John Grey

John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Hawaii Pacific Review, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in Blueline, Willard and Maple and Clade Song.

All I can do is stay alive.
The hills demand it.
The sparrow song asks for this above all.

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There's no real air in any of these wards.
Everything is permeated with well-meaning poisons.
I stand at the window but the outside
may as well be a million miles away.

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Membership cards
are for anyone who
wants one.
​No, make that needs one.

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as her wrists ache,
shoulders protest
and eyes accede
more and more to memory –

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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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a big black savage dog
is chained to the axle
of a rusty Ford
in the overgrown front lawn
of a dilapidated house

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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.

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Everyone sleeps but him.
A gaunt though alert face
turns this way, that way,
looking for someone
to tell his jokes to.

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They were young.
Maybe not the brightest.
But among the most intrepid.
They were not Hitler youth.
Their motto wasn’t “Blood and Honor.”

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