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emmer effer
a pretend genius broadsuction
some days are better than none
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John Grey


When it comes to hair,
I understand none of it.
Should you keep it long and flowing
down your back?
Ought it be short ,
cut evenly around,
Louise-Brooks style?
Is a perm called for?
What about curls?

Hair, to me,
is at best, indifferent,
at worst annoyance.
It's like the ref at a basketball game ...
the less you hear from him,
the better a job he's doing.

But to you,
it where your body begins.
Without it doing what you need it to,
the rest of you will fail.
You're looking in the mirror,
wondering should you or shouldn't you
get it cut or leave it alone,
style it or let it find its own natural shape.

When it comes to mirrors,
my ignorance takes over.
It's just glass.
If I could comb my hair in a poem,
I would.


A man walks past a poor woman,
under a gray sky borne
beyond themselves
but for now each step
carrying iron down a rocky path
flanked by a flight of birds
which they cannot follow.

He's ignores her,
his head in hands, her mind alight,
her vision immeasurably far
in a shabby sort of way,
in flame, in silence,
burdened by this path to truth.

It's too quiet,
no alarm to raise, no message,
just a bare tree, a bare-footed woman,
and he recently returned
from every other place,
rests in front of her, on a stick.

She's only just awakened,
Soon she must find food, shelter.
But now, she tells him,
that all straight lines sear away
the streams, winds, bear us,
the yearning's tunneled down, turned aside.
gives gossamer to the eyes
that match day's narrow prism,
that see only fake horizons
as up ahead we travel weathered

What could she say,
What survives the dead?
What does it mean
to ask whose heart is fire,«
with a fiery knowledge,
with one absurd center,
with one unwitting voice?


Promenade gulls come to me
via the drone of half-sleeping,
as stars toss with steeples
for the rights to fading dark,
and wing beat, wave, combine
to reinvent the clocks for sand.

Woman, rubbing her eyes like
a bell about to ring, and sun now
gaining altitude, convinced that
there should be no resting place,
only a free market of skin,
and eyes like black beetles
crawling to their place on her face,
sight atop their carapace.

Outside the motel room,
there's a man in a corridor
reciting parables.
Above, children poke the blisters
in creaky stairs.
A yawn reaches down from
failed love-making
like a manta ray's tail.
Meanwhile, we suffer its sting
in cups of disdained coffee.

Life demands a certain joy
from the novelty of foreign places,
the same life that confines
eternity to a book, real love to years ago.
Today, a crumbling building will be
the source of Valhalla, a beach
will droop beads over our salty necks,
a sentence, half-dimmed by accent,
will pronounce on the goodness of our money,
the limpid whirl of souvenirs.


Australian born poet, US resident since late seventies. Works as financial systems analyst. Recently  published in Connecticut Review, Alimentum and Writer’s Bloc with work upcoming in Pennsylvania English, Prism International and the Cider Press Review.
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