poems by John Grey

The Kitchen Knives and I


been here forever

still straining to hear that lost chord

linger after the others leave

living under the constant pressure

the knives put me under

munching enigmatically

reluctant to leave my den

my stretch is nowhere near

at an end

maybe they will come to their senses

again for me

remember the younger man  leaning back and laughing

me with my sneakers a tacky brown and white

carving a message in sand

revealed as the water recedes –

now it’s twilight

and deep cerulean

strung up in the midst of winter

mind empties itself

all over the kitchen cabinet

just inches from

miracles        a drawer not to be opened




Another Drive-by Shooting


When the bullet hit,

his body pitched forward


and, before he flopped onto the sidewalk,

his mind was remembering the cousin

who was shot in the exact same spot,


how, though up in the room

he shared with his two brothers,

he could tell from the loud report

and the cries down below

that someone had been taken out,

most likely a guy that he knew.


Lying in a heap,

blood spilling from his chest,

he could hear the ambulance, the cops,

long before they came,


because those were

the sounds from the last time,

They’d come for him the once.

Now they were coming again.




This Feeling from Below


As I go to bed,

the basement breathes down my neck –

stale air –

can’t keep them it bay –

can’t breathe the oxygen that will save me –

circled by filth – don’t feel haunted as much as

discarded –

so how do I survive?

does the odor leave eventually?

I’m being poisoned –

where are my friends?

why have they given up asking

how things are with me?

the night is curdled,

rotting in my nostrils –

no stars, no moon, no sky, not even an attic –

just these fumes

I cannot exorcise –

just people too busy to even say

ah, here he is again.

poems by John Grey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top