Works by Gary Glauber

"Days of Heaven" (Film, Malick)

Gary Glauber is a well published poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist. He has two collections, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press) and Worth the Candle (Five Oaks Press), and a chapbook, Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press).

Resetting the Clock

They want to guess my age,
but there’s no game to it anymore.
Everything they want to know
is found easily enough online:
name of deceased parent,
my current address,
contribution to a charitable organization
five years prior, plus secrets
they think my age might afford me.
Privacy is but whisper on the winds,
quiet echo rebounding across canyon,
shimmering illusion, elusive bird chatter.
More access to information doesn’t lead
to a universe better informed.
Rather, watchword becomes caution.
Sensitivity and fear breed triggers
that stem from misconstrued assumptions.
Bang. Blame like bullets goes flying
and people go down hard, dumbstruck.
Confusion is default setting.
You can’t blame them.
This updated app of modern world
is rife with riddles, teeming with tragedies
that stream turns to river,
churning with angry rage and pride.
They need to know age doesn’t matter,
how time’s tide is a fickle host changing speed
according to mood and mettle,
and that these whitecaps warn us soon enough
how one day we’re all pulled under,
gasping with pain, yet seeking chance
to make amends before final solace.

Doing the Math

Adamant moon slides sideways
across indifferent horizon,
searching for the principle
of innocence that never existed.
Children lie in the shadows,
coddled by trigger warnings
and expert guidance
to avoid symbols of malice,
mirrors of misery,
signs that disturb
our wholly holy dreams;
asleep to nascent notions
of imminent disaster,
deep breaths of willful ignorance
denying guilty enigmas,
incipient hurtful truths.
These happy birdsongs
amplify a quietude
before raging storm strikes.
In the end, disasters
punctuated and embellished
by simpler people
in more unhappy times
call the fortune of fate,
unmasking this paradise
as specter of false meditation
and life reveals in the living
what they said cannot be,
a cataclysmic epiphany,
enlightened and disturbed.

Quotient

Gravity is a ratio.
You weigh in after
a life of clever deception.
Every day is winter anew,
whiteout conditions
obscuring both insight
and view. No voice,
no manners, no choice.
Empty expectations
in this dumpster fire
of heightened confusion.
Silence is compounded
by the spotlight focus
on the arrest
off alleged desire.
Tread shadows
carefully, trundle ahead
meter by meter,
converting heavenly position
into monthly prediction.
Horrors! Tenor of terror,
timbre of temblors,
rocking our world
off its orbit, breaking
speed limits, scarring
retinas with residue,
translating what we
believe in our blood
into proportionate
means of understanding.
Those special glasses
mean nothing now.
You capitulate,
ask for eraser.


Matinee Calendar

For God and country,
I see lips moving,
striving to be heard.

Each beautiful day
teems with potential
when conditions are right.

Treaty is signed,
I am still reminded
to be better than.

Sort out defiance,
learn to pack and go,
value what’s replaced.

This world redeems
contents of hearts
even after curtain’s close.

Racing emptiness
of deep blue descending,
the grab for grace ensues.

Each beautiful day
leaves traces of introspection,
no one’s left to protect

yet windows remain
open to those looking in,
and always looking out.

The Critic in the Corner

The point is not reality, she said,
and it never has been. A heightened
mimicry is what the best manage to achieve.
I didn’t know her name, but I could see
initials that followed her name,
indices of thankless years of
academic warfare. She was
a survivor, serious and literary,
a dying breed seeking acceptance,
social approval, or at the very least
an audience. I sipped at my single malt,
knowing the work she referenced
was not some condemnation of
late stage capitalism. Sure, it
was an ambitious attempt by
a young prodigy eager to impress.
She however was mistaking
undercurrent for surf. Churning atop
frothy waters was a youngster’s
uneven attempt at domestic drama,
full of wrong notes that strove
for the universal. I was not
going to say so, lest she ask
how many initials followed my name.
Besides, poking holes in a classic was not
my idea of a fun Saturday night.
Another sip and I drifted
toward a softer memory,
a domestic setting of no importance
to anyone but me, a pivotal time
when actions muffled dialogue
next to a haunting mise en scene.

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