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Glen Armstrong

Micropoetry
by Glen Armstrong

Hero

If nothing else, the hero
keeps his gear clean

and well oiled.
He dresses well into old

age, and signs his name
with two bold lines,

one a ramp and one
an omega.

The broken records,
broken bones, broken

songs and increasingly
brittle heart

reclaim their rhythm
when he smiles.

The world does its crooked
dance and turns

back to its seasons.
The skies come and go,

and he belongs to the world.

 

 

Lester Bangs Theory

Fondled by the big city.

Its glory:
sarcastically confirmed
by the t-shirt.

I bought futures in the hurt

feelings still incubating
in caves and cave-like spaces.
Some shadows

were having a hell
of a time.

Some churches in the background, of course,
held demonstrations with rhetoric
as “in your face”

as that of the MC5’s.

Most of the news was something other
than news, something other

than a bold new start.

 

Lucky Coin

It is easy enough to mock a superstitious old man. I study the treetops, and watch the geckos warm themselves on rocks for hours. Things yet to transpire undress in front of me, like beautiful young ladies who have seen far too much or far too little of the world. They know that I’m no threat, that I’ll sit for one more refill looking up from my paperback approvingly but not very often. There’s a soft spot in reality. Think of it as intuition. Think of it as a newborn’s head. Once it hardens, it should not be spent.

Say what you will, at least half of my “special feelings” pan out.

 

 

Midsummer XI

Something has washed its feet
In my Diet Coke

Something sparkles and drowns
As if surrendering
To a need so ancient

That dream is the only name
We can offer it

For now at least

In that smoky realm only hinted at
By manhole covers releasing
Otherworldly steam

Dreams cannot be bought
Sold / previewed / advertised

There must be something between the screen
And projection booth

Skin and love
Showtimes and ticket sales

Unreal enough to undo
All expectations.

 

 

The Bedside Book of Striped Shirts in Elmore Leonard Novels

Well, there was a woman
who was more or less a coyote

and a car that kept breaking down,

a renowned pimp who limped
away from his pimpdom

and a detective (played
by the late George Plimpton,)
who worked on his memoir
late at night.

I knew the sound of my own voice,
but had to check whether
or not the small brown cigarettes

were technically cigarillos.


Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters and has three recent chapbooks: Set List (Bitchin Kitsch,) In Stone and The Most Awkward Silence of All (both Cruel Garters Press.) His work has appeared in BlazeVOX, Conduit and Yellow Chair Review.