Cradle the homeless below – dissonance without even fully opening the door. Dealing with all these familiars of mermaids, finally, I’m fired up. Fumes rise, the murals, for

the most part, full of myths and voices and those who may never return. Get rid of the income tax, screams a voice from the painted crowd. I weave metal into their mouths. Applause goes down for years at a clip. Yes, the garden of man  has its way with mystery. And, through me, history is a bed, hot and scented in May and then some. I drink to the human past. Huron, Norse – you have my attention.  They telepath from where they’re buried alive, for instance. None of this I am busy, some years are better than others. Freebasing knowledge, I cast again and again. Yet unlike my peers, I cover a hundred years to their most recent hour. I find myself doing everything, leaving my mark like molasses, or foul-smelling orchids. Mirror’s calling. I’m not sure what is in my eyes.

I hope they don’t mind. There’s a thrill in this struggle to see. I speak though liquid, a series of shifting commands, in bars with the bands, and then, in grief, a fallen angel offers slight moisture for my eyes, morning, planted near the pillow of this deep pulsing wood, in the people I have not touched, in the remains of the golden hair. Incredible, I can be inside the car at the same time as I’m within the mysterious gut of time, intent on understanding the baseline that’s interlacing mine. Empty bottles line my library, as does this bowl of dark cloud I call the 21st century. I know nothing about it so why has it chosen me? No wall between, the year is involved with some local mob boss. It is also within me, but incomplete. Is that why you left? We had no working title? Did the bed not treat you fairly? Give it time. It will find a way. Its heart is in the right place. Ah, I remember now. It flooded. The house crumbled on its way to becoming a bigger issue.

That’s the how and why I continually reconnect to - the jungle trail. Clear away the snow and it is the same hour but years later. Have you ever known an hour so lazily slurred? It  longs for a flock of crows to unsheathe from you, from me. It takes a while, but its clutters home eventually. That’s cool you must admit. And it won’t be long now. Plus what could it possibly destroy? The standards?  I was not aware I was putting you at risk. 

It’s not about couples per se, it’s really what you do with them. Adopt the graven face of persistence or harvest fine ears of mid-western corn. Really, in a relationship, the tail shadows the whole body, the third rib snaps and floats out. You just have to pull it together, maintain its one room my studio for a year and half, curtail your inventions. 

Joins relinquished, now it is a thin strip.




John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Homestead Review, Cape Rock and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Poem and Spoon River Poetry Review.