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About this Poem 

"No matter how late I stay up, I always feel guilty sleeping in, even if it’s only until ten. The old bells are those of the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, some of the oldest in the world, or maybe they are the ringtone of one of the cosmetician’s phones. In a gallery, I once heard a woman from the UK tell her friend she should call her, give her 'a bell' sometime soon."
—Stuart Dischell

I Know A Few Things

Stuart Dischell

Old bells wake me up
     At ten, then the wing snaps
Of pigeons skirting the courtyard
     Bring me to the window,
Where the young cosmeticians
     In their very clean outfits
On break check their phones
     And smoke and laugh among
Their number and roll
     Their beautiful made-up
Eyes at me when from above
     I wish all three of them 
A good day, then one flicks
     An ash and blinks twice,
Another takes a deep drag,
     And the third continues 
To answer the message
     Her father sent from home,
Concerning the death 
     Of the family cow,
So white and brown.

Copyright © 2014 by Stuart Dischell. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on January 13, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Stuart Dischell

by this poet


When people say they miss me,
I think how much I miss me too,
Me, the old me, the great me,
Lover of three women in one day,
Modest me, the best me, friend
To waiters and bartenders, hearty
Laugher and name rememberer,
Proud me, handsome and hirsute
In soccer shoes
The governor will give
Homeless people sleeping bags,
Let them stay the night

On windswept porticos
Outside his buildings
Instead of your doorstep.

I am talking to myself
With empty rooms
I cannot bear to live in.