Tahra Mok tells us what life in Paris is like, confessing the secrets of the City of Lights which most of us still ignore.


Paris se leve, pale, dans les lymbes de ses propres rêves, Elle se reveille, pleine de sommeil et de lumière, La machoire serree des drogues et des papillons avales d’hier, Mensonges alcolises ou vérité d’un instant, Un peu honteuse de l’amour facile et de la passion éternelle qu’elle vend,
Et allume ses feux.

Elle va se pendre a la fenêtre avec son mauvais cafe, son soleil timide et ses cheminées decoiffes, Engourdie des paroles perdues qui hantent encore le pave sale de ses rues, Elle respire, d’avoir deja un peu trop vécu.

Hungover, high on words, she discovers without surprise, the pitiful prayers from last night, light, like the motionless ghosts painted on the walls of Notre Dame, Loud, like the endless bells of the holy mass, True, like the empty promises thrown to random souls, Cold, like the opaque light of the Catacombs.

For Paris, Is an old lady stuck in her own past, full of stone and poetry, full of legends and of thoughts. Knows everything and yet, can’t stop being amazed by the nameless crowd that she holds, Sons, songs and mothers, Priests, drugs and lovers, Fools, ink and artists, and music, all the time, of all kinds, accompanying strangers through their storyline, Accompanying dreamers through their own minds.

For Paris swallows and transforms every single life into a story, her story, a sulphurous novel from the beginning of the XIX Century, Written by anonymous hands with the blood of her spirits, old, almost impossible to read and that keeps living and breathing in the hearts of forgotten libraries and of cursed souls that blindly wave on the sides of la Seine, dancing drunk in the evening, proudly walking during the day.

For Paris is obviously bipolar, A frenetic microcosm of beauty and pain, A bunch of tears, of whispers and of tales, of shouts, of love and meaningless prayers, Meaningless thoughts that build a thousand universes, but always go to bed alone.

For Paris wants everything, here and now, in any way; forgets and remembers in a single day, That immediate passion, something for which you always pay.

And still, she is pure, still she is innocent, and soft, Shamelessly showing her high lights like some sparkling prostitute’s black tights, Car Paris est la putain du monde, avec son rouge carmin et ses jarretelles vagabondes, Perdue au coeur d’elle meme, dansant fort, aimant mal, Ivre d’avoir bu toutes les langues de l’univers A la fois, noble et un peu sale, D’avoir vécus les amours de la terre entière.

And Paris, like the youth that she is, permanently unreachable, continuously in crisis, an endless revolution, a constant evolution, A huge star that pours its light every single day, on different Landscapes, different faces, changing hopes, abandoned dreams, Sur des valeurs vibrantes et de tristes rimes Qui sonnent un peu comme des rires, ceux perdus, une fois encore, Et qui perdurent dans le chaos emu des effluves sonores Des rumeurs, des cafes, des odeurs, des aimants et des aimes

And to look inside her eyes, it is reading the history of humanity from the very beginning, attending to the birth of every single feeling this earth can hold, holding every single meaning this moment can rob, digging tombs, for love stories that died a minute after they began

But are never lost, for the only thing that survives the damage of time are the mental scars of lust, Touching, and stealing, kisses from every corner of the world, she keeps on breathing or whatever she is told, this brilliant Paris dances carelessly in the blurred lights of the night clubs, this beauty, that protects the individuals that choose to share and forget, dramatically.

Fragments of their bodies, Parts of their lives, Chosen beats of their stories, looking for light with their eyes closed with their mind blurred

Because no one remembers the address where people kiss shadows of themselves, and no one really remembers how making love sober tastes, for Paris is a sickness in disguise, a fever, in fusion, colours, in motion that will follow you forever if you’re lucky enough to catch them and that will always come back if somehow you lose them.

Fragmented, egoistic, immortal and loud unmeasured, frenetic, addicted and proud.

Paris is sitting on her bed, finishing her cold coffee with her last cigarette breathing life, humming feelings, trying to love, forgive and forget, lost, in vain, in her ecstatic thoughts, waiting patiently for her daily amok.


Tahra Mok