A Moveable Feast

by Ken Harnisch

I am in Paris, in the rain
With Hemingway, on the Rue
Cardinal Lemoine.
He is seeking Miss Stein
To ask her again
Of her writings and the authors
She is reading this year.
She finds Huxley “dead”
And DH Lawrence “unreadable”
In certain places and even
“Up in Michigan” a story she cannot get into
Because its conversation, while real,
Is unbelievable.
But Hem only stiffens when
She calls his and those around him
“The Lost Generation”
And Hemingway, macho, but thin-skinned
As are most  young writers in Paris
After the Great War, finds her unctuous,
A beautiful writer lacking mental discipline
And really, the talent to go with it.
And as I leave Hemingway in the rain
He says he is going to tell his wife
That Gertrude is a beautiful person
But her ideas are full of rot.
And the lesson I learn is
That writers have a third eye, and a third ear,
They see and hear
Everything ever said about them
Often in as-yet-to-be-
Invented Stereo
They can turn on you
On a dime
For even ten cents worth
Of your opinion


Author's Note: Alas, truer today than yesterday, it seems.

Posted on 01/08/2007
Copyright © 2024 Ken Harnisch

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kate Demeree on 01/09/07 at 05:12 PM

I agree with Maria... There is a sadness through out this one... a kind of feeling of disallusionment (lol not spelt right)... that pulls at the heartstrings. Very Well Written and Glad I am to read you!

Posted by Cristy M. on 01/12/07 at 09:59 PM

i would have you know, "a moveable feast" is my favorite of the big EH's. nothing like hadley calling him tatie. nothing in the world.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 04/01/15 at 04:02 PM

Fine piece of writing, Ken. If I could go back in time, one the places/periods I would like to visit is Paris in the 1920s, and chill with that Lost Generation. An interesting note about Hemingway: as macho as he was, God cursed him with a high pitched mousy voice. I know this because one of my local mentors, Juan O'Neill, lived in Cuba during the period Hemingway was there, and actually met him at a party celebration the crowing of Queen Elizabeth II, in 1953, 4 years before I was born.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 04/01/15 at 04:03 PM

Oops...that should be crowning, or better coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. :)

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