Self Non-Explanatory


When anyone asks me,

I invoke the great-great-uncle

with the walrus moustache

who was lost among the wilds of New Guinea,

believed eaten by cannibals.

Sometimes I even recall a movie I once saw,

retelling it so dramatically,

hands waving, voice loud,

I’m all the characters at once.

If people wish to know who I am,

I divert them with fading photographs in albums,

books about Europe in the nineteen century,

a piece of music played the night before

an army went into battle.

Do they really want to know

the places where I scratch,

the baseball team I root for,

my favorite character in “Friends”

Dig up that great-great uncle if you will

but I prefer to remain buried.

Wait for that movie to be rerun on TV,

just not the one where my leading role

was reduced to a minor character.

I’m indifferent to the soliloquy,

prefer the conversation of others.

There’s so much that isn’t me

and that’s a great place to start.



In Cell Phone City


The woman driving the car is on her cell phone.

She’s in heavy traffic, at least all but her voice, and her ears.

Her hearing is well out of reach of the blistering horns.

the grinding engines, the guy beside her streaming

cuss words into the smoggy air.

And her tongue has no interest in making comment

on the world around her: the rear bumper of the

Nissan crawling a foot or so ahead, the lights

swaying above, as slow to change as Galapagos turtles.

“Yes, I’ll be there at eight. Mandy’s baby is due any

day now. Roger doesn’t want to make a commitment.”

Suddenly, her accelerator foot makes the wrong choice.

Her Toyota thumps into that unfortunate Nissan.

It’s 7.30 in the morning. The accident occurs on time.

The other driver is hovering over her car, waving his fist.

Could be his way of making a commitment.


John Grey


John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in International Poetry Review, Sanskrit and the science fiction anthology, “Futuredaze” with work upcoming in Clackamas Literary Review, New Orphic Review and Nerve Cowboy.

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