Poetry

December 21, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Laurent Bourrelly photo

 

By

Craig Kurtz

 

 

 

Revolution for Christmas

 

 

On one side, near the Place de l’Opera, were the flashing Christmas trees, the multicolored Christmas windows and the consumers with arms laden with presents. On the other side, a few hundred meters away, where the yellow vests had quickly raised the tension, rioters clashed with the police.

Forbes, 2 December 2018.

 

The rumble of armored police trucks and the hiss of tear gas filled central Paris on Saturday, as French riot police fought to contain thousands of yellow-vested protesters venting their anger against the government in a movement that has grown more violent by the week. Yet in a sign of the financial disconnect that infuriates many of the protesters, a few blocks from the famed boulevard, people were sitting in Paris cafes, drinking cocktails and chatting.

Associated Press, 8 December 2018.

 

Around the Place Vendôme, a hub of luxury jewelry shops and designer stores, rioters had smashed windows and built barricades on recent weekends. “You don’t want to shop at Louis Vuitton on the Champs-Élysées when cars are burning on the street,” said Mario Ortelli, managing partner of the luxury advisers Ortelli & Company. “You don’t want to walk around with an Hermès bag when there’s a violent protest happening.”

New York Times, 17 December 2108.

 

 

 

Our Christmas shopping’s now on hold —

someone should get these mobs controlled;

they’re smashing all the better stores —

I say, these yellow vests are bores;

they really have a lot of cheek

to block the roads again this week;

the government’s not doing much —

Macron has really lost his touch;

the sans-culottes are back again —

it’s prob’ly the fault of Le Pen;

‘we’ve chopped off heads for less than this’1

how dare they ruin my Christmas.

I’m looking for some presents and

we’ve got a dinner party planned;

it’s rude to bomb out all the shops

when we need iPhones and laptops;

how can I get my shopping done

when revolution spoils the fun?

They’re overturning fancy cars —

why don’t they put ’em behind bars?;

my fav’rite bistro’s been enflamed —

the working class should be ashamed;

oh, foo, the bank’s on fire, too —

this revolution’s fastidieux ;

I don’t mind riots, when genteel,

but fie on storming the Bastille;

why can’t they just obey the laws,

go home and wait for Santa Claus?

This ‘toppling the bourgeoisie’

for Christmas is non raffiné ;

there’s still some things I haven’t bought —

let’s gift ‘em a whiff of grapeshot.

 

 

1. “Macron flew back from the G20 summit in Argentina on Sunday and went straight to inspect damage at the Arc de Triomphe. Graffiti all over the base of the 19-century monument read: ‘We’ve chopped off heads for less than this’ and ‘Topple the Bourgeoisie.’” — The Guardian, 3 December 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Kurtz

Craig Kurtz lives at Twin Oaks Intentional Community with artist/collaborator Anni Wilson. Recent work in Blue Unicorn, Iconoclast and William & Mary Review. See also https://kurtzandwilson.blogspot.com.

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