John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Homestead Review, Poetry East and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Harpur Palate, the Hawaii Review and North Dakota Quarterly.
"The Man Who Was Here then Wasn't" and "The Other America"
There was an America
of red brick with limestone trim.
It was small, overcrowded,
and stood, in upper New York Bay,
at the edge of that other vast America.
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"Bad Neighborhood" and "First Thing in the Morning"
a big black savage dog
is chained to the axle
of a rusty Ford
in the overgrown front lawn
of a dilapidated house
The Ones Who Frequent Ace's
The bar is stained with alcohol
with a mirror behind
so it looks as if there’s twice as many bottles
as there really are.
"Neighborhood Fire" and "A Hospital Joke"
Everyone sleeps but him.
A gaunt though alert face
turns this way, that way,
looking for someone
to tell his jokes to.
"Teenage Years," "Just Boys Being Boys," and "Son of a Stranger"
They were young.
Maybe not the brightest.
But among the most intrepid.
They were not Hitler youth.
Their motto wasn’t “Blood and Honor.”