Gary Glauber

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Alienating to Pleasure

The attractive woman’s picture
appeared onscreen, smiling.
It was no name I recognized,
& the face rang no bells either. 
“Good evening, how are you?”
she began innocently enough-
but this was not my first
online rodeo.

You see the warning signs.
She’s a nurse or a missionary
doing work in Western Africa.
She’s a member of the armed forces.
She’s a former model looking
for new friends.

No thanks.

There’s an awkward
whiff of illegitimacy
that sours such exchanges.
Who is on the other side?
Savvy hacker, some
foreign scammer
out to lure & catfish,
reel in the unsuspecting
with the bait of physical wiles?

Again, not interested.

She continued in a way
that exposed her lack
of mastery in English.
“I would like to apologize
for the inconvenience,
but I would like to meet you
if you do not find this
alienating to pleasure.”

No time, no interest,
I ignored the message.
If she was real,
I’ll never know.
But is it wrong
to still feel flattered?


Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist.  His works have received multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. He champions the underdog to the melodic rhythms of obscure power pop. His two collections, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press) and Worth the Candle (Five Oaks Press), and a chapbook, Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press), are available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and directly from the publishers.