for Jane & Joe Hazan

Look, Mitterand baby, your telegram
of condolence to Yves
Montand tells it like it is
but just once can’t some high
placed Frenchman forget about the
gloire de France while the world
stands still a moment and all
voices rise in mourning
a star of stars:
Simone Signoret was and is
(thanks to seeming permanence
yes the silver screen? l’écran?)
Simone Signoret, A.K.A.
Mme Yves Montand is dead: Let’s
reread Tennyson’s Ode
to the Duke of Wellington
with subtle emendations:
after all Simone never brought
about deaths by zillions on
a battlefield: no simply adult
entertainment as ambiguous
women beginning
with “Dédé d’Anvers”: Dédé
mixes with wrong type
waterfront layabouts in
Antwerp and of course
she became some sort of
“star overnight” so let’s for-
get about Academy Award
winner “Room at the Top” and
turn full attention to
“Casque d’Or” meaning
“Golden Helmet” and here
in this still in today’s
Timing she is wearing 
her golden helmet of hair
and musing on the strange
destiny that right at the be-
ginning she does a circular
dance with her soon-to-be
lover ( one arm behind back
one arm hangs straight down)
and he’s a carpenter (we
find out all about that ) and
utterly evil Claude Dauphin
and at the end she watches
from a window his execution—
friend lover, that is, not
well-disposed-of Dauphin—
and she, staring, women
with mysterious eyes, under
a smooth brushed helmet
of golden hair: I always
remember you like that
and we used to quaff
liquid refreshments in
the same mid-town Parisian
bar (Christ, that was long
ago ) and I wondered who
the hell is this Simone Signoret
and what’s so great about
“Dédé d’Anvers” ( I still
haven’t seen it): Simone
(may I call you Simone
just this once?) tonight
one star in the real sky
the starry firmament
goes out and the rest
the stars, the stars!
shine more brightly for
that star of stars
with almond-eyes
and a well-brushed
helmet of golden hair
and I truly miss you
Simone Signoret