Three poems

by Glen Armstrong


Golden Age 3

But flesh cannot bend into fog
just like that,

and the voyeur’s eye explodes
into a million buzzing eyes.

The bather treads water,
but her skin ends up trending.

This is how the world ends:

a naked girl probably
licking frogs,

herself amid the deadwood.

She has some nerve

but nothing to say.
People say

that we should chain her
to the top of a wedding cake
to teach her some shame,
some plastic,

some of the world’s hash

some uglier toes
in shinier shoes.

They say it’s just
not natural.

Golden Age 4

Perhaps sexuality or the post hoc acknowledgement of pleasure does not belong to a so-called Golden Age, but rather to the physical world within which said Golden Age takes place. Phenomena such as breath, fire, rain drops, moistened tips of tongues, plants that thrive in the presence of bigger plants and certain musical tones have a tendency to create a stutter in one’s train of thought, thus, turning a knowledge-based theory into “one hell of a night.” Others have tried to highlight the passage of time as an engine of change. Though the very notion of progress must concede some manner of tick-tick-tick, it is not only germane to the discussion but disgusting to the germaphobe that time can be displaced within a tangle of naked limbs forming a conduit, albeit a closed-circuit conduit, for various bodily fluids.

Golden Age 5

There was breath but little skill.
By the time a worry
could be identified,

it resolved.
Things were more pictorial then.

Our so-called “stations
of the cross” and “guitar solos”
would never had registered
with the villagers,

whose entire notion of being
here or somewhere else
was closer to stirred pudding
or various shades of green.

Our so called “pudding”
and “green”

registered more as steady

from need to fulfillment.

Some parts of her body opened.
Others invited vertigo
by spinning,

with a slow but steady

not felt since.
She wore no clothes.

She was not cold.
The morning breeze, likewise
traveled as if standing still.


Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teachs writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.  He also edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters.



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