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Tangorino - Bryan Murphy

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In this city of style,
entranced with appearances,
ashamed of its industry,
apologetic of its intellect,
a mask is no mere Carnival.

Below the ordered streets
of this city, this isle,
tango reverberates in clubs and bars,
drives solid citizens to dance, inspired,
to slip into a mask, entranced,

to move, formal, sensual,
further, deeper into their role,
as in mystical, magical Africa,
until the mask becomes the dancer,
the dancer becomes the mask.

Then barrios of Buenos Aires,
and the remotest villages of Benin,
mingle below the frosted, hostile streets
of Turin, city of style.

At last, the moment comes
to exit the dance,
cast off the mask,
become oneself anew.

Relinquished personas evaporate,
yet other masks remain,
set upon the faces, bodies,
they have possessed, enhanced.

Released, the dancers step up,
uneasy, beguiled, well dressed,
into the icy, normal streets
of this city of style.


Bryan Murphy saw the world as a language teacher before settling in Turin, Italy, where he works as a translator. In the last couple of years, his poems have appeared widely on the Internet and occasionally in print.

He has published other poems at this site: Under The Dragon's Eye and Out of Season.

Notice © 2001 IP and the author

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