Monday, January 4, 2010

Feature: Doug Tanoury Day 2

Perfect Morning

It seemed like a perfect morning on the balcony of an apartment
In Achrafieh, against the crazy and irregular skyline
That is Beirut, where cable wires and television antennas
Slash and stab the placid clouds
That drift peacefully across the summer sky,
Chaos and disorder rule, and stand as proof
That the old Phoenician gods have dementia
And have sunk so far down into their geriatric funk
That they no longer care about anything.

In that perfect morning she stood there with me on the balcony,
The two of us leaning on the railing and looking out over
A drunken geometry and a cacophony of shape
That is the cockeyed landscape of East Beirut.
She standing in stark contrast
With both earrings and necklace
Color coordinated with blouse and skirt,
A picture of fashion and personal perfection,
The queen of everything in its place.

What I remember most of that morning,
Was how I blended so totally with the skyline,
How it embraced all my flaws and imperfections
Both great and small, my mismatched clothes
My unkempt hair, my slovenly habits and careless ways.
I became a part the cityscape that day,
High above the streets, in the choking fumes
From traffic below that formed a nimbus around me,
That celebrated and sanctified
My own inner disorder.

© Doug Tanoury

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Q: How do you define poetry in general?

A: I wrote in a poem once that "Lust is to love, what poetry is to prose." I'd define poetry as literature that possesses a high level of emotional intensity that combines certain devices and techniques. It has a great deal in common with dreams. In fact metaphor, simile, irony, symbolism comprise a language that both dreamers and poet share. Everyone is a poet in so much as they dream. They create a rich world of color, fantasy, symbols and populate this nocturnal landscape with people, animals and spirits. There is something basic and primordial about dreams, and I think that poetry uses many primitive and instinctive modes of communications. I could talk about this for a long time, but I had better stop here.

Q: Tell us something about yourself that not many people know about you. :-)

A: I don't have any formal education or training as a poet, so I don't have an English degree, but rather a Business degree. I was not trained by academics, but by working poets. I was trained by other poets in writer colony and workshop fashion. I found this so rewarding and I have been lucky to have worked with some very talented and brilliant poets. I spent 10 years writing with the Macomb Fantasy Factory and another 10 years writing online with a group of international poets in a group I founded called Athens Avenue.

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