Poetry: Glen Armstrong

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 Gartersand has three recent chapbooks: Set List (Bitchin Kitsch), In Stoneand, The Most Awkward Silence of All (both Cruel Garters Press.) His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Conduit and RædLeaf Poetry.

Chronic Town #18

Animals and bother.
Again I try to lather.
My body with the knowledge.
That I lease.
These sensations.
I’m not sure which part.
Of my body.
Needs or deserves the telescope.
If I were you.
I’d be looking down.
Like a floating eye.
On no one.

Epistle to Bizzy

There are still parts of that month
that I can’t recall:
Were the lilac bushes euphoric or simply stoned,
smoking their lavender cigarettes?
Was it the pope’s or Mick Jagger’s
broken, bejeweled wrist watch
that we glimpsed when the hand of fate
briefly swatted the clouds away?
Is “a-lumbering” a word?
Somehow, putting all of my uncertainties
in writing makes them bearable.
Somehow, I go from putter
to proclamation when I write
to the world through you.
A canker sore that blossoms like a flower.
A dandelion seed that soars
through the sky, that runs away from home.
According to reliable sources,
May has been stockpiling butterflies.
Summer is ready to take us down a peg
as soon as the rhythm of the smoke,
the rhythm of the smoke,
clears and returns.

Small Miracles

after Rick Snyder

My snake does not cause acne.
The smiling man at the next hole
laughs at the snake that cries outside
its own body, hoping
to return.
But to tell the difference between
a snake and another snake
takes a snake-like state of mind.
It’s a small miracle,
like differentiating words on a page.
Most anything that happens
on a regular basis is subject to change.

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