June 20, 2024

4 Poems by Glen Armstrong

4 Poems by Glen Armstrong

*Featured image courtesy of Pexels on Pixabay*

Glen Armstrong has a unique voice and style that leads to some magical lines in his poetry. Check out his four poems down below.

Antonyms for “Blue Grass” 

Has the violin been over-repaired? 

It doesn’t sound  

hillbilly enough. 

And what about my singing voice? 

There are worse ways to earn a dollar. 

I holler  

at my sweetheart the way I holler  

at an animal 

that it’s time to eat. 

Rich folk leave the Met pretending  

their feet do not exist, 

pretending that a God  

they don’t believe in has chosen them 

with a magnet  

tied to a string  

tied to a bamboo fishing pole. 

We invite them to pull up a chair, 

but they are statues 

broken from their bases. 

We offer them bread, 

but their bellies are solid  

gold brass. 

Antonyms for “Now” 

The new system is a continuation  

of the old, 

but even fewer of us recognize 

specific birdsongs  

at sunrise 

or know the names of melodies 

written before we were born. 

History is no longer taught. 

The therapist accuses me  

of being hung up on the past. 

The new-age guru wants me 

to live in the moment. 

I am dating a Russian spy. 

The new espionage  

is a continuation of the old. 

The new music, 

the new prostitution, the new foreword 

to the book that isn’t 

a book so much as flickering 

flame near a body of water 

that I can escape to . . . 

it all continues. 

Antonyms for “Old Hat” 

A swarm of bees pauses 

at the window 

as a pianist and his dance band 

take the tiny stage 

wearing pyramids for hats. 

Their song starts like an egg, 

breaking open and explores 

its surroundings in a manner  

equal parts majestic and naive. 

The swarm of bees 

wants to buy me a drink. 

My drink pauses in its glass 

waiting for rain, 

waiting for ice to melt. 

This world has been too intense 

as of late. 

Too many pale riders on out- 

of-focus white horses 

know my drink’s reputation 

for renewal and melancholy.  

Antonyms for “Prom Date” 

She regretted what she said 

and wore 

even as she said and wore it.  

She wished the English 

language would catch  

on a poorly hammered nail 

and tear itself open trying 

to escape, 

reveal itself all at once, 

expose itself equally 

to those who would mock 

and those standing silent 

with conceptual empathy. 

She had misrepresented herself 

to these people who put too much  

faith in carpenters, 

who moved their bodies  

a million different ways 

without ever achieving dance. 

Glen Armstrong (he/him) holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters. His poems have appeared in Conduit, Poetry Northwest, and Another Chicago Magazine.   

#Dance#fiction#Glen Armstrong#poetry#Singing

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