Saturday, August 29, 2015

Glen Armstrong- Three Poems

Chicken Little Syndrome

There are certain lines
and buildings

too big to be trusted,
certain gifts too Trojan,

too equine.
My mind seems dignified

until I open it.
The western expansion is fraught

with many dangers.
The ancients teach in riddles:

wool is to milk
as silk is to semen.

Those who witness
my arrival are surprised

that I didn’t fall
from myself.

We all hang tight.
As above, soon below.

Trouble Every Day - L.

Another hill awaits another
            Boot another foot

The wholeness only
            Prosthetics can restore

We never speak of great
            And terrible deeds
            As we eat takeout

But I prime my face for arrows

The sparrows / jays / robins
            Morning doves / cardinals

            Attack the worm
            To warm their bellies

Beat each other down
            To attack the worm

The garden seems serene
            But if

            Plants could scream

The garden gnomes would crack
            Under their burden

We never hear the beak / talon
            Mandible / invasive species
            Choking off the sprout

I listen as the plastic

            Of their wholeness
            And resolve.

Figures / Figurines

Fan fiction is all about the proper nouns, a celebration of the individual, fictive fist. Each knuckle seems to progress with its own needs and history.

I remember each slight but forget the names of lovers.

A display shelf with odd figurines.

Consider Halloween as set in motion by baby boomers in a densely populated suburb circa 1962: porch lights document the ebb and flow of characters from popular culture and those that resonate with a sturdier sense of tradition.

A mouse takes its pants off. A princess sleeps in a tree.

Maybe a child gives the faceless wooden doll a name; maybe she adds tooth marks to its head.

I need to continue: no story, only sway.

Consider an elaborate fantasy world: nameless, curious figues press their faces and limbs from castles or forests for an adventure that reads like summer breeze.

Consider a lover who arrives naked with smudges of soot on her face and belly: (How she got here, I can't say.) In the morning, in her place, a basket of clean towels.

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 new chapbooks: Set List (Bitchin Kitsch,) In Stone and The Most Awkward Silence of All (both Cruel Garters Press.) His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Conduit and Cloudbank.


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