Jean-Yves Solinga – Four Poems



Paris : Demi-sommeil

The invisible alien army
of street cleaners already at work

The hesitant rebirth
of crazed buzzing of vélomoteurs

Crystalline clinking sound
of expresso porcelain cups being lined up on zinc bar

still arguing last night’s off-side

The minutia of life
starting to invade the routine of living…


…When his left arm
reconfirmed her absence in his bed

of organic and floral hints of her on wrinkled sheets

Fleeting thoughts
about Adam tearfully looking back
at gates of Paradise


The definition of the untouchable ideal:
From the inception of their relationship.

An appearance… an organic comportment
Of the nobility of ease:
Akin to the textbook royalties of his lectures.

A polished marbly, impervious exterior,
Protecting a cocooned emotional interior.


He had sensed that her stony façade,
Was an instinctive protection against the subtle cruelties
Of gritty cocktail reception mannerisms.

Resulting in thick scars of survival
In the sanguine warfare of the heart.


Grande dame of societies
Of acceptable and despicable behaviors,

Of the intricacies
And dead-ends of dangerous liaisons,

She wore a suit of armor
Through her travels on several continents.


It was upon her coming back to his minuscule Parisian room
Honored… now… by her strewn Dior silk undergarments

That she knowingly… languishly…
Let him gaze at her alleged imperfection…

[Otherwise easily concealable with a simple wrinkling of the bed sheets]

… Superbly… silently…
Entrusting him with ownership of the surprising fragile lacy quality
And persistent virginal lyricism
Of her soul.

Twin towers

That morning…
Having sat quietly on her plastic subway seat
Looking boringly straight ahead,

Glancing at the expensive wingtip shoes of an executive,

By the torn workpants of a day laborer.

Among the whiffs
Of sparkling electrical fumes
And the overall dullness of human contact…

… She was installed on the unwelcome pedestal of many iconic martyrs
that day… in that street.

Pressed into the unrehearsed role
As some sort of exclamation mark for the rest of us.

Here she was… still unknown…
Already… more statue than woman,
More mineral than organic.

In her shroud of ashen second-skin…
worthy of some earthly Passion:

For all of us to puzzle…
As to its collective meaning
And possible individual redemption.


To die with recalcitrance.
But die nevertheless.

To die with every living fibers on life’s side.
But die nevertheless.

To die with images of hidden contortions of swaying hips
Under the luscious quasi transparent black silk
Of a minimal dress.

But die nevertheless…
With illusions of unending continuity:
Such as the tactile presence of the index on the cosmic replay button.

Jean-Yves Solinga has lived between the south of France and Morocco. He holds a doctorate in French on the representation of the Maghreban landscape found in Loti, Gide, Camus and Le Clézio. He has published several books of poetry: Clair-Obscur of the Soul, Clair-obscur de l’âme (in French), In the Shade of a Flower, Landscape of Envies, Words Made of Silk, Impressions of Reality and Artist in a Pixelated World. In his latest, Asymptotes at the Limit of Passion, Solinga brings the infrastructure of poetry as close as possible to the border of reality and passion in our lives. The author has been a featured speaker at the Alliance Française; presented on the theme of Le déracinnement (Cultural uprooting) at the International Colloquium: 20th- / 21st- Century French Studies at the University of Connecticut, the Center of the Teaching of French at Yale; The University and Southern Connecticut State University on the use of poetry in language studies; published in Art et Poésie, edited Jean-Claude George. He has featured at the Arts Café in Mystic, and the Bank Square Bookstore. He has co-featured at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center on the theme of social justice in poetry.