Antonyms for “Affluence” and How to Buy an Antique Picture Frame, 2 poems by Glen Armstrong

Photo of lots of picture frames
Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash
Antonyms for “Affluence”

It is a myth that mice
are impossible to eat.

I see my tuxedo
on another man,

a groom or musician.
It is a myth

that the bride will be thinking
about Queen Victoria

or the General Washington.
It is a myth

that I will get fat
doing this.

As a child, I knew
I would marry Gretel,

and we would never
sleep soundly.

I understood that the witch’s
candy house wasn’t real,

but the children’s hunger was.

How to Buy an Antique Picture Frame

Sometimes you have to drive
…..hundreds of miles out of the way.

…..Reveal nothing at first.
…..Give a knowing nod toward
…..the hula dancer lamp.

…..Show no interest at all
…..in the vintage neon signs.

You must somehow convince him
…..that you’ve both worshipped
…..the same ancient goddess

…..depicted in forbidden drawings
…..that soften,

…..drawings that smile at human folly.

If he is more than ten years
…..your senior,

…..ask his advice.
…..Show interest in the mitered half

…..laps and raised golden tildes.

He is Jason of the Argonauts

…..Approach

…..as you would a demigod.

Talk money as if money
…..is the last thing on your mind.

…..Approach as you would a ghost.

A blue underglaze harbors octopi
…..in white ceramic figurines.

Greenbrier and tractor gears
…..give each other away.

Remember, this is his world.
…..You are merely passing through


Glen Armstrong
Glen Armstrong (he/him) holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters. He has three current books of poems: Invisible Histories, The New Vaudeville, and Midsummer. His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Conduit, and The Cream City Review.

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