles in the cabin at the back. A poster of the president election on every lamp. The song of the ill loved man.

Talking you scared, down the steep grey green hill. Watching you and your daughter in the slip sliding mud all of Leonardo graves. Asking for another pen this time to draw the Languedoc hill that was burning martyr safe. She was a Mother and I was someone else's son. The start of the drawing in pen instead of HB pencil. Missing a visually exciting scene whilst listening to a very stirring sabre dance.

Saxophone playing, somewhere. You like sax, don't, did, didn't you?

The aforementioned Gypsy's with their black bread and potatoes.

Camus reading camera and crawling for Roman artefacts in the sandbanks on the river, when you left after writing the arguments down because I could not find the collapsible courage.

Starving in the capital then for four drawing days before killing myself with an apple for dinner. Drawing and writing everything so I could burn them later and watch the little black books crisp and curly in blue and green. Before I came home with my bike and whiskey fountain to find, my mother, a year later. I had not been missed.


© 2009 Ken Simm.



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Here we have the man who sees and feels the itsy grains of life, its moods and shadows, comings and goings, was and is, of time with 'the older woman'. How i love the way you observe that other within a love absolute tho transient:

' Crows that cawed over the impossible yellow fields of the South. Just as he said when he painted his insanity. Wine drunk rainbow headaches in the sunshine of the marsh of the flamingoes and the bulls. We argued insanity consistently, giving and taking talking grey, galling, grief. Wondering when it would end. '

You extend without over-exaggering, share without giving away the real secrets, but oh my goodness how you share!

' Saxophone playing, somewhere. You like sax, don't, did, didn't you?

The aforementioned Gypsy's with their black bread and potatoes.

Camus reading camera and crawling for Roman artefacts in the sandbanks on the river, when you left after writing the arguments down because I could not find the collapsible courage.'

Even though i feel like a voyeuse, I fully appreciate the wonderfully atmospheric near reportage of a time when .. when you were another you and happy. Can't imagine you unmissed, friend from ..

Thank you for nudging me to read.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

stunning, just what i was wishing for

and, how, by the way, could I have missed it so long?

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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...
. ah ... what an exquisite treasure ... of images, experiences, moments, wisdom, trinkets, music ... the works ... all there ... i'm so grateful for these precious poetic gems of images intricately woven with the golden thread of memories ... an overwhelming piece of writing, monsieur ... but i think you were missed ... truly missed ... the true artist is always missed ... or so i believe ...

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I simply wanted to re-affirm that this may be the finest piece of short fiction that I have ever read.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

W.k.kortas

2 Years Ago

Just to note that I frequently hear the good Mr. Trenet warble (not to mention the punchier update b.. read more
Drifting through memories contemplating consequences perhaps sipping some wine
and looking at old photos. You've brought it to life in readers' minds the way it was or should have been or I enjoyed it all Ken (as I see you did too)

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

An actor's monologue dream come true. If it even could be spoken and given justice to. The love and lives of impressionist artists, existential writers, a time that was, is and will be all... just in a mere reminisce, thought, lucid clairvoyance. Bravo.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

first, boatloads of thanks to Kortas for showing me the way here.
and now..
ive read this... 4? times and i am more and more undone with each pass. the confounded summation of a space of life, entwined. the james joyce, monkey-bar swinging from one image to the next leaves me breathless. and the language, the phrasing.... 'giving and taking talking grey, galling, grief' , ' together and individually righteous' ; ' The song of the ill loved man' (aaaahhhh) , i could go on for a while like this.
it's the internal collage of moments of love or something like. The title, the sparse luxury of memory, that question in every tense 'you like sax, don't , did, didn't you?' ...
and the final sadness of being unmissed. ...
phenomenal.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wonderful story, like a slow drifting pass through your life. I love reading your work too.

Posted 6 Years Ago


This is the most beautiful story - of yours. I totally adored this, how you leave a verb and then in the next half sentence this has to be thought with the rest of words. this was like a mediterranean adventure and all just fits. Great sentences and meaning, "I could not find the collapsible courage." -----quite something. favorite!

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I have a friend who teaches painting in Italy each summer, a wonderful artist, she would adore this I think. This older woman seems to have left quite an impression to form this impressionist style of write.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I think Blackbirdsong is, in a sense, very much onto something here, but I think she may have misread one key element in the seemingly surface treatment of this relationship; I don't think this is the picture of a purely intellectual relationship (indeed, I believe it is almost its polar opposite), but one that is, from moment one, destined to be a fleeting one--I would think it's no accident that the piece begins with a breezy trivia question, which serves to emphasize the idea that this was no time and place for depth and forever-mores. The incongruities of the relationship are constantly emphasized--the Marx Brothers in Italian with French subtitles, the incompatibility of her "a mother and I was someone else's son", plus the way the fleeting nature of the affair is summed up (with flat-out brilliance, in my view) in the sentence "You like sax don't, did, didn't you?" This may be the finest of the Confounded Letters, and that is saying a mouthful.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on January 3, 2009
Last Updated on January 3, 2009

Author

Ken Simm.
Ken Simm.

Scotland, United Kingdom



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