Gary Glauber


Sideshow


Even though I know they’re
safely contained in cages,
the lions’ roars are unnerving.
I read the number she wrote
on the cocktail napkin, follow
carefully to its real life component,
find a wayward corner of a
rundown double wide
parked in some dimly lit
back lot far from the strip’s
bright lights and fast judgments. 
If I waited til morning, she’d be gone.
“We’re a traveling entertainment,”
she offered, sweet byproduct
of healing trapeze imbalances
and loud-talking hucksters. 
She was my snake oil,
cure-all for particular brand
of lonesome hurting, one
that required limber flexibility
and an unwavering belief
in the power of self-delusion.
In the buzzing of those
failing fluorescents, I could
hear convincing siren’s song.
Her kisses came hard and fast,
and I succumbed to the illusion,
sloping, groping, and hoping
right up to when her clown father
burst in from his own private
makeup lesson, and pointed
that T-shirt cannon at my head.
I grabbed what clothes I could
and shot myself out the door.
With neon memories setting
brain aflame like briquettes,
I got dressed in sad shadows
of an abandoned warehouse
to preserve the pity I might need
to someday forgive myself
for this ongoing sin
of eternal desperation.




Gary Glauber is a widely published poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist. He champions the underdog, and strives to survive modern life’s absurdities. He has two collections, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press) and Worth the Candle (Five Oaks Press), and a chapbook, Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press).  A new chapbook of surreal poetry, The Covalence of Equanimity, a winner of the 2019 James Tate International Poetry Prize, is now available from SurVision Books.

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