RD Armstrong

Post image for RD Armstrong

by horrorsleazetrash on September 4, 2010

RD Armstrong, AKA *Raindog* began his most recent incarnation as a poet in
the early 90s.  He has 18 chapbooks, 8 books to his name and has been
published in over 300 poetry magazines, anthologies, blogs and e-zines.  He
also operates the Lummox Press which published the Lummox Journal for 11
years; the Little Red Book series and numerous perfect bound collections of
poetry. Since 1995, Raindog has labored to serve the world of small press
poetry and continues to do so to this day. Visit his website at
www.lummoxpress.com

A Working Man’s Library

Long before I ever
Knew I could write
Anything worth a damn
I began my library

Now it’s forty years
Later and I am selling
It off to pay the rent

I thought I would be
Happy to be rid of
The books that I no
Longer read
Their usefulness and
Purpose long since
Forgotten
Just some things I
Drag around out of
Habit

But I feel lost
As if I have sold
My children into slavery

And for what?
A few hundred dollars
And forty inches of
Shelf space

I Like Being Drunk

I like being drunk
The feel of it
That wonderful
Swirly I don’t give
A fuck what you think
I want what I want
Feeling

I like being drunk
Like that what did I
Do last night foggy
Haze next morning
Confusion
That I would chew off
My own arm horror
To escape whatever
It was I did the night
Before drunk

I like being drunk
Just can’t handle the ways
And means anymore
Wish I could find
Something to make me
Drunk without having
To down copious amounts
Of alcohol and/or pills
Without the down side of
All that dark sided
Pathos and drama

I like being drunk
Like the way I was with it
My drunkenness
Like a love / hate affair
With some bitch goddess
Loving her shit – so cute
When under the influence
And hating the same shit
When sober

I liked being drunk
Now I need a new plan

It Colors My Days

I live in a world of hurt

Once it was imagined pain
Empathetic to the suffering
Of others – out there
In the world

Then it became emotional pain
As I weathered life’s many
Challenges and set-backs
Along with my growing
Sense of empathy for others

Then it became mental pain
As I struggled to assimilate all
The emotional trauma around me
And within me – one’s heart can
Only go out so many times
Before it begins to take
A toll on one’s health

Now it is physical
Personal
As if all those years of imagined
And emotional pain were merely
A warm up to the real show
As if dealing with perceived agonies
Was a precursor to this ultimate agony

But here’s the kicker
The thing that makes this
A challenge worth tackling
Because the pain I struggle with
Is not the canvas on which I work
It is more of a glaze that covers
The canvas and makes it harder –
But not impossible –
For the paint to stick

And here I thought I’d
Have to shut down
Like an iron fist
Not open up
Like a blood-red rose

Life Among the Mangled 2

Spending the day
At two different clinics
Getting poked and prodded
Blood drawn
X rays
Nails clipped
(pruned)
Scared by a wet-behind-the-ears
Doctor in training
And having spent
Nearly five hours
Waiting at two
Different locations
With the likes
Of the poor and
Indigent brown
Black and white
Folks who huddle
Near the bottom
Rung of the ladder
I find myself returning
To Long Beach
After a grueling day
Of navigating the
County health system
And while driving
Down fourth street
I see a person out
In traffic
Hitchhiking
As I get closer
I see that she’s
An old lady
Or a tweaker
(sometimes it’s hard to tell)
In a black tank top
No bra
Her breasts hanging
Low like they’ve
Already given up
And sheer black pantyhose
No panties
Her shaved kooter
Plainly visible
A sour look on
Her face as cars
Zip past

I wonder if she
Understands why
No one is stopping
For her
If she realizes she
Ain’t all that
Anymore
Or if in her
Dementia she
Still thinks she’s
The pretty hot
Girl that drives
All the boys
Crazy

Life among the mangled
It’s no E ticket
Baby that’s for sure

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