When I Hear Link Wray’s “Rumble”
by Glen Armstrong

The years collapse
around his guitar,
the chords to “Rumble”

like two musical fists
punching black holes
through time:

I am an old man
with a young wife
and a bitchin’ pompadour wig.

I am the alien visitor
aligning beacons, the bare shins
of bobbysoxers and the speaker
from a Premier Model 50 amplifier.

This is ground zero.
This is 1958.
The world shifts

from D to E,
but the D still exists.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTO: This is a still from a video shoot. The 80s were very, very good to me.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Link Wray’s song “Rumble” still strikes be as perfectly otherworldly and timeless.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters and has three new chapbooks: Set List (Bitchin Kitsch), In Stone and The Most Awkward Silence of All (both Cruel Garters Press). His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Conduit and Cloudbank.