The Bedside Book of Antique Maps


We all fray and tear a bit,

our bodies more

and more like maps


with worn edges,


that crazy serpent that threatened

the world,

now a sketch


threatened by the margin’s

inward drift,


that erosion,

that whole world pushing back

into us.


We now know that eating lemon pie

with a sadist


was a mistake.


Each line we crossed seemed part

of some great voyage

or awakening


or initiation.

We were kids,

for Christ’s sake.


We assumed all hurt

was academic,


a break in the routine and open

for discussion.


How yellow are my teeth?


How monstrous can I get

before you’ll stop

loving me?



A Brief History of Philosophy


The rain comes down. The neon sign outside blinks its otherworldly “VACANCY.” No one notices the snake nest underneath the sign where the hiss of gas through the fabricated glass tube is both a voice of reason and a mistake. It happens this way in any small town where intellectuals meet in secret to compare notes. The rain continues. In the motel’s difficult mirrors, philosophers cut themselves shaving.



She Lives in a Terrible Blue Never


knowing that you and I are taking

a break to smoke and make


tuna salad for lunch.

There is a new juniper branch


therapy. A new ape.

A million new ways


for the world to shame a voice-

over actress into taking


a bigger role.


by Glen Armstrong


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 a new chapbook titled Set List (Bitchin Kitsch,) and two more scheduled for 2015: In Stone and The Most Awkward Silence of All (both Cruel Garters Press.) His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Conduit and Cloudbank.

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