Thursday, January 7, 2010

Feature: Doug Tanoury Day 5

Patron Saint

I found a wooden Santo in an antique shop,
Without hands and it called to mind a passage
From the New Testament,
Where Jesus encourages that offending eyes
Be plucked out and tempting hands
Be severed by their owners.

This Santo with tempting hands removed
And paint peeling from his clothes was
Keeping the company of sinners
Who owned the shop and other lesser Santos
With both hands still attached, so I asked:
“¿cuánto es este santo?”

The shop owner thought for a moment and
Slowly replied: “tres mil quinientos”.
I paused, then complained: “pero él no tiene las manos”
And I thought how much are a Saint’s hands worth
That have done such good work, and I said
To the shop keeper: “dos mil, no mas”.

So now “San Nolasmanos”
Keeps the company of a new
Even greater sinner, but for me
It remains an object of deep devotion,
A Santo with tempting hands removed
Is one that I can pray to.

© Doug Tanoury

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Q: What is your writing process? Do you write every day?

A: I usually wake up quite early when the house is quiet and begin to write. I have been writing poetry with a computer since the mid-1980's. I have recently had a period of time when I was writing poetry every day. The creative process is wildly cyclical with periods of high and low productivity. I am currently on the upswing from a productivity standpoint and I am really happy about that. I have no idea how long that will last, but I am counting my blessings.

Q: Do you have rituals or habits when you write?

A: I often listen to baroque music when I write. I find that it inspires me and I think it finds is way into a poem by help shaping its tone. My favorites are Bach, Scarlatti, Telemann and Buxtehude. I love a good cantata and it helps me create.

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