La vie parisienne
by Edmund White
She’s American, the wife of Picasso’s son.
He’s the nephew of Caillebotte and holds the last salon in Paris.
She’s American—her mother was the art critic for American Vogue.
Her grandfather on one side founded the French Communist party
And on the other was the famous painter.
He’s the French film director whose wife draws crowds
Only in America where she’s a TV star.
His family owns the jewelry store where every new
Academician must choose the gems for his sword,
Jewels (from zircons to emeralds) paid for by friends.
She declined to be interviewed about her ravishing apartment
Because she’d left her old husband for an exciting young lover.
She’s the wife of the Catalan architect but lives
With a polo-playing French novelist.
Her Persian cat, though fixed, fell in love
With his, though fixed.
He was my grandmother’s last lover.
She used to be a lesbian but now has
Two daughters with him.
He noticed that Josephine Baker’s music film, “Haiti,”
Was directed by Marc Allegret, Andre Gide’s teenage boyfriend
And the son of his best friend, the Protestant pastor.
Edmund White is author of more than thirty books. He won the National Book Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award last year and the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction the year before.