Expats and Amour: A Poem

by | Original Poetry, The Poetry Deck | 6 comments

All of a sudden I got thinking of expats and amour
while writing email. 

It was a curious thing. I almost typed, “I’d be glad
if you could print it,” before remembering
we were in the days of digitization,
not typeset magazines,
and I was writing from a suburban living room,
not from a cafe in Paris
nor from a house on a cliff.

But for a moment in my mind I
was in a cafe in Paris
and was composing letters, not
email, with a ballpoint pen. (My mind fills in
the blanks.) I was writing to a friend
discourse about religion,
to another complimenting the story they’d sent
to have printed — posted,
I meant. We were not in the days
of typeset. Maybe this is what I get
for talking to people older than me.

Or maybe we are expats, and maybe there’s
a certain amour to the Internet. 
It brings people together from many places,
makes friends of strangers,
ties us together with words. Maybe we’re not
in Paris struggling to pay rent, 
but we’re wherever we’re at, 
struggling to pay rent. Creating, deciphering, 
pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps, expats
from normal,
expats from life. Digital wanderers
sailing the seas
of posted work
and Pinterest problems,
Twitter collisions
and endless revisions
and other stranger intricacies.

 

houses on an island where expats might live
a pocketwatch symbolizing time

Poet’s Notes

My favorite author is Ernest Hemingway, who wrote a profoundly humorous but also profoundly sad semi-autobiographical memoir of the time he spent in Paris with the expat community there — people like Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, Scott Fitzgerald, and others. (That’s A Moveable Feast.) Anyway, I find the concept of the expat writer an interesting one. But, as you can read about in another post, I’ve made a vow not to fly, so if I ever become an expatriate it will be by boat or by car, depending on where life takes me. 

Please tell me in the comments what you thought about “Expats and Amour.” 

Thank you for reading!

a typewriter from the expat days

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