Pixels

Time is short and change

obscures the sunrise making it

difficult to pin down

like a swarm of hummingbirds

come to suck the color red

from the landscape

a pixel at a time.

My neighbors encourage such destruction

with their feeders full of nectar.

I’m sure I do things

 

that irritate them as well.

I went through a spell,

for example, where I drank

my morning coffee on the front porch

in my robe.

I’m starting to think about night

as a respite from cars

and the youth who want them

and morning as a paint-

by-numbers canvas.

 

 * 

 

Tech Support

She suggests I reinstall it.

She hums “Misirlou”

as she turns the pages

of her script.

She says that a hard drive

is like a caged Alaskan snow crab.

She tells me about a boy

she once loved.

I start to care less and less

about the gray rectangle

 

on the screen that fills

and then refills.

When she says that the call

may be monitored,

I feel like a secret agent

and then a secret agent with nothing

clever to say.

She suggests that nothing

ever truly dies because its energy

is part of that which always listens.

 

 

 * 

Getting Real

If you are real,

it is not my fault.

The same goes for alt rock’s

tendency toward sad teenage phenomena.

I would just as soon be

some other being’s delusion

or listen to music about trees

and dust and paper

airplanes.

The distinction

 

between being real and striking

a stance meant to make

reality seem real is clear enough

tonight

as a dying streetlight

flickers like a stroboscopic device

in a dance club

where the slowing bodies

can neither be easily

counted nor accountable.

 

 

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 recent 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.