July 26, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Giuseppe Milo photo



John Grey







He thinks a questioning self is unworthy.

And mindless effusion is funny.

He keeps being told he’s in the pack

but the joker is much more brazen than that.

He prefers to be noticed.


That’s him at the end of bar,

doing an impression of

all you need to know.

His smile is as wide as a train headed west

but his eyes are narrow and syphoning.


He drinks a lot.

His ego is braver that way.

And there’s a shine to his finger

where a wedding ring once roamed.


His conversation is out

to isolate the two of you.

He wants to tie you in a knot with his tongue

while he plots his elevation, your ruin.


He’s slick all right.

And oily enough to slide out of his own skin.

He figures you wouldn’t be there,

in a bar, drinking by yourself,

if he was elsewhere.


He’s fighting for your body in his bed.

And all you have to defend yourself

are your reasons for being lonely






The Groom



He can touch his toes with his fingers.

His longings are not that unusual.

Some in his family are.

He wears mostly green and black

and is always within reach

though his rims are sharp.

He consists of millions of tiny cells

but, if I were you,

it’s the spaces between them I’d be worried about.

Yes he has two hands, two legs, like any other man.

And his hair is the softest down.

But I’ve heard him, in the middle of the night,

breaking up rocks with a mallet,

raising water from a non-existent well.

His emotions are indelible.

He carries on conversations with ghosts.

There’s the smell of the barroom about him

and of last night’s supper.

He once left a woman to die.

He’s not just polar, he’s circumpolar

He runs his fingers through sand, makes maps.

And he falls down a lot.

He’s forever hungry. He loved to carve.

He stomps on flowers when he gets the chance.

The edges of his knuckles are red raw.

His eyes are gouged out like riverbeds,

Yes, he’s like an animal at times.

But not a bird for he has no wings.

It’s been said that he’s currently in the imago stage.

And it’s not easy to imagine him twenty years from now,

or even ten.

He is something to rest against though,

if you like the feel of sharp rocks.

His body does sing but not well.

And he was once seen pale and naked

walking into the sea.

And that’s not even half of it.

So, do you take this man

to be your lawfully wedded husband.






John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Perceptions and the anthology, No Achilles with work upcoming in Big Muddy Review, Gargoyle, Coal City Review and Nebo.

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