Alex M. Frankel
A book, finally! It’s called Birth Mother Mercy. I hope you can come on December 8, 2013 for the book launch. These are poems collected from the last ten years in a beautiful edition from Lummox Press.

“Days and nights in Los Angeles, roots tugged out, wrung out, chatrooms, classrooms, malls, toilets, Help Wanted at the 7-Eleven, elusive boys, “urgent hunger,” the American 20th century, loneliness and betrayal—these poems have begun to haunt me. Alex M. Frankel sings in a register almost beyond hearing, the pain is so keen, the writing so fine.”  —Alicia Ostriker

Respect for His Glasses, One Year Later

My father’s heavy
old enormous glasses
just as flabbergasted as I am
are still trying to get by
without him
alongside his adding machine
and his cufflinks
Defenseless glasses—
if I wanted to
I could pet them
I could squeeze them
or hand them to a homeless person
I could set them on a 78 turntable
and have them go crazy to Glenn Miller
I could put his glasses in an Osterizer
dunk them in Lake Berryessa
or Lake Merced
I could lick them or kick them
put them on a hooker
eyeglasses without a future
I could dye them violet or bite them
or break them in two. . .
He must be groping frantic in his night
these are glasses built for banks and business
the Ritz Carlton and Trader Vic’s
glasses for bringing up a son
big bold glasses
   
If I try to look through them
they think against me
and I’m swimming
in a nervousness of father lore / father love
hear old shouting and shouting

What kind of world did he see?

Maybe if I stare at them
long enough
I’ll figure out where he’s gone
because in them I catch relics
of skin     eyelashes       eye
father me now
even with your last face
the one trampled with age
strong frail father
who raged against my manners    
and my mess

I hid behind a mausoleum
and watched young men dig
then I peered
below the boards
at that sick space
(eighty-nine is too young!)
dark and forever and lonesome down there
impossible
for a father to breathe

The years will be here for a while
and these glasses without a future
              my inheritance    my gold
—tired of dining around—
just go on pondering without a future

I look at them
and they look out
for me



2013 Alex M. Frankel
Alex M. Frankel was a Featured Poet who read his poetry at the December 2009 Second Sunday Poetry Series