Panther


Panthers cover a lot of sins - the names
of past lovers, stray associations,
a misspelled vulgar Latin epithet
pointed out by a former colleague whose
erudition earned him two knocked-out teeth
and a bruise that spread over two days to
his cheek, like a purple Rorschach
                                                                 tattoo.
Too many of my days are spent this way,
and more than enough of my nights, poring
over the mistakes of some half-strung-out
druggie thinking of calling himself an
artist, or the malapropisms of
a biker's slurred instructions, insisting
that on his chest he wants the word
                                                                 MATHER.
Thus in my dreams a silent panther roams,
black ink liberated from my needles,
stalking the arboreal shadows of my
past life, seeking the broken, the infirm,
the scandalous, the vague, the forbidden,
devouring unforgotten history,
taking it all in its abysmal
                                                                 maw.


16 comments:

  1. This is a special poem. It's one I've selected from my work in progress, a full-length novel in verse.

    I'm not posting everything, maybe a few verses now and again. Just to give a hint of what else, beyond my regular standalone poetry, is going on.

    Short link - http://bit.ly/s4panther

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  2. Oh, I CANNOT wait to read the complete work. This is the perfect teaser :)

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  3. It'll still be a while, I still have about 70,000 words to go... but thanks!

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  4. Oh, this is really fine!! It's very strong, yet subtle. It's piqued my interest, and I really do hope that you'll post more. I'm intrigued!!

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  5. I enjoyed this piece... refreshingly different from what I am used to reading and a very poignant example of how you view the work that you do! I love it!

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  6. Thank you... it will be wonderful to share the journey!

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  7. Sam, this piece came at me stark in the night, bold... harsh chill around my ankles... made me take the next breath... a bit more calculating... LOVED IT! Wound tight! Press on dear friend, press on! ~Jem

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  8. Thanks kindly! This is why my output of regular poetry has gone down - I've been focussing on this novel in verse, and it's taking a lot out of me.

    To keep limber I'm doing the adaptations of Kotaro Takamura's poetry, and a few standalone poems, but for the most part I have to try to focus on this novel, or it won't get done.

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  9. "Panthers cover a lot of sins." Fantastic, stalking opening, and so intriguing...

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  10. My gratitude to you for sharing your work-in-progress. So feral, so shining like a black pelt, so slunk under banana trees, looking down on rice fields, muddy water reflecting sky-

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  11. Thanks! Lost in the corporate world, I started my journey back to poetry with 140-character poems on Twitter, moved to Blogspot for regular poems, and am now going to the opposite extreme in length. What a journey it's been - let's hope it'll be worth it!

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  12. A fascinating read to be sure. Coincidentally, one of the main characters in my own epic poem is named Upaya Panther-Mask. Actually, large felines figure prominently in numerous pieces, most recently here:

    http://www.obsidianeagle.com/2010/08/interloper.html

    Keep on keeping on!

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  13. Panthers - as evidenced by your own poems - have a lot of power as symbols. I use them non-traditionally; in this excerpt my protagonist describes using images of panthers to cover up unwanted tattoos, obscuring the past for those who want to forget.

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  14. nice. this is a strong piece...if only our black panther could roam those places...

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  15. You're a brilliant writer and would love to see this when it's finished in it's entirety. So glad am following you i always enjoy thoughts and words that tickle my mind and your work does that to me..

    Wild Rose/ @LarvK on twitter~

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  16. Eloquent use of words and perfect cadence gives this piece a life of its own. Like a panther flexing its muscles.

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