May 13-19, 2024: Poetry from John Grey and Victoria Lincourt

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John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in New World Writing, North Dakota Quarterly and Lost Pilots. Latest books, ”Between Two Fires”, “Covert” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in California Quarterly, Seventh Quarry, La Presa and Doubly Mad.

The following work is Copyright © 2024, and owned by John Grey and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Guy at the Open Mike

He wore frayed blue overalls.
His close-cropped hair
would have passed muster
in army boot camp.

He sat stone-faced
at a coffee house table,
a few scraps of paper
spread before him,
sipping on coffee
as black as what
most everyone else was wearing
in that basement dive.

It was an open poetry reading,
the usual stream of monotone-voiced sufferers
of every emotional malady
that ever spread its sensory viruses
through the written word.

Someone asked if he wanted to read
but he shook his head.
“My stuff’s just shit,” he sighed.

Next up was a blood-clot on two legs
whining about Christopher Columbus
followed by a girl
with face so pale and white
you could have mistaken her
for a page intentionally left blank.

He said he worked second shift
in a factory,
jotted things down from time to time
about stuff he knew
like work and riding his motor bike.
“Besides,” he added,
“my voice is raspy
and people find the way I talk
tough to understand.”

Open mike went on
without him
but sorely in need of him.

Victoria Lincourt

Victoria lives in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA. She enjoys orange cats and 90s TV. She often finds herself writing about memory, family, and change.

The following work is Copyright © 2024, and owned by Victoria Lincourt and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Family Medical History

I love to put lemon in my whiskey. I do it every day.
…………The bite of it brings me closer to my ancestors,
………………………that old grandpa who salted his beer and his buttermilk.
……………………………………And when I cuss loud and red, I think of him too.

I love listening to the music
…………you listen to as it floats through the thin wall.
………………………It sounds like I’ve paused outside of a hotel wedding
……………………………………or stopped on the sidewalk in the dark
…………………………………………………as I can hear a party going on in a stranger’s house.
……………………………………………………………I imagine that you’re dancing slowly to yourself
……………………………………………………………………………in your golden room on the other side of the wall.

I love to lie free and clear.
…………it brings me closer to being a cool running creek,
………………………like that other grandpa who went to MIT and fought
……………………………………in the war and met the president all at the same time.
…………………………………………………And when I want to leave without letting anyone know, I’m him too.


I love to floss in between every tooth
…………I imagine that finally,
………………………I am clean in all the dark places.

 

I Type This Into Google Maps

magnolia or maybe honeysuckle on warm air?

wind just blown across a frozen lake

the waterfall at the end of a congregation hike in 2006

cemetery of my great great grandmother

train platform from my mother’s last trip to see her brother

alternate timeline of our family religion

alternate timeline of past bad husbands

cold river near me

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