To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Tamas Panitz: Two Poems from “The House of the Devil”

with a note on Lunar Chandelier Collective

It is not enough to remember
                                                            R.K. –The Loom

There’s more to memory than the branches
there is more than the clearing
such as only a clearing could conceal
I forgot to turn the mirror off
hence the propaedeutic blonde spider
of Le Pendu comes to mind
suffering offering frightening
at the gates of childhood
ready to reverse the Bar Mitzvah
a spider blonde enough to try
to match  a verb beyond
the thresholds of the sentence
he guards as a premonition
of my lover’s presence.
I hold the spider in my hands
and watch it grow lovelier.
It is not enough to remember.
One must assume the posture and features
to view the behavior
assume peculiar management
one must remember nothing
the leaves of a tree that isn’t there
opportunistic goals
that back down when you stare
a persistence and not a presence
but in this absence a presence
as if leaves were only a presentiment
awkward answers I hold close
it is not enough to remember
without that willful release
where the winds of the heart blow
in the absence of memory
down its footholds, not for us but to us
the lover yearns through and beyond love
a revery sheds its leaves
in undivided purposiveness
I remember nothing
in the absence of memory the leaves flash.


The sun paused
for successive nights of pleasure.
Pleasure dominates time.
Time’s provenance
in dalliance lingers.

An Egyptian goddess
I can’t remember who
climbs up the stairs
it’s all in the cup
the balance of her
everything we touch knows that.

Allergens waft in
at night. The house
opens against me.
I open against me.
Remember this
when I come to your door.

An oil
smooth as stone
as wild
storms from the wood.

I chase sunlight
across the room
the way water seeks a level.
Any law is preferable to reason:
release your facts into the wild.

Don’t know what’s next.
Get rid of logic
the fortune telling
those gorgios still believe in.

I sleep, but never
at night. This small
sun of prayer.

Pull the light out
one ray at a time.
This is the crown of thorns,
radiance of self-control
owls love to land on.

Water flows through
the air, white noise
whispers from the sides
of its palette:
between, between,
the salmon up their ladder leap.

what you can’t accept.
Rain. And more rain. And more.

Matter is everything that says yes
accrues qualities
theories, gods.
So it is a body
like ours that cannot lie.

I will tell you less
than you have ever known.

Blue birds make a harpsichord.

The golden leaves
have returned.
The golden leaves
do not fall.

If you lie
but you’re not sure why
then it’s not a lie.

Chamomile and ambergris.
Rare fragrance over
from the shore of sleep,
roses bred for smell
that cannot be seen.

Morning rushes to meet
the smallest bird
impulse that will press
the pen or hex,
morning as various demons
built to suit.
Technology is their language.

Ask what it knows
and it will see you, and you will see
others who want to be seen.
Perseus I sat
on the stone and left
sore, thinking of gorgons,
the enemy is already within.

Reading to yourself
so I can hear.

Cricket drone
without saliva
without the white blooms of water.

Insects guard the door to the vowel’s flowers
treasure too soft to touch.

I bob in the salt bath
evenly with the invisible.

Language can’t forget.
A trail of hungry ghosts.

Try to notice nothing
tame the nameless ones.

The animal cures
as mesmerists showed,
down through Reich.
Break up the family,
release the gods.

Waves of letters
in the fluid pull of spelling
I follow in a glamor
run with cats and dogs
down the narrow street.
The doctor who was also a zombie.

You write this
when I hear you listen.

Green arrogance green
scepter of the Hidden Hand
that sends concept
to steer my thought.

Syncretism is free labor.

Fragments are the creation
thrashing of the dead
who lead us in the dance.

Never asserted but reasserted.
Listen and it gets louder.

Structure shorn of its resemblance,
a haunted cave of thought
amid the sea of resemblance.

Die Farbenlehre, Color Theory
impracticable principles
that cannot not be true.
Science as ritual.

In our old-timey daliance
we’d watch the waves of magnetism
undulant machine to which
spirits and such as ourselves are drawn.
Be very very quiet, and
something always comes.

What you notice
makes you visible.
Mind and seeming.

The poem admires symmetries
alchemy believes in them.

An arc of days, deer, years,
some counted and some not.
An apartment building
its rooms tuned
as Lamont Young pointed out.
I lose the object and
gladly mingle
hearts and rooms and guests, caress,

lustrous for others.

[EDITOR’S NOTE.  To point out that the poetry, while sufficient in itself, is of interest too for the circumstances of its coming publication, under the auspices of Lunar Chandelier Collective (LCC), a self-defined community of younger poets largely quartered in the Hudson valley of New York & with close ties to Robert Kelly and others of his generation & mine among those sharing publication.  Writes Panitz, as co-founder of the collective and the press: “LCC is a living entity that represents to some extent a work in common, a work brought about by individual labors that reports something ‘outside’ of us, that we praise together, steal from, return to. My work with LCC is a matter of working with what I consider to be viable paths of inquiry. I suppose I have not been able to shake a certain Renaissance penchant for truth. I’m always after it, though my vision of it is totally and purposefully subjective, and I don’t find it necessary to believe myself.” 

      The realization thereby of a “work in common” answers the ambition of many of us over the decades & with some hope too for the times to come. (J.R.)]

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