Florilegium Archive · Papercuts and Scribbles

February 2021 – Save Me the Night: A Dueling Florilegium

As most of you know, over the month of February, I simultaneously read Save Me the Waltz and Tender is the Night. I decided early on to merge my favorite lines from each book into one florilegium instead of two, so this poem is inspired by the Save Me the Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald and Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Each stanza will alternate between the books, starting with a stanza created from Save Me the Waltz lines. Enjoy!

A ghost of her finest points awaiting,
the leading lady has cold feet
while June bugs covered the moist fruit in the fig trees.

Black iron masks to the summer sea--
she felt the layer of hardness in him
cloaked by the erotic darkness;
plagued by the nightingale.

He secretly enjoyed the ability to fly
till the clouds slid open and summer flooded
the South with sweat and heat waves.
Like drippings from the mechanics;
taxis full of cold smoke.
Time and Space wedded in painted static:
I'm a book. Pure fiction.

His alcoholic combativeness vanished--
He was no longer terrible, only dehumanized.
She breathed a frantic prayer in French.
He kissed her without enjoying it.
A series of pure accidents

The Mediterranean
licked its chops
over the edge of our febrile civilization.
People wasted their time being happy
and wasted their happiness being time.

There's something awe-inspiring
in one who has lost all inhibitions,
lost in the nothingness.
I'm tired of knowing nothing
and being reminded of it all the time.

She pressed her toes watchfully on the accelerator of the universe
begging the world not to forget her.
Pull with your spirit against the forward motions --
There is no melody in ballet.

A man is vulnerable only in his pride
teaching the rich the ABCs of human decency.
He had long felt the ethics of his profession
dissolving into a lifeless mass.

Paris is a pen-and-ink drawing
in a glass paperweight.
All by myself
the world would be
an overturned glass of iced tea
on the Sunday dinner table.

In English you can't be heroic and gallant.
Better a sane crook than a mad Puritan.

Death is the only real elegance.
We've parted with segments of ourselves 
more easily than other people;
we couldn't go on indefinitely 
being swept off our feet.

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