John Tansey

Rookie - 488 Points (June 4th,1961...Gemini / Bronx, New York)

Marriage...A Tragedy In Two Acts - Poem by John Tansey

It was not your presence,
rather its absence
when in the theater
whispering to you
how good the play was
snapped shut, like a mussel,

leaning away.
No good actor like they upon the stage,
you could not feign
nor mask your feelings enough
to even laugh.

Rather, looking for a que,
forget your lines
as your voice dropped…
and out dribbled
the terrible silence
of your act of love that flopped.

Reaching for your hand,
five fingers scampering away
into your pocket
like a crab to its shell,
I was speechless, forgot my lines.

And there we sat,
two sad mimes,
staring at our play
of life,
both, standing in the wings,
with bit parts and nothing to say.


In bed, a kiss
neither wet, nor passionate,
no tongue, nor lips…
we pecked, like birds
at the hard shell
of our roles cast in marriage.

Your caress;
not the grip of one
holding dear for her life,
but rather of letting go;
more formality than bliss
in the absence, of which,

Either lip, eye or finger
or the sensuality of taste, sight or touch
could not prop up a lie,
even a gentle white one
to pretend, act or defy

this final act…
of our death scene,
with heads bowed,
and without applause,
I drew the curtain,
bowed, said goodnight,
and turned the house lights out.

Comments about Marriage...A Tragedy In Two Acts by John Tansey

  • (3/22/2007 3:16:00 PM)

    Intriguing, well written. I'm inclined to agree you might have two poems here but the closing lines complete the 'marriage' well enough to overcome discomfort. Rgds, Ivan (Report)Reply

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  • (3/22/2007 1:16:00 PM)

    fantastic, John. especially the first act. you could probably cut the whole second act; the first stands firmly on its own. is it coincidence that the metaphors you used to describe the wife in this poem were likened to seafood? you've got my attention...


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, March 22, 2007

Poem Edited: Saturday, February 5, 2011

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