UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY
JOHN GREY

Crash Course

So that's death I thought
as I drove by the smoldering wreck.
It was still recognizably a car
but one only a stretch of black ice
and a pole could invent.

And the red light of an ambulance
could well usher in the angels,
while the cops stand by
keeping the devils at bay.

No priest on hand
but there was a stretcher
and that would have to do
for the ladder of light.

Eventually, the crash disappeared
from my rear view mirror
and it was just blackness behind me,
headlights in front.
Breathing, I think they call it.


Street Guy and Me

Please not that aged hippy
with beat up guitar,
out on the sidewalk
strumming and chortling
"Fire And Rain"
with a cap at his feet
that's barely acquainted
with coin or note.

I make love
and it's street musician city.
I write, I work, I visit family,
and the soundtrack
is bad tunes and begging.

And I walk down
Main Street and that
friendless guy is telling me
"You've Got A Friend."
And the repertoire never varies.
For ten years now,
he's been insisting
"The Times They Are A-Changin'."

Feels like I'm doomed,
from cradle to grave,
to be unwitting audience
to the bastard child
of James Taylor, Bob Dylan,
and a toothless Karaoke singer.
He even asks me,
"Any requests?"
What's he mean?
Is there something besides life?


In Between Time

The world is taking a short break
from establishing connections

some truths have fallen into place already
and soon some others will stumble likewise

but right now things are drifting mostly
they're not in the mood to be explained

the one watching over it all from a distance
has closed his eyes while waiting for equivalent forces
to catch up

so while he's not looking time could repeat itself
or it could choose not to happen at all

the one generalization that the integrated state
depends on proves lazy when not closely observed

a man can live briefly outside the continuity of motion
and a woman can ignore a fundamental proposition floating
by

they can move along lines other than that of least
resistance

arms open hearts tipping they can be other than what
goes into existences at large

they can be detached like it's their final answer
even if eventually they must rejoin their relative

positions their component parts
rules don't break they just stall and stutter

there must be a point to this
there must be a point
while they're busy saying this

there's always a moment or two that's nothing but luxury
couples seize the displays of mass just before they're
sucked into their denser form
they make love in full view of the formula


John Grey has been published recently in Agni,
Worcester Review, South Carolina Review and
The Pedestal.







2008 Underground Voices