Previous Feature: John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Columbia Review, Studio One, and Tau, with work upcoming in Examined Life Journal, Midwest Quarterly, and Naugatuck River Review.


Sex Stories

The search continues.
Your naked body’s like the jungle
of my boyhood fantasies.
Within its swamps and vines,
wild creatures and man-traps
is a lost city, full of gold and other riches.
So I press deep into thick foliage.
I have a map handed down
through the generations.
But geography’s so clinical.
I’d prefer to find it by accident.

This must be my hundredth expedition.
It’s hot and steamy in there.
Progress is difficult.
You moan like a heathen god.
The native bearers desert every time.
It gets so close, so intense,
I can’t go on any further,
with mighty strokes from my machete,
hack myself out.
Once again, no treasure.
But I’m beginning to believe
it’s all about being on safari anyhow,
that the glittering cache at the heart of it all,
once found, is really lost forever.

All this time, my Irish love,
you’re in a field somewhere,
searching for that four-leaf clover.
My advice is close your eyes,
keep looking.


Cat with Bird

The cat knows everything it needs to
about the bird in its mouth.
The feathered prey fought for a time,
now it’s just resigned to its fate.
The feline’s been through this before.

It does just enough to keep that poor creature
firmly grasped in its jaws.
Then it feels the loss of will,
penultimate to the loss of life.

The cat got this far on instinct.
The bird’s journey is anything but.


The Leaving of the Last Child

The yoke of children has been lifted,
of loud stereos, the worry of finding
porno or drugs in drawers.
You can be famous in your own house again.

It’s like the Soviet Union fell
only it’s in your kitchen. The quiet
is its headline. The neat, clean refrigerator
is the article that follows.

The economy will strengthen from now on.
Old debts won’t be repaid but no new
ones will accumulate. And you can
watch television, not compete for it.

It’s a different world now. Nobody
need be entertained. You can turn the
meal schedule on its ear, be a gypsy cab
with you your only passenger.

You can see nothing and imagine
it as infinite riches. So one hand claps . . .
big deal. A highball glass, an oldies station . . .
drunken memories singing low.


All Hail! Care to learn more about the prolific, small-press veteran, John Grey? Then, click on the image of John below and read this recent interview published at Magnolia Review . . .

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