Five poems by Gary Glauber


The specter sashays
over cantilevered bridge
in motions serpentine & irregular,
a slubbered dance that,
if witnessed, might reveal
relative inexperience
by silvery moonlight,

In this opal luminescence,
the cemetery garden
seems rinsed of color:
wan, eclectic, otherworldly.
Yet the ghost dances on,
spinning to silent lullaby,
heading gracefully beyond
to the mine’s abandoned adit
where violence occurred
a short year before.

A Halloween dare,
a drunken accident,
a surprised teen
walking while wounded,
draped in toga stained red,
then inexplicably,
like an inner ballerina
set free, twirling en pointe,
as death called the tune.

Now she was back,
a repeat performance,
with ungodly arabesque
& afterworld attitude,
celebrating all
that might have been.

Superman Agonistes

She stands above me,
shouting out ways
of my insignificance,
telling me how I will die.
Her anger is evident.

I was a hero once.
People loved me
even as I loved myself.
Everything seemed possible.
Back then, it was.

Some promises were broken.
Revenge led to travel,
thinking miles smooth out
hasty acts of angry sorcery,
but you can’t escape the past.

New place meant opportunity:
destroyed legacy rebuilt.
I acted swiftly, logically,
currying royal favor
against heavy headwinds.

She was the wild card,
raging fire on dry plain,
enlisting favor from strangers
who’ll never know the full tale.
But then, who ever does?

Her unceasing affection
became its own kind of burden,
one I bore quietly, patiently.
Until I didn’t,
& hell was delivered.

This dark place
is a seabed of complaint,
chaos, devastation, regret.
Life holds no safe harbor
when pride’s poison is revealed.

She rails on,
smug & fast en route
to her next misadventure.
I stay, stigmatized, broken,
redefined as mortal again.

Less Than Less Than Zero

The mistake is in how we believe
we possess all things we love.
In reality, we own nothing
& the challenge is how
to grow comfortable with
startling realizations
within this Sisyphean life.

It is no wonder I am
possessed with an urge
to eat anything & everything
after speaking with her.
That lies with me,
my inability to cope,
having learned instead
to process stress through
steady action of molars & incisors.
In the end, it all becomes
hard to stomach. Another upset.

Blame the tides, the lunar
pull & push, collective angst
surrounding weather incidents,
named storms & anonymous
meteorologists, feeding fears
with hyperbolic hysteria
couched in eloquent data laid out
before ubiquitous green screen.
Prepare. Be safe. Be convinced.

Uncertainty the only absolute,
gyrations of change rumble like thunder,
the spell we are under is cast hither,
yon, asunder, & you push that
monstrous boulder as best you can manage
with torn rotator cuff shoulder,
inch by painful inch. No apothegm
can save us now. So many magical
maxims have left us numbed to
action, markedly mired in inertia,
stuck within muddy thoughts
that fail to create any latter-day hero.
Push harder. Think clearer.
Yet find the subtle irony
in Kierkegaard’s melancholy,
& the prize of that surprise
becomes eternal reward.


This grand war without rules
spells chaotic confusion
broken down to achievable duty.

The boredom so tenuous:
tension lines taut & fragile
awaiting insurgency.

Chopper blades cut heat
leaving scars that still retain
a permanence of memory.

Imagination creeps in,
spilling liquid paranoia,
seeping mental emergency.

Thought’s a viral infection,
basically trained transforms
beyond simple machinery.

Change is palpable,
& fate irreversible,
a hard bit of linear history.

Torture versus timbre,
a survivor’s recourse:
a code of subtle mastery.

In lush exotic locales
live mortar-rigged tunnels
of hello to hellish fantasy.

Losing is relative:
innocence to common sense,
losses mount as misery.

So paint the dappled canopy,
nostalgia caves our cavity
& call this draw a victory:
salute our brave insanity.

Postcard from Nihilon

The arduous journey seems longer yet
blindfolded so as to feel every rut & ramble,
punishment for naiveté outside of time,
thoughts that soared too high too soon.
My reflection resembles yours, my shadow
dances in lockstep with your sorrow.
The cedar smell of the closet,
steely cold of the sharpened knives.
Even saints proclaimed the docile danger
of surety, absolution denied the absolute,
permission granted when lightning forks
to history’s curved horizons, this fact
reassures & unsettles, stirring the bleak sunset
toward imminent midnight, a sterile field
to remind that many go hungry, many more
pray for restitution & revelation, centuries
of hearsay quoted as gospel, proof of nothing
but a world of petty deadly difference.

Gary GlauberGary 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 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. This past summer he read selections from his most recent collection at the 2017 NYC Poetry Festival.

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