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 Poetry Northwest, Conduit and Cloudbank.


Glen Armstrong


No one knows how good.

The wind actually is but it feels.

Good and reminds me.

Of clouds with faces in children’s books.

The window is open.

And so am I.

We could go down.

Town for Mexican-Italian fusion.

Or scour the flea market.

For uranium glass.


No one knows how bad.

The glass actually is but it glows.

Under a black light.

Some of it is pretty.

Dangerous to have around.

It sounds as if it’s going to be.

Another one of those nights.

When some idiot in a suit and tie.

Wants to explain our proud heritage.

While picking our bones clean.

So Listen

Glen Armstrong


There is a world.

So listen.

Wild raindrops moisten the dirt.

A herd of trombonists approaches.

The princess cries.

Out for a bar of soap.

She is naked and laughing hysterically.

So listen.

Every now and again.

One of the balloonists opens.


A burner blast valve.

Or a Calvinist breaks down.

At the jazz festival.

So listen.

I was thinking.

Which is a silent version of talking.

Maybe you and I were meant to be.

We could talk about the weather.

Which is a louder version of thinking.

About everything but the weather.


Glen Armstrong


The bicycle remains absurd.

A consciousness balanced on two wheels.

Like a bear going over the mountain.

The cyclist sees what the cyclist sees.

An oompah band celebrates all.

Returns and departures.

And the rumored young lover.

In the next town over.

Balances being.

And being thought of.


I try to forget as much as possible.

Each morning before I walk.

Around the block to the coffee shop.

The police seem otherwise.


It must be working.

This erasure.

Of the mountain and the bear.

And that melody that centers.

My most meaningless victories.

Scale Model

Glen Armstrong


It was established in the year.

That blue hair became bluer.

A temporary truce.

Between neon and starlight.

Encouraged new nightlife.

I should have paid more attention.

To where I was.

I should have built scale models.

Of the clubs and their stages.

Sooner or later a wind kicks up.


I find myself hunched over.

My best recollection.

Which is pretty much just Popsicle.

Sticks and Elmer’s Glue.

I scribble some blue hair.

Over one of the crude faces.

But these people and places.

Crash to the sidewalk.

I should pay attention.

Maybe I can rebuild this.


Instant Coffee

Glen Armstrong


The window is open.

And it’s getting cold.

I’ve never seen you in shoes.

That old.

Did you get some kind of pet.


Or take up drip painting.

Ala Jackson Pollock?

I would ask you to use your words.

But they obviously now belong.


To a home invader.

Or an overnight guest.

With no last name and amazing eyes.

Let’s get you cleaned up.

I’ll put the kettle on.

And we’ll have instant coffee.

Like a couple of cowboys.

Are you okay or are you so beyond.

Okay that nothing.

Will ever warm you?