Archive for the RD Armstrong Category

She Adores Me by RD Armstrong

Posted in RD Armstrong with tags on November 7, 2013 by Scot

Over dinner
the woman I have
been slowly
falling in love
with for al
most 20 years
tells me
“I adore you.”

It hangs in the air
as time slows to
a crawl and I
roll it around
in my head
as if it is an idea
that I want desperately to
but can’t embrace.

I have waited so long
to hear those words
that I don’t quite
understand them
as if I have been
so preoccupied with
wanting to hear this
message that when it
comes I’m not ready
to understand it.

Something seems to be missing
as if there’s a big unspoken
BUT floating in that pause
that pregnant moment
after waiting so many years
for her to say that magic
phrase I adore you seems
incomplete and I am caught
off guard and don’t know what
to say in response.

And of course the big BUT
floats down to the table top
and opens like a great big lotus flower
and it says to me BUT I don’t love you
I hope you understand

And time just kinda stops for a
second or two while I digest this
and position a soft sardonic smile
on my face and say SURE that’s
okay we’re still friends right?
I’m trying really hard not
to let her see how much
this is hurting me – how
those three words
the ones that I have
longed to hear for
so long and are now
breaking my heart.

I got to remember to
move this item from
my bucket list to my
fuck it list…

LUMMOX magazine Returns

Posted in RD Armstrong with tags , on April 30, 2012 by Scot

Many years ago, Lummox Press published a small monthly magazine called the Lummox Journal. It lasted for over 100 issues. Now, after six long years of silence, a new magazine rises up from the ashes…and unlike the old Lummox Journal, this monster will come out once a year, with at least 100 pages  and will be an 8 X 10 inch, perfect bound beast called LUMMOX. It will contain interviews, essays, articles, reviews, artwork, ads and poetry…lots of poetry.
I’m aiming for a Nov. publication date.

The theme of this first issue will be “Favorites”. Anyone interested in submitting, can send 3-5 of their favorite poems (previously published work is okay, just indicate where), no longer than 80 lines, plus a short 3-5 line bio and a mailing address. If you are interested in submitting an essay or article, please pitch the idea first. Artwork must be “camera ready” and “gray scale” (not in color). Poets receive a 20% discount on any ads. Please contact me with for sizes and prices. All submissions must be made before Sept. 1, 2012.

I have three interviews planned, but am always interested in new ideas. Another planned feature will be “Guest Editors” who will introduce 2 – 3 poems by 8-10 poets. I already have several Guest Editors signed up (one is in Nigeria)! So, if you are interested in becoming a GE, let me know.

I’m offering a pre-publication subscription of $20 (USA) & $30 (World) for the first issue. It will retail for $30 a year, plus shipping. Visit the following link for details.  Click here.

I look forward to receiving your submissions and/or ideas. Send to or

LUMMOX c/o PO Box 5301 San Pedro, CA 90733

RD Armstrong


JOHNNY by Raindog

Posted in RD Armstrong with tags on March 30, 2011 by Scot

four days in country
bawling in pain
AK-47 shrapnel
ric-cocheting through his torso
like a steel ball
in a pachinko machine
in a war that he
didn’t understand
Johnny with his gun
ready to kick some ass
getting his ass
a regular at the V.A.
keeps the bits of shrapnel
they continue to remove
in a jar
with the lid screwed down
Sometimes at night
the shrapnel calls to him
pleading with him
to finish the job
that was started
years ago
in the ambush.
He sucks on the muzzle
driving his girlfriend
He is disabled
and has learned to live in that system
has learned to live
with his disability
with his pain
with his slow death
by surrender
Johnny is already dead
laying down
waiting for some
a handful of

Rusty by RD Armstrong

Posted in RD Armstrong with tags on February 6, 2011 by Scot

Back in ‘74
When I was just
Starting out in
I met an old guy
Who had been
Pretty much broken
Down by the trade
He was a character in
His fifties with
A hand-tooled belt
That said “Rusty” across
The back side
He was kinda boozy and
Rough around the edges
But he was willing to
Clean lumber – pulling nails etc
For practically nothing
So my boss Carl
Hired him
With a warning
“No drinking on the job”
Well try as he might
The old guy just
Couldn’t function
Without at least a
Long pull every
Couple of hours
So after about a week
He was gone

I hadn’t thought of him
Much until today when I
Was wondering what
I was gonna do to
Make ends meet
Now that I’m sixty
And I remembered
That belt with the word
Rusty across the back

