Poems: Glen Armstrong

A Bird in the Hand Can Lead to a General Birdiness

It takes a cold hard tooth.
It takes a villainous continent.

Chickens bake in clay vessels.
There are no birds or answers.

There are no hands.
There are no individual

fingers woven together.
The white girls call it

The pastor called it “love” once

by mistake, out loud
and right in front of everyone.

How to Become a Detective

I read the book. I understood that the world was made of footprints to a greater extent than it was made of feet. I could almost see the shapes of those who had disappeared.

A detective must be fearless. I understood that I needed to go about my business as if I, too, had already lost everything, as if I had no blood or residual feelings for a favorite shirt. There were blanks to fill in and drawers to empty. There were effigies, invisible to the naked eye, that could only be ignited with chalk.
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 new 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.

Submit a comment