The Ghost of Madame Cézanne

Madame Cézanne
Haunts my study
In ghostlike apparition
She appears
Again and again
With cheeks painted a bit too red
And makeup caked across her face

Each time I see her
I think she wears
The countenance of strife
The shades of sadness
She never speaks but
Sits silently in a chair
Posed in resentment

Her eyes angry openings
Her mouth closed and pouting
Her jaw clenched
A face hard
And humorless
She is a model of domestic troubles
Wearing a green hat

Anna Kournakova

She walks in shadows
Comes in darkness
Like a spirit
Her movements invisible and silent
Like the first weak breeze of spring
Nearly here and half not

She wears the sheerest gauze fabric
That is spun by the phantoms of my fantasies
Who work into the late hours of night
Like the tired and weary women
That labor for low wages
In Indonesian sweatshops

She wiggles into my bed whispering words
And touching me like a Muse
To awaken a Disneyland of desire
Were I hang stappadoed
From the highest ceiling beams
In her most malicious dreams

Bad Weather

Whenever I saw him
I felt the cold
A kind of deep chill
That passed through me
Numbing my insides
And the ice that formed
On the outer edges of my words
Was skin tingling
In the same way
His kisses were snowflakes
Melting on my cheeks

I would always wish him gone
Just as I would hope
For winter’s passing
And long for a trace of color
In the pencil sketch landscape
That is February
And now that he is
A season past
There is mildness in the air
And a stirring in the earth
Of things ready to grow


Touching her in darkness
My hands fly
Across her skin like winged things
Hovering for a moment
Then gliding in sweeping motions
That rise and dive to follow her form
Aerial in their grace
Ethereal in movement

And when they come to rest
Like a bird upon a perch
They are weightless
And she feels only a fluttering
A brush of feathers
Across her flesh
On a night
When touch became sight


In these early days of winter
When drizzle floats weightless
And hangs frozen in the air
The wind in my ears
Whispering doubt
The damp against my face
Frozen fear and
The smudged grayness of sky
Deepening suspicion
That storms recrimination in the loud percussion
Of hail hitting the awning
And the downpour of rain against the asphalt
As I stand unspeaking and exposed
In a muteness like snowfall that
Drifts peacefully in quiet whiteness

Her words frozen rain and falling hail
And me silent like a snowy night

by Doug Tanoury (c)2001
(dtanoury1 [at] home [dot] com)

Author’s note:
Doug Tanoury grew up in Detroit and still lives in the area. Doug is exclusively a poet of the Internet with the majority of his work never leaving electronic form. He is published widely across the World WideWeb.

The greatest influence on Doug and his work was the 7th grade poetry anthology used in Sister Debra’s English class: Reflections On A Gift Of Watermelon Pickle and Other Modern Verse, Stephen Dunning, Edward Lueders and Hugh Smith, (c)1966 by Scott Foresman & Company.

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