frankmatter

Time Suite. poem by Robert Margolis

Time Suite

1. Cadenza

I have seen the incipient membrane of cities
The weltered contagion
The wending of shadows
The black night of stars
Shimmying indelicately
Memory lisping its sorry song

Have seen cadavers
Marching through cities
Blind figurines
Fingers of children
Whose cripples are empty

Have seen the skin of children
Limping through the old house
Saying “mother”

Have seen men in black dresses
Confabulate indecorously within the catacomb of song
The contiguous melancholy of buildings
Faces pressed against glass

Singing OOOOO
Singing OOOOO

Have seen bereft in Beirut
The transmogrified silence of statues
Women cloaked in diaphanous crusts
Mouths sewn shut

The sorry spectacle of Jack & Jill
Clambering up the hill

I was once encumbered by silence
Messianic whispers
Whimpering inconsolably
Among children
Digging welts in the frozen earth
Sifting through waist-high debris
Configuring remnants
Of black time
The ticking solstice
Of your eyes
Catacombs bereft of time
Where we walked
Our hands knotted
Fists against face
Mother’s grey hair
Flailing against time

We are emergent in time
The perpendicular axis
Weaving its insomnia
Meticulously, rending
Its hole face of scars
Its bereft soup kitchens
Its men gimping feverishly
Its women writhing on forks
Its cats & dogs mewling teeth
Its quiescent bacterium
Its stinking impermanence

Everyone loses in time
Everyone says time is a virus
Your mama says so
R u dying?

We are rudderless time

I remember that trip
A summer in August
The roar of the river
As we groped with our oars
You in the bow, your black hair
Streaming against the white sun
The river flecked with stones
Our shadows flickering
Impaled by the moon

And then it was autumn
Smashed by stink breath
I altered the tone of my hatred
To suit your black sun
Awake in neon nighties

In the middle of despair
Is the vernacular

2. Coronation: Summer, 1968

Morning time, a window
Opens nonchalantly exuberant
The hospital seems far away
Altered by time’s déjà vu
Ringed by time
The bells chanting time

Grass breaks through concrete
The wires meld with unfurnished rooms
Whose documented silence
Sings with the echo of ponged balls
Bounding on wooden tables,
Sorcerers chant
“The wicked thimble of Thumbelina”
Plastic slipcovers
Mound the dead furniture

Unbounded by them, the I sings
And leaps to its death
Liberating the singed Self
To soar, awake
Among the ruins of time

Time is ticking
And yet as a tick
It flies and bites
Through tongues
Wept throngs of mass indifference
Murmuring their murderous songs

Under the breath of god
We sing our own song
Catapulting the divine scent
Of tree and flower and field
A child’s white legs
Flash in the sun

Eclipsing silence
Eclipsing madness
Eclipsing the overmuch torn remnants
Where childhood lurks
Stinking its paws against
The furtive smiles
And tiny trains
Of a boy
Who would be king

_________________

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.

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This entry was posted on February 19, 2015 by in poetry.

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