Friday, March 14, 2008

Four poems by John Grey

Four poems
by John Grey


"Hated prom night," she says,

"Hated school dances.

The nerve of those teachers,

having split us down the middle,

called us male, female,

thought they could push us

back together.

I stood back while everyone

else danced to the bloodless

music, everything transparent

of course, whispered telephone

numbers in each other's ears,

the height of our philosophy.

Yeah, I watched angrily for a time

then wandered like fire among them,

licking their footsteps, their

faces, with my gorgeous hot flame

but there are some people

too dumb for burning.

"Pierced my nipples," she sighs.

"Howled my way through

an abortion at twenty one.

Ate cat food to survive.

Got a bad tattoo on

my right shoulder.

"None of that as bad as prom night.

There was one boy I liked.

Despised myself for liking him.

He merely despised me.

I liked least,

I like that now."



Maybe the dead cat

at the side of the road

is the way things are.

Or it's the crows

darting in and out of traffic,

pecking at the remains.

Or it's the relentless

stream of cars

that has no heart

to stop for reckless felines.

Or it's the kid

who gets another cat

like he thinks he's getting

another world than this.



The undertakers did

a superb job on her.

She looked better

than he had in years.

They puffed out

her drawn cheeks,

added color to her pale skin,

moistened her dry lips,

tore the rags from her body,

dressed her in her best dress.

No more beauty parlor for me,

quoth old Aunt Elsie.

I'm sticking with the undertakers.



I am not a dumb blonde.
Our house is a library.
We hardly have the television on.
I have read Thackeray, Turgenev
and Tolstoy... and that's just in the T's.
So I am blessed with large breasts,
tight waist and golden hair.
I can also recite from Goethe,
quote Shaw, speak French, even
explain existentialism to a layman.
Lay... and man... forget I said that.
What I mean is, you can't tell a
book by... actually you can tell a book
by its cover but first you have to
understand which book we're talking about.
F Scott Fitzgerald. D H Lawrence.
Language. Ideas. Now what's a quick feel
compared to that. That's like giving a
cursory glimpse to the dedication and thinking
you've read the novel. So you'd love to see
me naked. I'm naked in this poem I'm
working on. This skin's just what I wear.
When I'm done I'll let you see it
if you can bear to take your eyes off my chest

Author bio:

John Grey's latest book is “What Else Is There” from Main Street Rag. He has been published recently in Agni, Worcester Review, South Carolina Review and The Pedestal.

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