Two Poems by John Grey


the crowd can’t get enough
of that female corpse

being dragged from the river –
if you slapped that

grisly green flesh
on a plate before them

they’d gorge on the misfortune
like vultures

then piss in their own mouths
to wash it down

unless, of course,
it’s someone they know –

then they’d be sated enough
for having pushed her.


The leaking tap
seems important at the time.
Despite my struggles with, wrench and washer,
my failure drip drip drips out of the faucet.

On TV, more sick, more dying.
A nun lifts up a frail arm,
thin as a plumber's snake.

On that tell-all screen,
the world is never more repulsive.
Children with concave chests, bloated bellies.
Lepers. A young girl's botched circumcision.
An old man sunk in a mire of sores.

Almost forget the leaking tap
in all this misery.
But it's insistent.
Hard to believe a tiny drop of water
can beat the basin like a bass drum.

The tap never does get fixed.
Likewise the world.
The newscast, at least,
can turn to weather and sports.
No idea who won.
Only that it rained in my house.

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