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Poets are Present: Tony Mancus

Poets are Present is a poetry residency in conjunction with David Ives’s adaptation of The Metromaniacs. As part of this unique theatre/poetry exchange, the Shakespeare Theatre Company is proud to host more than 30 D.C.-area poets in the theatre’s lobby. Throughout the run, we will share with you the poems that this residency inspired our guests to write. Visit ourPoets are Present page to see a list of upcoming poets.Tony Mancus

Tony Mancus is the author of a handful of chapbooks – most recently Again(st) Membering (Horse Less Press) and City Country (Seattle Review). In 2008, he co-founded Flying Guillotine Press with Sommer Browning, they make small books. He currently works as a technical writer and lives with his wife Shannon and their two yappy cats in Arlington, VA.  http://www.flyingguillotinepress.com/

 

 Over and Under (heard)
with assistance from the surroundings 

By Tony Mancus

|  I am meant to mistake, no longing
|  to act – say the words a din, a yes
|  in crowd unable to parse between
|  sounds
|                                     difference between stand
|                                     by and standby
|                    one gap in the sign
|                                                                                                         The man passing the
|                                                                                                         mop says I got this to smell
|                                                                                                         good.
|
|  If you participate in life the lines
|  will grow anyway.
|              A human crossing words
|              would ask to leave sooner
|              if only
|              realized in the turning
|              around world.
|
|  Just a vacancy –
|  to take the stare away from the eyes
|  not disparage
|  one easy sigh
|  and the sounds like
|                                         the sounds
|                                         like what French farce
|                                         we’ve inherited
|                                         our times.
|
|  For the threats are all we know:
|                                         a sound
|                                         like the alarm
|                                         they are bringing                                  always some strange
|  other to ask around.
|  Questions easy to get drunk.
|  “abstract & brief chronicles”
|  “be well used”             the words that
|                                         ring the room
|
|  “& where did they find you?”
|                                                                                                          always some strange
|  other to drape the room with sound.
|                                         The milking
|                                         and the weight –
|  specific articles
|  some present to be
|                                         I am & no longer
|                                         animal.
|                                                                                                          Always the other strange
|  in sum and total, to know the threat
|  that rings a room.
|
|  To hear a stage, these our (re)actions
|  do not despair, at least there will be
|  lifting in the forecast.
|                                         The house opens
|                                                                                                          always some strange
|  other inside (each of us).
|  Now the words wrap the bare interior
|  “let them be                                         well used”
|                                                                 amusement
|                                                                 for the fire

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