Jean Genet

Jean Genet

“Die by my hand.
Die before my very eyes.”
—Jean Genet, The Fisherman
of Suquet

Time, air and the Parisian
Cityscape were dimming—
Stretching out his limbs
One last time at Jack’s
Since there was no room
At the Hôtel Rubens

A secret accord with Lucien—
A gentleman’s agreement
Worked out between Genet,
Rimbaud, Verlaine, Proust
And Lucien Sénémaud—
The 18-year-old fisherman

The hotel room retaining—
The death of the poet and
His footprints one last time
In the troubling Paris heat
The landscape dimming—
Water, sky, sand, ocean

The Gallimard manuscript—
The proofs of Prisoner of Love
The whiteness of the pages
So important to Mallarmé—
Shadowy gypsy sunny face
Dimming into the night

Genet’s delicate fingers—
No longer clarifying things
Obscuring words with love—
His big left toe with its
Ingrown nail, his lips
Tight to cover his teeth

A torso deeply wounded—
Revived how many times
By young male beauty—
Adolescents condemned to
Death, curtains of azure
Around Un Chant d’Amour

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