The Voice Of Bartemaus---Five New Poems---By Doug Tanoury

Voice of Bartemaus

And I will say once again that darkness
Is persistent and gives way only
With great reluctance
In small spots as if to delay
And discourage

This I know for I have sojourned
Like Bartemanus a blind man
In plutonic gloom so dense
Light does not travel
Or penetrate its reaches

I have waited a lifetime
For one spark or shimmer
A lone glimmer a glint or gleam and
I will continue to call out
A voice from the darkness


A Slow Season

In am stuck
In the middle of this is a reluctant season
Within its heart of slowness
Its self-centered sloth
In a holding back in bashful reserve
Where the sun never shines
And the clouds hide a shy blue sky
Over trees sleeping so soundly
In self-conscious reserve
They do not dream of buds
Indeed this season
I am caught in
Is the triumph of timidity

And I too celebrate it
In my holding back for my touch now
Is uncertain reserve and I am paused
In tentative indecision for a moment
An hour
A day
A collection of days
Until there is nothing left to touch
But the starkness and realization
Of all that is missing


A Study In Form

I have mastered the art of approach
The dance of improvisational movement
Around a subject
Like the low brick facades on Main Street
Articulated by second storey windows

The movement of muscle
Sinew and bone
An expression of torso and limbs
My body bent into a word
Moving in a phrase
My breath upon a line of verse
Of what is and why
Toward what could be and is

This is the art of pose and stance
Rhythm and tempo
For I have mastered the approach
And am a channel for burning forces
That bubble up in blood vessels and brain
In nerve endings and spine
Twisted in all the expressions of form
All the permutations of shape


Lost On Sunset

I remember
Being lost on Sunset Boulevard
Gazing down smog shrouded streets
At the homeless pushing shopping carts
Filled with bulging plastic garbage bags
Moving slowly
Haunting and indistinct
Their forms vanish in the haze
Like apparitions
Seen for a moment in sidelong glance
Then disappear

I remember
Reading poetry in the evening
Under a tree hung with lanterns
My voice awash with the noise of traffic
Bad mufflers and clunking transmissions
The sounds of surf on the shore
That ebb and flow that makes
Every day of my past
Like so much flotsam and jetsam

I remember standing
Haunting and indistinct
Like an apparition
Seen for a moment in sidelong glance
Only to disappear
Lost in the noise
And neon magic
Of Hollywood nights


Private Collection

(A Hollywood Park Poem)

In the moment
I saw legs and lower torso
Protruding from a cardboard
Refrigerator box legs twisted together
Toes curled

And I knew
A person no more fragile than
An appliance was asleep
In a cast off
Brown box like the hard skin shell
A locust will shed and leave empty
In the grass

That shelters in the shadows
That now serve as packing and
Shipping material for heartbreak
And rasping respiration
That sits along the sidewalk

And shelters the dreamer from
A cool breeze on a Spring morning
And from the first weak light
That rises softly above the
Low brick buildings

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