Poetry from Gary Glauber

Vacation Adventure

 

Show us the wild kingdom

& let this paid king’s ransom

hold us captive one more day.

 

Let us be owls flying at night,

shouting judgments & formulae,

random truths of sorry subsistence.

 

This is the noise trees make

when no one is there to listen:

curt crunch & crackle

 

of solid dead fall, amazeballs

with a four-star review on

our favorite travel site.

 

Stone fireplace in drafty mansion

stirs the wind of ancestral doom;

we go for a stroll near sunset.

 

Hear our important footfall,

the approach of muffled outrage

through discarded thickets,

 

branches & limbs who lost

when gravity came a’callin’.

Now we all pine for fancy crafts

 

lost to time & tradition,

artisan carpenters of legend

who once whittled soft existence

into heirloom lives worth living.

 

Trick of the Lights

 

Watching you slowly sip espresso

is one of life’s great pleasures

in the curtained dark mahogany

of this bohemian village café,

playing out artistic cliché.

The comfortable silence

of your company

after these many years

of shared lives, jobs,

relationship problems & triumphs,

disillusion, confusion, misplaced

sarcasm as self-protection

against wry new century

is soporific balm, panacea.

You recommend a good podcast;

I write clues on napkins.

Together, we try to figure things out.

Small things are key to survival:

a dark French roast is aromatic win,

another shared victory

of time & persistence

where one plus one is much more

than a pair fighting the uncaring

bright lights of biggest city,

its urban sprawl of fear & loneliness

taking prisoners every moment,

spitting out the defeated

who caved to the struggle

without sharing the misery

in a way that doesn’t merely

love company, but also

provides strength.

 

 

 

New World

 

My student reveals

some online stranger

has offered her forty dollars

for a picture of her tongue.

The screens are up,

and sorry Pandora,

but there’s no logging out,

no signing off from this

global highway where

connections facilitate

judgments by the nanosecond.

Devices thwart agency,

glowing like sideshow mirrors,

presenting images of avatars

in forums where being liked

is the post-modern mecca.

You are whoever in

whatever way possible,

but even more so, yet

there’s no escaping you.

Genuinely modified personas

haunt this alien nation,

a unique brand of connected

isolation, where attention spans

are shrinking alongside

antiquated notions of

what once was privacy.

It’s a visual visceral

celebration of simulated shallow,

first worlders pondering problems

from skewed perspective, programmed

for individual enjoyment,

looking down at lowly collective

as mere historical footnote,

now that fame is cheap

and often inexplicable,

a host of followers

eagerly toasting

the odd as pseudo art,

never bothering to read

updated terms of agreement.

 

 

You Want Wings With That?

 

His guardian angel did not understand the infield fly rule.

His guardian angel was okay with his height.

His guardian angel was really great at reading maps.

His guardian angel had translation abilities, but never flaunted them.

His guardian angel had a winter home in Sedona.

His guardian angel was good with pets and children, to no one’s surprise.

His guardian angel preferred country to jazz, but asked not to be judged for it.

His guardian angel said you can never laugh too much.

His guardian angel said that carbohydrates were the real devil.

His guardian angel confided that angels get a six-pack without having to work at it.

His guardian angel reminded him that even broken clocks are right twice a day.

His guardian angel could never remember the correct set-up for long jokes.

His guardian angel had impressively wavy hair and was naturally photogenic.

His guardian angel did not understand the musical merits of the kazoo.

His guardian angel confirmed that stomachs control human brains.

His guardian angel would never buy a lottery ticket.

His guardian angel knew all the words to Don McLean’s American Pie.

His guardian angel seemed well versed in philosophy.

His guardian angel did not have wings or feathers.

His guardian angel was well traveled.

His guardian angel rooted for the underdog, almost always.

His guardian angel was a generous tipper.

His guardian angel did not think bowling was a sport.

His guardian angel denied having any political affiliation.

His guardian angel recycles.

His guardian angel encouraged an open mind.

His guardian angel was superb at playing Jeopardy.

His guardian angel was possibly a trick of virtual reality, but possibly not.

His guardian angel said to get more sleep.

His guardian angel was not licensed to offer any medical advice.

His guardian angel admitted he had never read “The Satanic Verses.”

His guardian angel was good at harmonies.

His guardian angel was the first to suggest footnotes to David Foster Wallace.

His guardian angel said Nikola Tesla was kind of a wacky genius.

His guardian angel confirmed that we are not alone in this universe.

His guardian angel said reality was less real than believed.

His guardian angel said rating things was overrated.

His guardian angel was against daylight savings time.

His guardian angel said there was always a better way.

His guardian angel would never say what it was.

 

 

Revenge

 

Knowing full well

my outsized fear of germs,

she dares me anyway

to kiss the statue

smack dab on the lips.

Believe me I am tempted

to climb up & plant one

on that cold metal smacker,

but she knows I am shackled by

practicality, tied to common sense

& that refrigerated paradise

where cooler heads prevail.

She shoots me a withering glare,

then smirks & turns away,

strutting her chiseled superiority.

 

A wellspring of shame

with a soupcon of anger

boils over within,

propelling me toward

that monstrous effigy’s

dispassionate head.

She continues to walk,

indifferent, in opposite direction

& I am unsure

she even sees me

throwing caution to

winds of change,

flying in the face of

cold & flu season

without so much

as hand sanitizer

to comfort my nerves.

 

Tomorrow may sneeze

in beleaguered regret,

but today I pucker up,

motivated by desire

to thwart a poisonous attitude

that believes it knows better.

Rebel me makes out with statue,

as if this show of love matters,

& my touch might liberate

a shackled spirit from

its immovable evil spell.

 

Much later I shall learn

to laugh at what transpired

that fateful day

when proving stupidly

how I could manage to be

both happy & alone.

 

Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist.  His works have received multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations.

His two collections, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press) and Worth the Candle (Five Oaks Press) and a chapbook Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press) are available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and directly from the publishers.