Metro Beaubourg
by Robert Lavett Smith Robert Lavett Smith

Born in Michigan in 1957, Robert Lavett Smith grew up in northern New Jersey, in a suburb of New York. Since 1987, he has lived in San Francisco, where for the past thirteen years he has worked as a Special Education Paraprofessional for the San Francisco Unified School District. He holds an M.A. in creative writing from the University of New Hampshire, where he studied with Charles Simic and Mekeel McBride. In 1982, he studied with Galway Kinnell, as a member of the Master Class at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. He is the author of four small-press chapbooks and, most recently, of a full-length collection, Everything Moves With A Disfigured Grace (Alsop Review Press, 2006) (available from Amazon). All of these are free verse works. A collection of his sonnets will be published by the Full Court Press some time next year.

      Paris, 1979

This guy approaches, gaunt and badly shaven,
Proffers a soiled photo urgently.
It's very late—11:57—
The empty platform echoes eerily.
No train spews from the tunnel's blackened maw;
He pleads in French that I must recognize
The strangest stretch of coast I ever saw;
"C'est important." His nervous, darting eyes
Make clear this is no random inquiry.
Two great Dutch windmills, one with blades long gone,
Dwarf slender palms by some gray surging sea,
Dark pines in sepia greet a gauzy dawn—
All would grow clearer once I headed west;
Golden Gate Park, the windmills, and the rest.

What do you think? Please send us your comments, including the name of the work you are commenting on.
Permalink to the Amarillo Bay issue containing this work.