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Drawings and Verse by Laurent Chapman


After reading days of 1908 by Constantin Cavafy

Had I been there then and seen for myself
That young man still and nude on the beach front, 
I would not have remembered perhaps but the thrill
Of having seen such faultless beauty
And perhaps I might have recalled 
That he did not seek my glance
But only that his eyes rested
On the sea
(as faultless as he . . .)

But Cavafy retained much more
Much more
He had seen the unworthy clothes, cast aside,
the garments of a poor man without work
But for the games of cards he found to play in cafés
For a dollar
For a shilling

“The shabbiness of his clothes was tragical”
and the Poet saw and suffered this as clearly as he saw the sunburnt limbs,
the tossed, uncombed hair,
the faultless beauty.


Laurent Chapman
5 November 2002

After the Bath
Bouake - Ivory Coast

Laurent Chapman
October 2002

Days of tourmoil
her friend in bouaké
is in danger
evening came
and still no news
after her bath
her skin
still flushed
filled the small room with its perfume
she asked, "what is going to happen?"

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