Posted by on January 7, 2017

Poetry by Glen Armstrong

Written by Glen Armstrong

Photography by Sean Rodgers

March 20, 2016

Political Poem for Garrison Keillor

If no one is conquering evil,

I give up.

If no one is showing his rosebud or doodlebug to the devil,

I’ll at least stand vigil

between the entrance of the 7-11

and its dark green dumpster.


Every now and then a chicken is born

with a human face,

a bicycle thief leaves a smear of chocolate frosting

on the rusty hacksaw blade,

dinner never makes it to the table.

We all sit in the parlor until three a.m.

wishing we had a machine

to make something useful out of our voices.


If I’m not talking,

it’s not that I don’t know what Virge did to Lucinda

last Halloween after the hay ride.

If I’m not talking,

it’s not that I’m embarrassed about the gold tooth

Doc Stannard hooked me up with

after the root canal.

If I’m not talking,

it’s not that I’m not plotting revenge

or whispering angry love poems in a voice so soft

and deep that it merely massages my gums.

Three Poems by Glen Armstrong & Sean Rodgers

The farmers never eat a chicken like that,

and they never let it reproduce.

It lives out its life in a separate coop.

Children ask it questions.


A tooth like that is worth more than gold.

It’s neither legal nor tender.

Instead Zeppelin


No bodies.

The musicians hide in giant

Mardi Gras papier-mâché.


Their arms poke out the cheeks.

It’s hard to find the frets.



They all dress

like Jed Clampett.


They bring Flatt and Scruggs

on stage to play “Going to California.”


The most popular and controversial

of all the Instead Zeppelins,

this all-female tribute band


wears nighties,

has pillow fights.



A volunteer from the audience

pulls a loose thread


on “Jimmy’s” poppy suit.


While they play,

the band slowly unravels.

Slash for the Capital #20

Strange adults make

prosthetic limbs, “just in case.”

Strange children


make asymmetrical animals

out of clay. The extra legs that

strange adults make,


no doubt, inform

the aesthetic choices of their

strange children.


We all engage the world

partially formed, but the choices

strange adults make


when reconciling internal

reach and grasp strike others as

strange. Children


can’t help but laugh and point.

To their parents, it’s just nature:

strange adults make

strange children.