John Grey — Two Poems
THE ABSURDITY OF MODERN DISARRAY
My books are up to their old habits.
They move in with crossed wires, loose papers.
And look, the coaster and the CD are transposed.
I rest my cup on Miles Davis.
I play the latest symphony by Ed’s Garage.
What’s original purpose anyhow?
Does a DVD really need to be seen?
Can’t it keep a desk from wobbling?
And I’ve never known a pen yet
that wasn’t better served as toothpick.
I’m surrounded by printers
that rumble a cat to sleep,
a ruler that taps an invigorating rhythm.
Needs come up all the time.
Everything’s willing to satisfy.
It’s all a mess and the beauty is
how every ill-suited thing
makes itself useful anyhow.
I give my body as evidence.
Like the heart is a willing brain.
And when beer’s involved,
the mind is the perfect stomach.
Disarray is really array
left up to its imagination.
Like sometimes, I wonder where
I put the screw driver.
And that’s where the hammer comes in.
By day, the river’s disinterred
No bodies, just fishermen.
Or a young boy and his hound.
Slurp of a tongue, bite on the line—
faces glow like the waters.
This is really two rivers
the light and the dark.
The new morning’s a great catch.
But late at night, the river
grasps her to its breast,
cools her fever,
holds her troubled head under,
promises more relief
deep, toward the rocky bottom.
Dark river doesn’t have to beg.
The heart’s had more than enough of that.
If this stream can fill the lungs
of the earth’s horizon,
then a prospect, already wading
up to its throat,
is one more good face dip
on the road to drowning.
Midnight waters take the weight.
They pulse with bubbles,
pop them in unseen air.
And then it’s almost dawn,
the cops, the divers,
spin their faces through the whirring lights.
Soon the sun, the fish,
the men, the boy, the hound, arrive.
The body’s being dragged out
at just that moment.
That’s all a day asks of us.
John Grey is Australian-born short storywriter, poet, playwright, musician, and Providence, RI resident since the late seventies. Has been published in numerous magazines including Weird Tales, Christian Science Monitor, Greensboro Poetry Review, Poem, Agni, Poet Lore and Journal Of The American Medical Association, as well as the horror anthology, “What Fears Become” and the science fiction anthology, “Futuredaze.” Has had plays produced in Los Angeles and off-off Broadway in New York. Winner of Rhysling Award for short genre poetry in 1999.