Tuesday 21 February 2023

Two Poems by Samuel Armen

Subterranean Drama


Above my muted pages, the daily troupe of students

Cast themselves along the train I take to work.

Stationed corner-seat, I tune in to their words,

Pleased to hear their youthful news and jokes. But wait,

Something’s wrong. In this former group of six


One of them is not with them. There –


A strangely tragic face. Every now and then he turns

with hope, though every turn is something new,

Like the way that ‘please’ means different things

Every time it’s asked, like the way that ‘sorry’

Loses hope if it must be said again.


I wonder at my wonder and hope they all regroup.


And when they exit left I’m left alone to ask

How their roles will unfold in tomorrow’s act.



A text! A text! That’s two! I know he thinks

Grinning towards his phone’s blinding glow

Like a little boy on Christmas Eve

Catching sight of gifts with blazing hopes

Warm enough to last the unforgiving 


Cold outside. All around, his only

Friends, like me, disappear again. 

One must ask: who is she to him?


Reasons to ignore the divorce eroding this beleaguered 

Youth, the unforgettable charm of delaying discomfort,

A stranger to uphold all the victories and half the defeats,

Destiny’s apologetic hug, a romantic embrace,

Ornamented mysteries rekindling suffocated dreams,

Beautiful warmth and the presence of a new distraction.


Attention is the greatest gift to get

When you’re scared to give it to yourself.

Samuel Armen is an author and educator. Orphaned after the 1988 Gyumri-Spitak Earthquake and adopted by Armenian-Americans in New York, he currently divides his time between psychology research, serving as an English teacher at Brooklyn Technical High School, managing education programs across rural Armenia, and publishing his writing. His works have appeared in The Raw Art Review, Hetq, CivilNet, The Showbear Family Circus, Dreamers Magazine, Prometheus Dreaming, Hey, I'm Alive Magazine, Beyond Words Magazine, Wingless Dreamer, Griffel, Allegory Ridge and Poet’s Choice.  

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