August 19, 2010

The Rancid Rooms of Montreal

by Denis Robillard

I’m thinking of Montreal again
Sleepy out of the way diners
Run by hard working immigrants
Clatter of dishes, noisy kitchens
Cheap tips under chipped coffee cups.
Find jack there, c. 1953.
Sneering at red rancid rooms off St. Catherine
The gloom time of Peel or a Papineau Tavern
Where he’s drunk on Sang Du Caribou again.
I settle for a Cheval Blanc
Where my morning coffee is still doing its job
& Alcohol fumes from last night’s mess
Are still drilling a deliberate hole in my skull.
Today in a hypnogogic state I saw the face
Of a young Jean Louis Kerouac
On the back of a cloth mottled chair
At The Station Restaurant 8 am.
And this day will never be the same.


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