Thirty seconds turns to thirty years:

crying in the rain,

looking for a cab uptown.

Moods of books read infect you;

storefronts and colored signs

provide clues for body and mind

through thoughts abraded by absence

and that pair of white travel pants.

Ambition has gone the way of consequence.

The poetic possibility of these many years

goes unrealized, thwarted by assumptions,

frustrated by excitement and the inexact

mercurial nature of words.

Beauty and doubt coexist

and when I tell you, “Never change,”

it is clear you already have.

There is no cause for grief here.

You assure me this is the natural progression.

Simple turns complex and agitated.

Even a walk in the park

seems cursed with careful orchestration.

You catalog my weaknesses

as if to defy how time brings change,

yet the real gift goes unspoken,

captured in our tired embrace,

hugging for a moment longer,

a firm defense against

this inevitable passage of years.



Closed eyes convey

a silent language

amidst fevered dreams

of ecstasy and dread.

Distant chimes signify

a mad struggle,

an involuntary insult,

a reneged promise

in a land of familiar mystery.

The trial of morning

brings clinging belief

with clarity akin

to a glacier’s blue ice.

Beauty is maintained

with whispers, a feathered touch,

and thoughts of kisses.

Passion’s sweet vision

teeters on uneven edge

of fashionable tolerance,

a realm of hope and hunger

made more abstract

with each passing moment.

Venus swirls and forgives

wrong thoughts

in lieu of passing virility.

Certainty flies like ephemera

on rapacious tendrils of

unexpected wind,

softly knocking,

a noise of sensual irritation.

Let lost innocence recover

though a turbulent maelstrom

masquerading as sleep.


On Fleek

We roam far out of our way,

preserving illusions of independence.

We debate what’s normal

but fear becoming that cliché.

We pick up cues, lay down buzzwords

like seeds in springtime.

Dark and bizarre, odd souls

smart enough to make scammers hesitate

before unveiling the tired charade

of being robbed so far from home,

tragic, beyond tragic,

hubris and a portfolio of flaws,

we sigh politely, and silently post

another ironic Instagram,

making do with what we have.

Here is freedom.

This is our empty veranda,

these the retro porch chairs,

here we meander off the trail,

holding collective breaths,

awaiting the distant shimmer

of that gilded glowing epiphany,

realization as event,

visual proof of feelings felt,

lives lived in six-second increments,

our postmodern legacy.



For months she studied fusty phrases of the ancients,

thinking it might confer on her some apocryphal wisdom,

or at the very least a catalyst to activate his interest.

It was a futile exercise in so many ways. No fancy patois

could sway that gadabout from his inattentive ways,

flitting from callow interns to the crazy ladies on thirty-one.

There was no happy hour strategy to invoke rehabilitation,

no way into the inner recesses of his heart and mind.

She was invisible to him, a dilatory bird forced to settle

for merely hearing about others’ worms, yet insisting on

foisting herself upon the mercies of his sad whimsy

day after day, on an escalator ride to nowhere, waiting

on tenterhooks and decent health insurance, looking

for portents of love in a strangely changed world.



I touch her chin as if it’s on fire, off limits

to sense perceptions. She leads me here, astray,

visualized secrets turned wistful reality.

Disaster can start with innocent hug, a need, a quest

like a wound, sweet words twisted like pretzels

to fill voids of fantasy, fears of growing old alone.

Nothing seems real, like college once again,

painful yearnings revealed, a frostbite of heart.

She undoes buttons easily, a practiced pretender.

The season is tinged with pleasure like ashen memories,

Paris cafes and sweet syncopated jazz, thrills

of everything wrong somehow crashing together as art.

You refuse to acknowledge the end implied by this beginning,

limits imposed on this descent into hell, the concentric

blame emanating from between the glory of silent moans.

Drunk in the temporary belief that this holiday

grants total abandon, rules are cast to polar winds,

hand slides up skirt, invisible intruder, willfully ignored.

Beauty is proclaimed on a sliding scale, approvals sought

like a waiter’s dutiful order taken, an assumption that

fine food will arrive according to fancies spoken aloud.

It’s a transfer of power, of odd misguided reflections,

a staircase that leads nowhere and the strange pity

of those who deserve even stranger pity themselves.

This is no story to share with someday grandchildren:

embarrassing headline, the play on words that ends

with senseless second act and short requiem after.

It’s an argument of brilliant expectations unmet,

music smothered in breast’s cushioned muffle

while adolescent dreams are softly laid to rest.

Dreams removed at the corner ATM, twenty at a time,

and all that’s to show for it is this small piece of paper

that reminds of hidden value, of all that’s been lost.


GG Headshot - June  2016

***Gary 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 collection, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press) is available through Amazon, as is a chapbook, Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press).***

One Reply to “Poems- by Gary Glauber”

  1. Gary, as always, your work never fails to evoke emotional responses within. I enjoyed them all, especially On Fleek. I sadly smiled and thought, “how true, this online life we lead, the balancing beam between living here and there, glimpses of 6 second reality – or is it? Are we really living life or living it for a picture frame in perpetuity?” A nice thought-provoking piece. One of the things I’ve always found delightful in your writing, is that you often sprinkle the environment with scenery of the city. Oh I’m sure it could be any city, as it gives that gritty busy feel – hustle and bustle or quiet concrete, but because of where you live, I imagine it to be places in New York city. As you describe purloined love, or committed passions, your imagery is so real that I feel I know some hidden side of their personality that lends itself to a greater familiarity than if you had stated such in plain view. You have the magic. And you use it most eloquently!


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