Sunday, March 21, 2010

John Grey - Two Poems

Another Shooting Victim

When shot, he just stood there.
Despite the bullet shattering his skull,
he wouldn’t lie down.
He was far removed from the body by this.
And the bones and flesh
didn’t know what to do.

It was then that gravity took over.
The explosive now was done with.
The how-it’s-going-to-be
was quivering the ends of his body.
The feet gave up.
Nothing else to do,
lungs sucked up the grin.

And then it was our sorrow that stood there.
Then it was weak-tea tears
left to fend for themselves
after the people crying them
had gone onto other things.
Tears just let themselves go,
splashed onto the ground or someplace.
Without life,
death was on its own.

Leave My Gloom Alone

I despise this light in winter.
Better darkness like black crepe
tacked up everywhere,
then a sun at such a flat angle.
It may as well be the moon on fire.
If I’m not going to leave this place ‘til April,
why make it appear as if I should?

But you’re happy anytime.
You hum the drops in temperature,
sing the snow down to the ground.
You’ve got a tune for every human condition
and none are perkier than your weather selections.
So where did you get such
a light and airy soundtrack?
The movie we star in is a tragedy.

What’s next with you?
A song and dance routine at a wake?
A bouncy jingle to set among
sorrow’s dour pigeons?
Why not even a light whistled melody
for family arguments to tune to?

If I’m going to suffer
then please set the mood to suffering.
None of this making the best of everything.
You know what my voice is like.
I’m afraid I’ll sing along.

John Grey has been published recently in The Georgetown Review, The Pinch, South Carolina Review and The Pedestal, and has work upcoming in Alimentum and Big Muddy.

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