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Antonia Alexandra Klimenko


Sailing Through Paris


Paris, my mirror, my memoir--City of Light, of image, of reflection

Imagine-nation,  Illumine-nation boasting wide boulevards of art, history

and romance  where  writers shopping for images—stunning dreamscapes,

fantasias, voyeurs in gilded cages wrought of iron and vintage tears—

lose themselves through your eyes   Our own slowly turning in your  seasons,

your cycles, your echoes, your impressions, our obsessions—creme brulee

and caramel, enchanting children’s carousels, Clair de Lune, Jules et Jim,

Sundays in the Park with George Seurat and Whitman


Here, in my modest tree-house, from the uppermost limb of my thinning

library of remembrance, my thoughts, as faded leaves, sail through a feathered sky

of energy and matter, a whole Cosmos of dream essence and awareness  How often

I have launched balloons from Van Gogh’s rooftop under the swirling multitude

of stars—my creative helium bursting with bright color—words flowering into

Spring, their music flowing into the Seine and Gershwin’s pulsing trafic


On other pages---broken tunes on the metro, the steps of Montmartre,

jazz on the half-shell, the fresh smell of ancient debris, the uncaged breath of lovers

in the disheveled dark, Isle Saint Louis in the rain becoming a floating water-lily

painted by Monet in golden mauve-tinged reverence, rusting bridges crossing

themselves at sunset, invisible angels lining the quai wearing lamplights for halos—

all wander like gypsies along the riverbanks of my brain where I, fading, pass

while they remain


Oh, Paris, ,you towering Eyeful! You starving artist in black Chanel tights,

amnesiac of  La Vie en Rose Paradise—our unfinished, half-naked poems

staggering off your screens en plein air down your decadent alleyways

in violet smoke and shadow could never leave you  We, whose minds have toppled

from our balconies of anticipation, whose dreams have drowned in their blue wounds,

whose Living Poems have plucked from our every bending branch each splintered

minute of experience, whose umbrellas of childhood—forever open—must return...

again and again


Paris, my river, my Seine, insane revolution of evolution, eau d’illusion,

bittersweet nostalgia--your dust of memory, your music-box melody Gymnopedie,.

Erik Satie, ne me quitte pas   Residence (permanent) of Oscar Wilde, of Piaf,

Morrison, Sartre, my heart and her chamber choir...of broken records, my heart

and her chamber orchestra---my nose pressed to your shattered glass--Paris,

                                                                                                                my mirror

Parisian Poet in Residence

Antonia Alexandra Klimenko was first introduced on the BBC and to the literary world by the legendary Tambimutttu of Poetry London–publisher of T.S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas Henry Miller and Bob Dylan, to name a few. After his death, it was his friend, the late great Kathleen Raine, who took an interest in her writing and encouraged her to publish. Although her manuscript was orphaned upon ‘Tambi’s passing, her poems and correspondence are included in his Special Collections at Northwestern University. Klimenko, a former San Francisco Poetry Slam Champion is widely published ; her work has appeared in (among others) CounterPunch, The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology, Big Bridge, Iodine Poetry Journal, Strangers in Paris–New Writing Inspired by the City of Light, Vox Populi, The Criterion International Literary Journal, Occupy Wall Street Anthology (in which she is distinguished as an American Poet) and Maintenant: Journal of Contemporary Dada Poetry and Art archived at the in Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and New York’s Museum of Modern Art. She lives in The City of Light where she is Poet in Residence at Spoken Word Paris.

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