Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dear Editors,

I’m enclosing a selection of poetry as a submission to Record Mag.

I’ve been published recently in the Talking River, South Carolina Review and

Karamu with work upcoming in Prism International, Poem and the Evansville Review.


John Grey


Such thick glasses,

when pretty she can’t see,

when homely, the world shows up

though it’s more like the lens is in it,

not her face.

At her best, it’s all a blur.

Worst case scenario, everything comes into focus.

Still, her man can’t get enough of her,

removes those spectacles,

kisses the ignorant lids.

He knows something she doesn’t apparently.

It’s all to do with what he sees,

how he explains it to her.

It may come second hand

but it’s still lovely, lovely, lovely.

He’s an instrument

that would make an optometrist proud.

If he weren’t inside her,

he’d fit neatly on her nose.

A man is like a pair of glasses,

the thicker the better.


If this weren’t sex

it would be anger.

If you weren’t urging me on

with soft, doughy eyes,

you’d be holding me back

with a war-like tongue.

When passion arises,

first it must choose sides.

The blood has to know

which way the battle is going.

Do we whisper? Do we shout?

Do we hug inside each other?

Do we simmer at arm’s length?

If we weren’t touching

with fingers,

we’d be touching with looks.

If not the accelerating rhythm

of together,

then the disparate percussion

of that harder kind of closeness.

We’re each in the way

of where our lives are moving.

So do we celebrate or blame?


The same guys

who used to hang out

at the back of the barn

boasting off all the chicks

they’d laid,

now sit around drinking in bars,

bragging about their hunting exploits.

No huge leap

from hand on knee

to lining up a big buck

in the sights,

from going for the crotch

to pulling the trigger.

One’s eyes light up when he says,

“bad the head stuffed,

hung it on the wall,”

like it was something he wished

he’d thought of years before.

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