The Blind Date and the Soldier by John Grey

As I sat on the couch,she tended to the photographof the man in Army-issue uniform.Her husband had died. As details emerged,a hero rose up in the roomdefying gravity and death.More time elapsed. Emboldenedby several beers, I wrapped an arm around her.But she had to go and tell me his rank.And how many of the enemy he wastedbefore a lucky shot took him out.I didn’t think … Continue reading The Blind Date and the Soldier by John Grey

The Shock of the Now by John Grey

I learn of your death in the newspaper obits.No facts. Just names of family.But died at thirty-two is a fact unto its own.Unlike ninety-three or eighty-five,the years a woman expects to get. It doesn’t say suicidethough the last poem I read of yours did.Nor is there mention of an accident.Or some deadly sickness.The first, I could believe.Even on the road, you sometimesused your heart for … Continue reading The Shock of the Now by John Grey

The Genie and I by John Grey

It’s not really a lamp.more of an urn,but it’s old,its body egg-shaped,its neck pencil-narrow.  No doubt somegenie is imprisoned within. But I’m reluctant to rub it.I know what happens.That Jinn emerges,promises to fulfill three wishes but tricks me, in my eagerness,to say the wrong thing,turn my requests back on myself,as it loudly laughs its way to freedom. I’ve no need for greedthat oversteps its bounds,desires that masquerades as wants,dreams … Continue reading The Genie and I by John Grey

All of These Rules by John Grey

There are rulesof syntaxand you either ride themlike some bucking broncoor pretend you’reunfamiliarwith subject and predicateand all the restbecause you can’t readwhich is a tough sellwhen you’re a writer like there arerules of respectand dignitywhen you’re witha member of the opposite sexthat you adhere toas admirably as a saintor find particularly constrainingfor the devil in youbecause you can’t keepyour hands off her bodywhich is distressingto … Continue reading All of These Rules by John Grey

The Only Sign of Life by John Grey

In the creeping brown streambehind the abandoned textile mill,chemical runoffcurdles the current. No birds to be heard.No squirrels. No painted turtles.Not even a water rat. The sun’s a trespasserpoking around in weeds and grass,climbing down from broken rooftop tilesto peer in at rusty machinery. Then something long and scalyglides close to the bank,head hidden underwater,all but for two red piercing eyes. The town is dyingof competition from … Continue reading The Only Sign of Life by John Grey