Everything I Learned I Learned From French Cinema

I learned stealth
Lessons gleaned from the wealth of black and white breasts
With sound down on a four inch screen.
I learned that ecstasy is silent, hidden,
Often interrupted
And always forbidden.

I learned the semiotics of the erotic
Red triangle at night, teenager’s delight
Adult sights away from adults’ sights, sly slights of hand
That consummate a solitary one night stand

I learned the importance of appearances,
Of branding,
Of standing apart from the masses…
Just far enough
Because in halls if you filled your walls
With posters six foot tall of Betty Blue then you were cool
But more fool you if forgot the rule
That for every masterpiece, for every hit
There’s always a Luc Besson film slightly more shit
And you got loudly plastered and displayed
Your proudly plastered poster of Subway.
Because Christopher Lambert will always be Highlander
Because that’s not a light sabre it’s a light bulb,
And weirdly uplit hair on the wall by my bed
Will always belong to Eraserhead

I learned that blue is not just warmest but the only colour
(Except when it’s one of three)
That the past can dissolve like coffee in a sugar cube
That the future is a battle between longing and madness
And that the only favour from the present we can ask
Is to hide the certainty it cannot last.

I learned that love really can be fireworks
But only for a moment, dancing on a bridge
Glorious, drunken, deranged,
Lifting even hearts sunken to the bottom of the Seine
Then setting them down in the dark
Both changed forever and unchanged,
A stranger once again.
Because even the love that makes cathedrals out of gutters
Will still stutter when hope bleeds from your fingertips,
When seeds of better tomorrows linger only long enough to choke.

I learned that while your friends are on the rooftops singing fuck the police
Behind a film of fate you strive, aspire, and strive still higher
But still you’re paralysed
Caught not in the sights of life’s sniper’s rifle
(cos Luc Besson’s simply torture tourism and glamour neon
And there are no good metaphors to glean from Leon)
But stifled by a lack of hope
The slack rope of talent loose around your neck
And your eyes full of others who fulfil your dreams
Their successes a succession of knives on your thinning skin
And your sin of poverty held like a cheap handgun to your eyes
While you stand and watch the barrel for the bullet
Till it
Will it
Till it.
Your lives freeze-framed you watch the bullet
Till it


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