From Chris: Richard Armstrong’s poems attempt to say smart things in dumb ways, to slip under the intellectual scrutiny practiced poetry readers bring to bear on unfamiliar work. I am continually surprised by how he is able to create an emotive impact through sloganeering, through the melding of bro-speak, blue-collar imagery, street slang, and archaic capital-R Romantic posturing. Next level shit.
Business was business and required
only what was required of us.
The tongue found the groove
and we found the joys of immobility
wearing on us like a condom on a flaccid cock.
Still, carefree was the way to be
then, amongst the birch-trees and the lunch-trucks.
We moved our product. We towed the hotlines…
Buffoons with experience assailed us
with application forms and drug-urine.
We did what we could to keep doing what we could.
Like that day
in ’98, when the leader of the local 149
pulled the fence back
and all we did was stare
through that man-sized gash in the chain-link.
I imagine Full Beauty to be the most sudden
of all stops—
the whole world’s movements gathered
into an impossible solidity:
the perfect stillness of total kinesis.
To put sex into a poem is to take a bold but calculated risk.
Like emailing naked photos of yourself to everyone on your contact list.
But to put love into this world is not a risk;
rather it’s a something, like something something…
Richard C. Armstrong III lives in Seattle where he earned his B.A. in Literature from the University of Washington. He works as a home designer and is the culture editor at hirschworth.com. His poems have appeared in such publications as the Cortland Review, and Mare Nostrum.