Glen Armstrong

  Prop Master 
 
 
When I hide behind the curtain,
I am
 
not hiding in the conventional
sense.
 
I am working behind the scenes
and hiding
 
my feelings for you.
Red light
 
shines on a clapboard
army.
 
There is no huddle of young women
awaiting
 
their return,
 
flat and crudely painted when considered
up close.
 
I have nearly forgotten the relationship
of prop
 
to property.
 
The plastic flowers are lovely
but not
 
mine to give away.
 
 
 
Estate Sale
 
 
His heirs want top dollar.
They remember
 
when this forbidden junk
summoned them, shooting sparks
 
like candy with a lit fuse,
like a weapon whispered
 
into existence by an older
boy with sideburns.
 
They can’t see that the kingdom
they were promised
 
stopped shooting sparks long before
the old man’s heart.
 
A John Wayne collector plate,
a complete set of moon
 
landing juice glasses
abandoned, all brown horses,
 
ran out of rocket fuel
years ago.
 
These are shells, nebulous
and stretched across the sky,
 
just firm enough to collect dust.
These are souvenirs
 
from a country whose once proud
borders have receded
 
to these two tables.
 

 
Zorine, Queen of the Nudists #4
 
 
It may be a strange little egg.
It may be black dye or the unreal
in a work of art that seeps
through while the artist
 
allows her trance its say.
It may be the brain injury
sustained by tumbling dice
or the nice breeze at once
 
a permission and questioning
that any permission is needed.
Ms. Now and Mr. Soon swap bodies
just as sure as if some mad
 
doctor had seduced them
with imaginary science. 
 


 

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 two new chapbooks: Simpler Times and Staring Down Miracles. His work has appeared in Poetry NorthwestConduit, and Cream City Review.

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