Ben Mazer

Untitled | Matinee 
September 11, 2014 Mazer Ben



To dream a world on a hunk of shade,

throw back the schedule of the maid,

and meditate in bedsheets, dim

where the morning light is slim,

studying objects that recall

the continents to a hand held ball,

tracing out rivers with calipers,

shadows in brambles the spider endures,

contemplate a bit of repartee

one brought back home from foreign stay,

and leave the rose-scented soap untouched,

receiving callers, breathless and flushed,

is only to follow the organized plan

of the modern, ecclesiastic man,

forwarding goodness by intuition,

measurement, calculus, and division,

exercising divine revision

with a maximum of precision.

Why then does this one find no words

to trace the motion of the birds,

unsettling up from the garden rose,

sipping and sampling the gardener’s hose,

and what is it, finally, that this one knows?

Only the music that is exquisite,

as ladies come calling on Sunday visit,

best in their finery like latest news,

veritable aviaries of Paris views,

shaded in quarantine, oblong, obscure,

but for all that he lacks, spanking bright demure.

It rises to tree tops and looks over steeples,

and though misanthropic of many peoples,

its harmonic strains cut with tenderness through

the shroud of his sick bed and his universe too.





The curtain rose

on one of a million shows

the lights down dim

the crowd all in

from afternoon rain

the great ceiling’s stain

spread like a grin

the chandeliers and velvet trim

lost in the dark that the eyes settled in


The picture came on

azure and sudden

like a deep sea

or a terrible sky

over the mountains


crackling with thunder

the motes of the eyes

jerky scratch of a flaw

as we waited with awe

for the drama to begin

as we forgot our skin


And then booming voices

eased us in

and the story began

and the camera began

to travel and pan

over lush settings

and characters’ plottings


over appearances

quick to endearances

lost in our trances

of Englands and Frances


or under the sea

where the octopus

scary and ravenous

frightened the hero

of our own mind’s zero

or the brutal queen

killed again and again

while the sweet princess

attracted honest princes


down some byway

or disappearing highway

into residences

like mazes

of hidden lives

with other strifes

lost on a journey

not knowing when return will be

or if gone forever

and coming back never


Then exhausted, revived

and radiant with life

as the lights came on

to the afternoon’s dawn

in the old dark theatre

life the great repeater

awoke the 400 seater

who rose in unison

and put their coats on


In the afternoon

by the cobblestones’ gloom

with the darkened alleys

and the little shops

all glass and anonymous

overcast and synonymous

with what we had seen

with where we had been

and where the world goes

the afternoon rose

like a rainy dawn

and we moved on

and we saw no one

and we were alone


and the roofs were wet

and our dreams were in bed


And perhaps our mother

was the other

to whom the Holy Ghost

had played host


Ben Mazer’s most recent collection of poems is New Poems (Pen & Anvil). He is the Editor of the Battersea Review.