Poetry: John Grey


Twenty years 
of no more
than a photograph 
in an album,
an occasional email.

John Grey
I have moved on.
And you’ve moved around.
We’ve movers
more than we ever were lovers.

And here’s another 
of those emails.

Done reading it,
that missive moves
from new
to recently deleted.

I swear to you
it did that on its own.


It's rush hour.
My early start
is quickly waylaid
by heavy traffic.
I begin to panic.
I won't be there by nine.

Must be an accident.
A pothole.
Or protesters with placards.
The distance between
point A and point B
is as vulnerable as
a Transylvanian virgin.

As I crawl along
the interstate,
the time looks up at me
from the dashboard.
As much as we ride together,
it is not an ally.
It refuses to adjust
to the obstacles in my path.

I make it to the office
just as the minute hand
clicks over from 8.59.
The ordinariness
of some miracles
amazes me.


Your mother's descent on your house
at least promises free baby-sitting.
Besides your usual calm self
could use some familial turbulence.
It's been a while since
someone's pointed out to you
every place you're going wrong.
The good thing is that your husband,
the vet, when he left you,
forgot to pack those phials
of animal tranquilizer.
And you have to admit,
you prefer her company
to that of a psychotic stranger
babbling on about
his abduction by aliens
or impregnation by the devil.
Not that you've ever
met someone like that.
And, if you did,
they're sure to lack
your mother's baby-sitting skills.
Remember, it's only for a short time.
A small pistol concealed in your bra
will ensure your safety
from both mothers and lunatics
and also give your nipple
something cold to do.


sit quietly with me,
leave your chatter 
to the cell phone,
let it talk with other cell-phones
long into the night
while we sit here
and watch the stars.

They’re suns,
they glitter,
not twitter,
balls of fire,
of light,
the two things missing
in our close-connected world.

let it just be me, you
and the heavens,
modest but clear
communication channels
on an age-old frequency.


No charge to see
the unluckiest man
in the world

and when you enter
into his world
there’s just the two of you

and though 
nothing good 
ever happens to him

he’ll smile for you
as if, at least,
he remains hopeful

and his eyes
are wide enough
to suggest 
he believes
you might be the one
who could forever change
his fortune -

and yes
in case you were wondering
he’s the same guy
who used to me
the loneliest man in the world

but then he realized that,
no matter what,
he’d always have himself –

his new title.

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