One Night At Barry’s Nightclub

by John Grey

I was intrigued by
an asymmetrical surface
shaped by the quirks
of ancestral DNA.

A combination of forehead,
cheeks, ears, nose, mouth
and chin
with a neck base,
and bordered by long brown locks.

It operated with some kind
of hinge mechanism,
because it proved capable
of both looking in my direction
and then turning completely away.

The back view
was smooth, covered over,
and far less detailed.
It wasn’t capable of smiling.
Or of much beyond a resounding “No.”


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Midwest Quarterly, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in South Florida Poetry Journal, Hawaii Review and the Dunes Review.

A Farmer’s Viewing Station

by John Grey

He once thought just land was beauty,
or a gold that moved in
whenever the topsoil was exposed

but the crop makes him think
of help that will never come,
dirt that nickels and dimes him to desperation,

and rocks, once necklace now headstone.
Who emptied the Earth, he wonders.
Who dressed the bones hot as a stove.

Everywhere he looks,
fastened to the windows,
stunted fields of corn.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Midwest Quarterly, Poetry East and Columbia Review with work upcoming in South Florida Poetry Journal, Hawaii Review and Roanoke Review.