Five poems by Robert Margolis


the two boys
dragged danny posner
naked out of the cabin
onto and past a gravel walkway
toward a grassy area
so that the three girls
walking along the dirt road
from the lake
wrapped in towels
their bathing suits and black hair
still dripping
could see him
naked on the grass
as he lay there crying
looking for his eyeglasses
in the damp grass



In the winter they come for you
in their white coats I watch them
move in dark streets their eyes
flickering back and forth against
the pavement where they can’t find me

I am in the shadows at the window

Trees scrape against houses
Branches of trees
Pools of water on sidewalk pond
Cold morning and the smell of coffee

Coffee smells
Scrambled eggs
Home fries
Black coffee

Sitting in the bright light
The sopping of the egg yellow

Naked legs of waitress



When those men hurt
my daddy his eyes left
me alone
as hospital rooms left him alone
and (daddy said)
must believe (in miracles
until our day, our
soda pop sunday)
when, holding hands, we
sang thoughtfully
of dark circles under round
poisoned birds
flying low now,
but before
(said daddy)
we contained M I R A C L E S
or else everyone thought so
many cruel gestures
make me ill to think
this wet tongue
licking so
gracefully might
set me
on fire so
please don’t stop
War Crimes

I wake up. Sound of the rain. Smell of the rain. U.S. surveillance planes overhead rattling the glass.

Somewhere time is a facially ticking lozenge sucking my tongue apart.

Like in 1962 when I was 6 years old a man used his finger to beckon me from a parked car. I had just left grandma’s house. The sidewalks were bereft of shadow, a man in a shiny glass case was whispering come hither. Like a glass-fractured particle of newly minted sun breaking through clouds. Like time stands still. Like Doctor Wolf howling at the moon after my session.

I was leaving the hospital. A man with a glass eye that refracted the light spasmed inside a parked car, howling at the Yes moon on the dashboard, hand over my mouth.

Like when we bombed that other country, where body parts and crying old men dug holes in the welted earth, howling at the moon. Like those pictures on the television nightly news where children run, touching indelible body parts with the refracted glimmer of the tooth fairy, soldiers pressing metallic objects against white fleshy apparitions.

He was waving. I walked to the car. His hands.



Someday the ticking of time, odiferous melody of your hair
Or remnants of black Sunday when daddy touched your hair
Touched you in all those secret places
Unencumbered by its own lost soul
Your childhood drifted
Down past Gristedes’ metallic-framed
Glass-edged windows of rooms
Where skin and its aftermath
Torn apart at vast expanse of water
Broke your heart

Someday clouds its doctor
Pronouncing benediction like small children
Bleating against factories
The air black
Its lungs dead
On the sidewalk
Where we lived
That time

Or else memory
Too soon it’s over
Returning in buses
To brokedown places
Of daddy’s lost hand

You were singing
You remembered
The discordant
Empty framed
Glass houses
Where he sang
You to sleep

Stucco walls
Yellow flowers
Scraped your knee
That time
In hallways
Bending you
In time

Or else daddy
His laughter
Limps past the old house
With its windowless room
With its Doctor Death
With its drifting of statues
Torn at the knee
Saying no

Saying I do
Awake now
He walks
His thin pariah face
Licks your body
All lonely
But still
A sometime thing
A someday thing
* * * * * * * * * * * *

Robert Margolis , a co-editor of frankmatter, is a writer, filmmaker and actor. He co-directed the film “The Definition of Insanity,” and has been the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship. He currently lives in New York City.

One comment on “Five poems by Robert Margolis

  1. Dylan Margolis
    March 12, 2015

    Really Well done… Bravo good sir!

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This entry was posted on October 28, 2014 by in poetry.


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