Monday, June 27, 2022

John Grey - Two Pieces


In the sky,

the aerial attack 

of you with him –


something shiny on the 

avenue —

you see he could not be 


by his glance,

called woman

can you emerge completely unharmed? 

lie back 

shadows are swaying

dust is on the rise

the air will tear your heart out

don’t you feel it beginning? 

glance hissing 

something other than

happy ever after –

gripping a piece of paper,

staring deep into it –

just a poem

and I’m no longer married to it –

I’m disappearing –

I’ve been taken in –

by a tunnel,

by a lake,

by poison,

by the professor of astronomy

who raises his eyebrows

in the direction of the stars –

yet there’s a presence in me

that pulling together

all sides –

I remember 

rubble and hissing

and this great urge to remain.



always a little on fire 

and my loins to answer to

always seeing another's eyes, nose, mouth –

   anything that can spill,

but never the backbones of real life,

arranged in shapes and years,

enough to have me buzzing,

thumping like a bumpy train ride –

and then there’s love –

body parts

by the most languorous indirect route –

forget about it!

once again,

the chatter of nearby flesh

is a church under construction,

crackling thighs and dresses

that could split anywhere,

creatures of imperfect camouflage,

I’m as moist

as a dandelion in April –

(crowds of people,

dry and vapid,

shifting chairs)

and then there’s the face 

in the darkest thunderhead,

the double agent,

the glance taking leave of its liquid,

with gargoyles in suits

swapping fingers –

I’m trying to get out from under my history,

gleaming through whichever door opens,

hiding my layers of ghosts,

looking for words to defend the stain on my pants,

holding myself for the moment

but eager to let go

disguising the past,

building up a reservoir of suggestions,

milling in a world of shapes

and expressions,

hoping something forgotten

will suddenly remember me,

each drop of alcohol

leading me by the shaky hand,

looking for the one who knows no better,

somewhere in this room,

a storm in a vacuum,

plucking at my pockets,

smoothing my knuckles like they’re brass,

wishing I was Jesus

or whoever else is worshiped in these parts –

fellow workers look on

as all I need is just one lapse in concentration,

only the one,

a meet-cute fulfilling a day-dream,

masking my roots,

egged on by phantoms in the beer,

Don Juan legends,

raising myself like a statue

then severing myself from the block –

ah, look at her,

skin the color of  someone on a copper coin,

hope I don’t spill on myself

as I spin her hair like webs,

steal her moments from all other men –

this is my country,

and it’s taking the orders I give it –

two lives I lead,

the shy and the confident,

the first innate,

the second alien

with no planet to go home to.

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