Tamas Panitz: two new poems from 'The House of the Devil'

with a note on Lunar Chandelier Collective

It is not enough to remember

                                                            R.K. — The Loom


There’s more to memory than the branches

there is more than the clearing

such as only a clearing could conceal

I forgot to turn the mirror off

hence the propaedeutic blonde spider

of Le Pendu comes to mind

suffering offering frightening

at the gates of childhood

ready to reverse the Bar Mitzvah

a spider blonde enough to try

to match a verb beyond

the thresholds of the sentence

he guards as a premonition

of my lover’s presence.

I hold the spider in my hands

and watch it grow lovelier.

It is not enough to remember.

One must assume the posture and features

to view the behavior

assume peculiar management

one must remember nothing

the leaves of a tree that isn’t there

opportunistic goals

that back down when you stare

a persistence and not a presence

but in this absence a presence

as if leaves were only a presentiment

awkward answers I hold close

it is not enough to remember

without that willful release

where the winds of the heart blow

in the absence of memory

down its footholds, not for us but to us

the lover yearns through and beyond love

a revery sheds its leaves

in undivided purposiveness

I remember nothing

in the absence of memory the leaves flash.





The sun paused

for successive nights of pleasure.

Pleasure dominates time.

Time’s provenance

in dalliance lingers.



An Egyptian goddess

I can’t remember who

climbs up the stairs

it’s all in the cup

the balance of her

everything we touch knows that.



Allergens waft in

at night. The house

opens against me.

I open against me.

Remember this

when I come to your door.



An oil

smooth as stone

as wild

storms from the wood.



I chase sunlight

across the room

the way water seeks a level.

Any law is preferable to reason:

release your facts into the wild.



Don’t know what’s next.

Get rid of logic

the fortune telling

those gorgios still believe in.



I sleep, but never

at night. This small

sun of prayer.



Pull the light out

one ray at a time.

This is the crown of thorns,

radiance of self-control

owls love to land on.



Water flows through

the air, white noise

whispers from the sides

of its palette:

between, between,

the salmon up their ladder leap.




what you can’t accept.

Rain. And more rain. And more.



Matter is everything that says yes

accrues qualities

theories, gods.

So it is a body

like ours that cannot lie.



I will tell you less

than you have ever known.



Blue birds make a harpsichord.


The golden leaves

have returned.

The golden leaves

do not fall.



If you lie

but you’re not sure why

then it’s not a lie.



Chamomile and ambergris.

Rare fragrance over

from the shore of sleep,

roses bred for smell

that cannot be seen.



Morning rushes to meet

the smallest bird

impulse that will press

the pen or hex,

morning as various demons

built to suit.

Technology is their language.



Ask what it knows

and it will see you, and you will see

others who want to be seen.

Perseus I sat

on the stone and left

sore, thinking of gorgons,

the enemy is already within.



Reading to yourself

so I can hear.



Cricket drone

without saliva

without the white blooms of water.


Insects guard the door to the vowel’s flowers

treasure too soft to touch.



I bob in the salt bath

evenly with the invisible.



Language can’t forget.

A trail of hungry ghosts.



Try to notice nothing

tame the nameless ones.



The animal cures

as mesmerists showed,

down through Reich.

Break up the family,

release the gods.



Waves of letters

in the fluid pull of spelling

I follow in a glamor

run with cats and dogs

down the narrow street.

The doctor who was also a zombie.



You write this

when I hear you listen.



Green arrogance green

scepter of the Hidden Hand

that sends concept

to steer my thought.


Syncretism is free labor.



Fragments are the creation

thrashing of the dead

who lead us in the dance.



Never asserted but reasserted.

Listen and it gets louder.



Structure shorn of its resemblance,

a haunted cave of thought

amid the sea of resemblance.



Die Farbenlehre, Color Theory

impracticable principles

that cannot not be true.

Science as ritual.



In our old-timey daliance

we’d watch the waves of magnetism

undulant machine to which

spirits and such as ourselves are drawn.

Be very very quiet, and

something always comes.



What you notice

makes you visible.

Mind and seeming.



The poem admires symmetries

alchemy believes in them.



An arc of days, deer, years,

some counted and some not.

An apartment building

its rooms tuned

as Lamont Young pointed out.

I lose the object and

gladly mingle

hearts and rooms and guests, caress,


lustrous for others.



[EDITOR’S NOTE. To point out that the poetry, while sufficient in itself, is of interest too for the circumstances of its coming publication, under the auspices of Lunar Chandelier Collective (LCC), a self-defined community of younger poets largely quartered in the Hudson valley of New York and with close ties to Robert Kelly and others of his generation and mine among those sharing publication. Writes Panitz, as cofounder of the collective and the press: “LCC is a living entity that represents to some extent a work in common, a work brought about by individual labors that reports something ‘outside’ of us, that we praise together, steal from, return to. My work with LCC is a matter of working with what I consider to be viable paths of inquiry. I suppose I have not been able to shake a certain Renaissance penchant for truth. I’m always after it, though my vision of it is totally and purposefully subjective, and I don’t find it necessary to believe myself.” 


The realization thereby of a “work in common” answers the ambition of many of us over the decades and with some hope too for the times to come. (J.R.)]