A Poem by Liam Rogers

“a mother skunk with her column of kittens swills the garbage pail”  - Robert  Lowell


An orange peel, a box of buttons, shoes in the closet that have lost their feet

The blinds hang crooked

The dust is in the window screen forever

A small dog’s sachet

Underneath and behind your boxers in the drawer.


A still life and I

Like Magritte with my back turned

Planned to be a picture of a picture of

A picture of myself


Flip the pages of the coffee table book

Look for the burlap bag

and the date of their silent passing

Bring me around to the discussion

 Or tell me with your hands making shadow puppets on the wall


I open your refrigerator

Dim night light and shadows

Bottles in a cold box

My eyes glassy

The air is quiet

I keep looking out the window

At the tire tracks in the snow on your driveway.


I’ve thought of myself as a skunk for so long

Every light is a headlight.


Before I left I sprayed my cologne on your pillow.

I checked that all the lights were off, all the doors were open

And all the cigarettes were out on the garage floor.


If Magritte had turned around,

Whose face would he have seen?

There’s more than facelessness in that silhouette.

A back turned like that

Forever recorded and framed and hanging

Under museum accent lighting

Is a back turned to the world.

Back turned to the river, to the burlap sack,

Turned to the orange peel, the dog collar,

The mother skunk, the skunk kittens,

The buttons, the blinds, and the shoes…


Rilke wrote “who has turned us around like this

So that we are forever leaving”.

Magritte must then have felt

Forever leaving.


You have the voice of the ocean

With you I am the light of the moon.


F**k museums, f**k still lifes,

F**k tragedies, let them rot in their own symbolism

There are tides to be had

And lives to be lived

And it’s not always, not every single time,

All about leaving.

© 2015 Liam Rogers

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Added on January 10, 2015
Last Updated on January 10, 2015


Liam Rogers
Liam Rogers

New York, NY

I am a poet, playwright, screenwriter, and journalist who runs a little publishing company. more..