Random Gentleness of the French

Random Gentleness of the French

A Poem by Liam Rogers

I don’t understand.

Why didn’t you acknowledge the random gentleness

oscillating in that perfect rectangular relationship?

Were you never clear where it was going?


That man took off his eyelids

and sent them to the orphanage.

His generosity will fuel the rodents

that feed the cats

that purr when the children are near.


A self-inflicted wound

fourteen seasons filled with mildew.

Seven thousand muscles

sat flapping in the breeze,

their heavy West side accents

circling around a treetop.


If you review the register,

find your name

and talk about your feelings,

Joe down the street

will name his first born again novel

after you, a man resting in Filipino picture books

and wading through bowls of toxic pudding

with other greasy bowlegged dreamers.


I was comfortable enough

with the way you looked at him,

but when I saw that wink from the side of your eye,

I felt awkward.

I noticed it was bordered by rainbow doilies,

and thoroughly meant for me,

so I continued wishing you were mine again.


My therapists told me

it sounded like you were falling anxiously

out of your element,

always hanging from rooftops dotted by hillsides.

Maybe he needs to talk and not pay attention so obsessively.

Listening to him was like

resting on a flowing sundial

perched on a watchtower

seven paces inside the edge of reality.

Maybe he was right

or maybe he was a bit off.

But what he mentioned sounded fun,

dangling my feet off the crescent moon.


Whether or not you felt compelled to smile

or were just bored enough to not know how to express yourself,

your lips still trembled and quivered

when I told you I loved you.


At that very moment,

finally you became a tenor,

seeing reality for what it was.

Together, we will one day teach you to hate your lovers

and step across groups of country line dancers

painting lunar landscapes on empty barrels once filled with Chardonnay.


We tried personal ads

on empty coffee cans

and inspected individual rolls of hemp twine

all tightly wrapped around a pivotal lens.


Why can’t you be clear and undulate?

Speak to your own friends

about why you always speak unless spoken to

and why your dead man stare

can awaken passed out pub crawlers

deep in the darkest corner.


Do you think it’s hormonal

or do you really wish I was dead?


First time you said that,

I stood on the same watchtower

wondering what it would be like to fly.

I reached out for a last chance

at a morning free of tears

where fetal positions and hot flashes

only happen on television.


I swore to you that I would never

be an unqualified doctor helping patients buy rifles

to find the only known cure for cancer.


But now I know

five times twenty equals one more cup of espresso.


I’ll never forget that day in Central Park

when you got down on one knee

and made a promise to me

that you would never love me again,

an hour and forty five minutes after

a passionate moment

when your eyes rolled back

and you moaned loudly,

drooling from the right side of your mouth.

To think, you watched your own tongue

reach to the back of my throat,

and all you can say is that you

found comfort in the strength to move on.

© 2018 Liam Rogers

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Added on February 28, 2018
Last Updated on February 28, 2018


Liam Rogers
Liam Rogers

New York, NY

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

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A Poem by Liam Rogers