A poem by John Grey

He underwent a change, unable to believe whether it was day or night,
he drove a fast sports car in an attempt to matter,
the crash, of course, sent waves rollicking across the sea,
he became the past participle of a bent lamppost,
an attempted heist on the part of jewelweed and coneflower—

they warned him against all unannounced, unplanned rebellions
by recent graduates who piss on established fare,
wear the gaudy nomenclature—experimental writer—

he anchored the street for fifty minutes before the cops came,
he wore unleaded low-grade petroleum in his curly locks,
for a moment or two, his heart played drums in a soft-rock band,
then the occasion hauled itself back from a great dent in the scheme of things,
became just another accident—
the sun looked down on his future—
saw nothing but language poets, beats, white ants and castanets.

John Grey is an Australian poet and U.S. resident. His work has recently been published in Front Range Review, Studio One, and the Columbia Review with work upcoming in the Louisiana Review, Poem, and Midwest Quarterly.

Dream Woman

A poem by John Grey

You want to get yourself a woman.


A city-bred, street-wise woman,

who lives in a tenement apartment

in a rough part of town.

And preferably one

already diagnosed with cancer.


She must be working still,

nothing fancy,

house-cleaning maybe,

or at the checkout

of one of those convenience stores

with bars on every window.


Your dream is to walk

her home after a hard day on the job,

hold her up by the arm if necessary,

talk about how much longer

you figure she should be working.


And then it’d be up to bed early for her

or settled comfortably in the cramped parlor

to watch the only non-flat-screen TV on the block,

while you cook dinner.

Nothing fancy.

Probably the same mush as the night before.


Blood on the pillow is no problem.

Nor is worrying about how you’re

going to pay for the treatments

on the little the two of you make.


You spend your lonely days

longing for some tragedy in your life.

Good luck is not working.

John Grey is an Australian poet and U. S. resident. He work has recently been published in New Plains Review, The South Carolina Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review, with work upcoming in The Louisiana Review, The Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.