We were the Sun
The musty basement couch was an ugly brown
and the fluorescent lighting poor at best,
but teenage romance adapts to any surroundings.
Tales from Topographic Oceans served as odd choice
for background music, the bells and tinkling percussion
did not suggest love, per se, but hours were spent
listening to repeated plays, kissing until mouths were
sore, groping to explore places that could never
be touched in public. There was passion and innocence,
the two an odd but memorable pairing, even now,
so many decades later. And the irony is that when
the song “Ritual” played its familiar refrain,
“Nous sommes du soleil /we love when we play,”
we were in fact playing at love.
Solo at Midnight
She’s never around
when the lava lamps bubble up
and he’s ready for battle,
plugged in, making vibration
an integral part of the sound.
As that clock counts down to zero,
he plays another ironic solo,
a showering crescendo of notes.
The band-a-thon runs long this year,
twelve bands covering a wide realm
of adolescent angst and rage.
Each millisecond’s song
says, “Listen to my heart.”
His says, “Why have you forsaken me?”
Postcard from the Old Man’s Barn
Can’t take another mention
of the phoebes living in the mailbox,
or the errant few in the rafters above.
The table’s full of antique farm implements
from when the white-haired gent policed the premises.
He was an uneasy man who liked to work alone,
a craftsmen of words, seeking perfection and a legacy;
most agree he achieved both. And now we come here
to appreciate the rousing views of the nearby mountains,
seeking his ghost’s inspiration and guidance
in hopeful sighs hence,
that whatever roads taken (or not) today
might still make a difference overall.
On the shoulders of influence,
your doppelganger stands proudly,
shaking hands, bantering with no hesitation,
braying bon mots that regale eager listeners.
Your old reputation for placid timidity
is promptly disposed, and laid to rest quickly
by this didymous functionary’s mastery
of you, the gestures, the implications,
the idiosyncrasies that comprise and define,
the je ne sais quoi of quixotic whimsy
that charms and delights all takers.
Yet you are more shocked than grateful,
seeing yourself from above, a stranger
plied by alcohol’s magic, working the room
like a visiting hypnotist, reciting short
incantations that may never work on the morrow,
leaving expectations bound to disappoint
come the harsh light of dawn and beyond.
Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, teacher, and music journalist. One of his works was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, another was named “A Notable Online Story” by StorySouth’s Million Writers Award panel. He took part in The Frost Place’s conference on teaching poetry. His work has appeared in 42 Opus, Hobart, Word Riot, Pindeldyboz, Smokelong Quarterly, and elsewhere. Some of his poems will be appearing in upcoming issues of The Compass Rose and StepAway Magazine.