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A Brief History Of Cola by Glen Armstrong

Though cola is undeniably a cultural construct and any modern, identifiable culture should be able to construct a Rube Goldberg-inspired machine, to speak of “xenophobic cola” is to mistake liquid for flow. Once the machine is set up, it might be triggered by a neighboring culture, but the cola’s chilled brown sweetness should remain as it ever was, a reward for taking a risk rather than the risk itself.

A Blue Throated Bee-eater flies over the sleepy Southern town. As any bird would, it thirsts, contemplates landing, tires of the sky but understands the world’s coded dangers. It is the cola machine, not the cola, that demands a certain currency, that fears the ten-sided double peso, that masks its dark honey in shadow and aluminum.


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 recent 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 Cream City Review.

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