2 poems by: john grey

the male of the species

Friday night
in the bar
the hooker
who said her name
was Colette

offered him delights
unthinkable
in the drabness
of his own household –

his teenaged daughter
wrapped a red-stained Kotex
in tissue paper
and disposed of it
in the garbage –

Colette wasn’t too bright
while his daughter was a straight A student

and yet one was comfortable in her world
and the other was frightened and aching
at the changes in her body –

he drove home
without taking Colette
up on her offer

to find his tearful daughter
in her mother’s arms –

he headed straight to bed –

it was a night
when he left all women to it.


to be Picasso

I admire painters.
A picture’s worth
ten thousand lines
of free verse
at least.
Actually, I envy them.
Their garrets,
their models,
the way the eye
and the hand connect.
When they’re done,
there’s color on smock,
on jeans, on cheeks,
as well as on the canvas,
I write a poem.
There are no word stains.
And painters always
look the part,
the ruffled hair,
the unchained attitude,
the madness in the stare.
Poets blend in.
The worst that can happen to me
is to be picked out in a crowd.
And painters sell their works.
Poets are lucky
if they can give theirs away.
Best of all,
painters hang
their stuff on walls.
When poets hang,
a noose has to be sent for.

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