Doug Tanory: “Avon” and “Hollywood Park” Poems


Soft Honey

Her hair catches the light
And is a yellow dawn
That glows on far horizons
Softened by a haze
That hangs on the lake

Her hair is liquid light
Bright as an August afternoon
With highlights of captured color
That glistens and dances
Like sunset on the water


Misty Nude

Stretched naked across the bed
Her head propped up by a hand
Supported by an arm
Resting on an elbow

One leg is extended
And one is raised but bent at the knee
And there is a slight fragrance
Coming from a candle

The light casts her in semi-silhouette
And there is a trace of smile that flashes
Across her lips but shows no teeth
An illusion of the half darkness

That paints the outline of breasts and torso
Yet obscures arms and legs
Like a fragmented sculpture
Of a limb-less Venus


Lilac Glaze

In the black and white
Of early memory
The lilacs bloom gray
Across the drabness
Of a yard without color
Where grass needs cutting
And a kennel full of dog shit
Needs cleaning

Under the grayscale sky
Of pale recollection
The lilacs bloom dull monochrome
Without fragrance
And each leaf is frozen forever
In the profound stillness
Of a childhood memory
Distant and colorless


Buttered Rum

One tan thigh
An earthen hue of raw sienna
The underside of sycamore leaves
That float more than fall
Breathless and feather light
Through autumn air
Toward the forest floor

One nutmeg breast
The burnt umber of late summer
Hot to the touch like sun-baked sand
With Parchment nipple
That floats and sways ever so slight
Through autumn air
Breathless and feather light


Hollywood Park Poems


Shall I paint the night sky
Neon indigo
And her sequin dress
That catches light
Cobalt blue and glows
With what seems
Some inner luminescence
That sets her ass to shimmer
And makes her breasts gleam
As if she were wearing nothing
But fish scales on her skin

Shall I paint her movement
Accentuated by a trembling
Like aspen leaves
On an August evening
That dance choreographed
In sunset colors and
Grow toward darkness
If I should see her dress
Strewn carelessly across the floor
It would look only like a blue gill
Washed up on the beach


Private Collection

In the moment
I saw legs and lower torso
Protruding from a cardboard
Refrigerator box legs twisted together
Toes curled

And I knew
A person no more fragile than
An appliance was asleep
In a cast off
Brown box like the hard skin shell
A locust will shed and leave empty
In the grass

That shelters in the shadows
That now serve as packing and
Shipping material for heartbreak
And rasping respiration
That sits along the sidewalk

And shelters the dreamer from
A cool breeze on a Spring morning
And from the first weak light
That rises softly above the
Low brick buildings


Greek Echo

I see her naked
With my eyes closed
Each breast a half peach
And the cheeks of her ass
Symmetrical hemispheres
A sliced melon

I can touch her
Deeply in my dreams
Her flesh feels firm
Yet soft like ripe mango
And the taste of kiwi
Lingers on my tongue

I can see the smell
Of her moving like
A shadow around me
A flicker of motion
A flash of movement
That is Venus waking