2 poems | Glen Armstrong

Floating in an Above Ground Pool While the Last Pill of Summer Goes About Its Business of Filling my Head with a Gentle Fuckery that Could Be Described, in the Broadest Sense of the Word, as “Anachronistic”
The pill dissolved inside me.

Then I dissolved in the swimming pool
on a sunny suburban afternoon.

Soon, the pool itself will be floating
through the neighborhood’s bloodstream,

and my friend, Judy Robinson,
who owns the pool and this fluffy towel

will return with Indian take-out, maybe.

And I’ll regret, maybe, taking the pill recreationally
because at my age this sort of thing
could stop my heart

or start it up again.

I could see the whole world in a gold

lamé jumpsuit exploding
into unrehearsed song:

Oh please, Papa Smurf,
rise from your pastoral hot tub.

It should probably be enough
that there are other states of mind to be,
like air hockey and love, enjoyed by youth,

but the pill dissolved inside me
and my fingerprints are everywhere.

Rock and Roll Part Seventeen
What starts as a kind word
finishes as a kind of word.

Some homeless poke the rubble
with broken flagpoles
as if searching for Steven Tyler’s
still tiger-skinned
Hey Nonny Nonny.

I always knew it would come to this
for me

but what of my city?

They’ve torn down the stadium
where Aerosmith played.

When I was little
I had m-i-t-t-e-n-s.

Now my h-a-n-d-s
have become mysterious things,

two little yelps in the night.

Please. Thank you. Skyline, if
it wouldn’t be too much trouble,

where am I,
and how did I get here?

The muscle cars have wilted
under some undiagnosed dystrophy.

The blond girls who used to know my name
make eye contact

then turn away ashamed
of the crippled music box dancers

that used to spin
inside their throats.
—–
Glen Armstrong has appeared in Conduit, Juked and Cloudbank. He holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He edits the poetry journal Cruel Garters.

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Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, poetry, and creative nonfiction from marginalized creators.

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