Tuesday Poem: Watching the tango

January 9, 2012

Tuesday Poem

Watching the tango

Legs cut the air; fleshy scissors open and close

and notes fall like syncopated snow.

There is heat here, and a buttoned coolness too,

as the bandoneon squeezes breeze into noise.

Chests press, heart reading heart,

but the pulse beats down below.

Balanced on an unseen rope,

coiling and uncoiling silken loops

the couple moves time backwards,

suspending gross disbelief on

such questing, yet assured, feet.

P.S. Cottier

This poem won second prize in the inaugural Australian Tango Poetry Competition held in 2009, and was first published in Tango Australis.  And no, I can’t dance, let alone tango.  I thought it was an appropriate choice for an early Tuesday poem of 2012, as we’re now nearly a couple of weeks away from New Year’s Eve, when anything seemed momentarily possible, before the hang-over, when you woke up and could no longer speak English, let alone the other language you believed yourself to be fluent in last night.  (You sometimes means me, you know.)  Tango will always remain a foreign language to my two dumb feet, unable to translate themselves into anything so complex.

I recently heard that I won last year’s tango poetry competition, and I may post that poem here some time as well.  Too much tango is barely enough.

For many more poems, go to the Tuesday Poem hub, and enjoy yourself immoderately. (It is on official hiatus, so there’ll be no new poem in the middle of the page, but many people are still posting. Check out the side-bar.)

This poem is included in The Cancellation of Clouds, order details in the first post above.

Thoughts? Carrots? Sticks? Comments? Go ahead!

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