Linda Besner: A Poem

Linda Besner

We were orbiting the étoile of the Arc de Triomphe in its
its traffic circle. We drove our attention before us and in
in her silver heels she ran revolutions,
her braided mane lashing the reins
of our chariot. Maypoling
the neoclassically naked
men and angels, in our haste
to sightsee we swung past what
what we saw, kept losing
the Louvre, eliding the Élysées.
Like astronauts who,
sans gravity’s lorgnette, can’t
can’t tell a white vase from black faces.
Then a gap in traffic burst upon us
like a clock radio revival tent.
The parking meter,
an Eiffel smoothed flat, now
now sprang into view.
My father, the cognitive scientist,
was running alongside us.
He motioned that his hand was caught in
in the automatic window.
I hadn’t noticed. 

(from The Id Kid [Signal/Véhicule]. Reproduced by permission of the author.)

Linda Besner’s poetry and non-fiction have appeared in magazines across Canada, including The Walrus, Maisonneuve, The Malahat Review, and Hazlitt, and been anthologized in Best Canadian Poetry 2012. She lives in Montreal where she works as a journalist. The Id Kid was named on of the National Post's best poetry books of 2011.
(Photo by Rebecca Cozart. Reproduced by permission of Red Edge Images.)


  1. Now I want to read the "In Conversation" with Linda Besner!

  2. This one is great; it doesn't just say, it does. I want to show it to my dad, who nurtured in me his love of optical illusions and introduced me to "PARIS IN THE THE SPRING." I, too, eagerly await the conversation with Linda.


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