An old joke with
A new punch-line

Two Poems by RD Armstrong

Posted in RD Armstrong with tags on December 26, 2010 by Scot

Thoughts on a Sunday Afternoon

It’s looking like it’ll be a wet Christmas
And here in the hovel
On a very wet Sunday
With one bucket
In the kitchen and
One behind me slowly
Filling with water
I find myself lazily
Drifting around the
Apartment I’m trapped
In today

The livingroom / bedroom
Looks like a mess
A reflection of my life
I suppose

The kitchen which I
Redid in June to add
More counterspace has
A bucket sitting in the only
Open spot catching the
Drip drip drip that drops
From the ceiling

On top of the bottom
Sash of the window
A spider web floats
Halfway across looking
More like a breath of fog

It’s cold and my shoulder hurts
I have a lot of fires to put out
Ironic that I chose a rainy day
To address this but such is
The luck of the cards

Outside I can hear the plink
Plank of water dripping onto
Metal sheds and debris strewn
Yards such is the expanding
Mess of my life

And as this year draws
To a close I
Wonder if I’ll have
Enough money to
Pay the
January rent
And another


Winter Solstice in the LBC

A police car backs up
Obispo with lights
And siren going
Can it be the start
Of the celebration
For the shortest day
Of the year
A time celebrated
Through the centuries
By pagans and other
Non-believers in the
Officially sanctioned
I stand on my balcony
Half expecting to see
A rotund half-naked
Man (like the guy who
Runs the Yoga studio
On Fourth by the
Theater) with a long
White beard standing
In a sled pulled by
Four stags and
Surrounded by cavorting
Nubile elves and fairies
Like the scene in A
Midsummer Night’s
But no
It’s only some fool
Skidding through the
Neighborhood on the
Rainslicked streets
With Long Beach’s
Finest hot on his tail

It’s the sixth day of rain
And everyone is getting
A little crazy

I go back inside and
Listen to my buckets

It’s beautiful

A Working Man’s Library by RD Armstrong

Posted in RD Armstrong with tags on September 19, 2010 by Scot

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
Just some things I
Drag around out of

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

New Book Release by Rick Smith from Lummox Press

Posted in RD Armstrong with tags on August 20, 2010 by Scot

Hard Truth by RD Armstrong

Posted in RD Armstrong with tags on March 11, 2010 by Scot

Once I wrote
“The past eyes
Me like a hungry dog”

I was cockier
Back then
Believing I still
Had my mojo
But that was before
I saw my last
Days before I
Knew the pain
And the real true
Fear that
A hungry dog
Might be drawn to

But now I fear
That no dog is hungry
Enough to make
The effort
Instead to
Keep searching

When I see that
Dog again
He will merely
Sniff once
And move on


Posted in RD Armstrong with tags on February 16, 2010 by Scot

remember those beer-stained nights
of rompin’, out-of-focus blues
when couples squeezed onto crowded dance floors
to dance the crazy-legged be-bop & jive, or
jumpin’ at the woodside, or
doin’ the crosstown, las’ chance fo’ romance-
closing-time boogie.
remember the band hittin’ the ninth refrain  runnin’
like a roundhouse haymaker findin’ its mark
sweating under red and blue lights
while everyone was hypnotized by
the big man on the mic,
always dressed in a suit, Chicago-style
hair slicked back
remember how the big man never took off the shades
even at night, even as he slept, perhaps.
remember how he worked so hard
hunched over
cupping his instrument
pulling it into himself
grunting and shouting
sweat pouring off his brow
blowing his soul into and through
turning twenty notes into a
vocabulary of sighs and moans
like a mile-long, south-bound freight
pulling its tired load of joy and sorrow
over Breakheart Pass.
remember the big man driven

William Clarke is dead
twenty notes gone south, gone
home to rest

let us pause and remember

Continue reading

The Queen of Harbor by RD Armstrong

Posted in RD Armstrong with tags on August 16, 2009 by Scot

I used to be a go-go girl and
Fuck look at me now
I’m working on my MFA!
That’s the first thing she said
It seemed innocent at the time
But I learned soon enough
That it was a very thin veneer

You should come over
Sometime and let me cook
You dinner

I have rolled that over in my head
Over the subsequent years
Trying to look at it from every angle
Trying to break the code

It’s funny how eleven words
Could say so little about what waited
Beyond that meal

I’m no good with
I only say that because
I’m always single
Even Bukowski was
Married once by my age

I always keep up hope
Unfortunately I’m not a very
Good judge of what’s best
For me

They say you marry your mother
But I haven’t found her yet
You’d think it would be easy
Given how fucked up
Everyone is these days
But so far
My record is perfect