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. He champions the underdog to the melodic rhythms of obscure power pop. His collection, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press) is available through Amazon, as is a chapbook, Memory Marries Desire(Finishing Line Press).
He is a man out of time,
mistaken for an employee
offering service with a smile.
After all, he wears a tie.
To an average outsider
he seems to inhabit the attitude
of necessary obeisance.
But be fooled not
by the cheerful demeanor,
this clever guise
is effective camouflage.
Lurking within, acid thoughts
drip slowly in dark silence,
like conscience unleashed
(the little id that could).
is the greater iceberg,
the clever counter-force
that fuels arguments,
sidles sideways between
fancy diction & jumbled syntax,
on a serpentine path to nowhere.
The surface shows insouciant smirk,
an errant era, a wrong aisle,
a misguided false identity,
a stranger left contemplating
how such blunders occur.
He may not be what he seems,
but right now, he’s no help at all.
Life’s daily terrors:
Life is a culling of fears.
some grown out of,
others grown into.
Faith accepts fear.
When turned inside out,
you are ready to begin.
Proceed with caution,
wise in the knowledge
that only fools are fearless.
Angry men like furious machines
storm the aisles of this political gala,
keen to influence the thinking of others
through argument of brute force.
Disagree and be escorted out
by a show of ignorant bluster
masquerading as pride.
Stubbornness distorted through patriotism
turns ugly in a hurry,
and the crowd mind never hesitates
to feed their borderline distrust,
to challenge the status quo
alongside folly as fear.
This is not an exchange of ideas,
but a show of force and political bullying,
the kind of strong-arm tactics of yore,
when knuckles flew to keep the
weak ones in line, those hoping to find
a minority voice within the larger platform.
It’s a game of numbers, of pandering
and promises, longstanding traditions
that have long since worn down.
The illusion of choice is winnowed down,
Tuesday by Tuesday, state by state.
Hit talking points, recite familiar refrains,
and jingo all the way, guaranteeing anything.
Don’t get bogged down in detail,
polish and shine only last for so long.
It’s a war of attrition,
of subtraction as addition,
where substance gone missing
is par for the course.
Convene and commiserate,
for the contest ahead
doesn’t seem beneficial,
whatever the outcome,
whatever destiny’s fate.
The furious men like angry machines
betray what we already know:
the system is broken
and all the king’s men
may never repair it again.
It was dismal winter
before we met,
embers holding on
for dear life,
stirred into unexpected
pockets of warmth, excitement.
Your body against mine,
defying logic, railing against
While others take flight,
we remain, hard proof
of what once was,
treacherous path taken
and wrestled into submission,
against the happy clamor
of spring birdsong:
lips as lessons,
touch as best defense,
love as means of survival.
He knew he was being taken down,
it was only a matter of time and circumstance.
He could run from it, hide away somewhere,
but what the hell kind of life was that?
His other choice - continue the mission,
follow the fated course, regardless
of inevitable pain and bullets. There was
no going to the police – they knew and chose
to look away – a smirk of a look that said
good riddance to bad rubbish. For now,
even the media had their fill, preferring
deaths over threats any day of the week.
Oratory footage was a challenge, but
an assassination melee was watchable news.
And so legend had it he approached the podium,
trusted prayer book close to his heart, and
began to deliver his message of hope and unity.
Those few present claim his words that afternoon
resonated with the kind of clarity and focus that
only a man at peace could deliver. There was
no extra drama, no desperation, only a sense
of acceptance and understanding. When that
man in the front row stood up and raised his gun,
there were audible gasps from those in the sparse crowd.
In what seemed a frenetic yet slow motion pantomime,
there were screams, people running, and ultimately
a legend of martyrdom born and built up slowly,
to eventually pass down through the ages.