Two Poems || by John Grey



It’s a charnel house of metal
trolled by do-it-yourself mechanics; 
    a Mustang enthusiast is knee-deep in hubcaps,
    digging for his fantasy
while another guy’s on the lookout
    for a rear bumper in one piece;
some denizens have the haughty ease of haute couture
    as they search not just for model
    but a particular year;
others fish for headlamps
or hood ornaments,
disinter an old accident 
    for a grille or nameplate;
suave and greasy longs for foreign,
    Italian or French,
    a seat that once cushioned the ass
    of a beautiful woman;
so many cars in this mountain of rust,
so many rats who’ve lived 
in just about all of them;
    Toyotas glint in the sunshine
    or weep in the rain,
and, come moonlight,
it’s hard to tell what’s shattered glass
and what’s eyes of the Doberman pinschers;
    it astonishes that folks go looking for a loved one
    in the wreckage of Fords and Chryslers,
    that the most elegant thing in some lives,
    is an old car radio; 
most of the ones who wander through the junkyard
are old and graying,
a few trailed by youngsters
who get their schooling in the art
of getting a lot for a little
    (even if what they’re getting
    looks like even less);
but it’s like popping the cork on champagne 
when a fan-belt’s as good as new,
or a battery still has some juice in it;
everywhere you look, 
there’s someone with their arms raised,
screaming “Halleluiah”;
in this church, an Audi brake pedal 
can absolve any or all General Motors’ sins.


Though ubiquitous
in real life, the river has
left my subconscious alone 
until now. Though 
as familiar as a dog’s
lick, it’s stayed out 
of dreams and
especially nightmares,
like when I’d be the 
one drowning.  
But the cops are
pulling some drenched 
fool out of its brown waters.
They’ve slumped a body
on the banks, are keeping
the people back. The white
angels are now garbed in 
black. Ducks turn into
vultures. Songbirds
depart. Crows move in. 
From now on, no one
who goes swimming
will ever make it
out of there alive.
The church lowers
its cross now Jesus is done
with saving.  

Image Credit: ©Pinterest


JOHN GREY is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” “Memory Outside The Head” and “Guest Of Myself” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Ellipsis, Blueline and International Poetry Review.

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