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  August 2010
volume 8 number 2
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  home   (archived)
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  John Grey
  Tammy Ho Lai-Ming
  Lisa LaTourette
  Helen Peterson
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John Grey August 2010



art by the feral artist

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




I donít know if I am in the blueness, cruising
tiny white clouds, or swimming in bits
of light on the sea, discarded stars
twinkling their death from a great distance.
And tomorrow, where am I?
At grandmotherís house in the woods?
In the belly of the beast?
If only my dreams would tell my waking which is which.
Two neighbors and their dog just floated through my eye.
Are they really on the sidewalk?
Or have they entered my brain, chatting and barking?

I wonder how much of my mind I really need to function.
Can I stick stamps to letters while dazzling, evanescent flowers
bloom in the earth-fields of my palms?
Can I weep for the dead when they have lived so much?
Some day, I will join them.
But will I do it on a bicycle or through one of those diseases
whose very names are dread.

My heart, Iím sure, can handle cross-purposes,
fantasy and sore thumbs, a pageant and a poring out of troubles.
Beats are frequent and heavenly.
Or theyíre skimpy and bust-up sad.
My flesh, that endless plant, I could care less about.
My bones may be gold, may be lead, for all I know.
For now, the house is on fire.
That is, when itís not dreaming.

copyright 2009 John Grey



The Dream Life

Last night, she dreamed that she could
walk to the bathroom without stumbling,
without the laughter of millions ringing in her ears.

And there was her husband,
not squashed and splattered
in the wreckage of the Buick
but bounding through the front door,
all smiles and kisses.

And her eldest son was kissing her hand
like she were a queen
and the youngest, the plumberís apprentice,
seeing to the leaking tap.

There was no such thing as a degenerative disease
or a car hydroplaning on a highway
or one boy in uniform and overseas
and the other marrying that woman.

But this morning, she woke
to where she was the same time yesterday.
Canít even build a new life,
not when the nurse comes twice a day,
and you canít get to the hairdresser,
wallow in a perm.

Thank God for television
and the remote control.
So many channels,
she doesnít have to settle on a one.
King Kong takes Viagra
only 9.99 if you call
CSI Miami now.
She wonders why that canít be the dream.

copyright 2010 John Grey