Treasure Island

sheena blackhall

(18/8/1947 / Aberdeen)

Maigret


Commissaire of the Paris Brigade Criminelle
George Simenon’s French detective
Was as much the stuff of my teenage years
As the Beatles, Kennedy, minis.

I loved his pipe, the exotic sounds of his tipples
Pastis, Armagnac, Cognac, Calvados, Pernod,
His trademark raincoat, his laconic style

In a battle of nerves he’d climb into a man’s head
Going to any lengths to track down killers

Maigret was rarely mystified
In the shadow of a courtyard, the beach or a boulevard
In Montmartre, in the Inn of the Drowned Men
In the Rue Pigalle, Bayeux, or Étoile du Nord
He’d sleuth them down, the criminals, biding his time
A man of scruples, meticulous

He mixed in circles that coloured the celibate evenings
Of Scottish puberty, jostling with fortune tellers
Cadavers, the madman of Bergerac,
Bums, pickpockets and strippers
Lovers, informers, wine merchants

The most obstinate man in Paris
I lived a kind of half-life dogging his steps
Looking in through the open window of Simenon’s art.

Submitted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
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