photo of the view from atop a tall building ledge

Two Poems by John Grey

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The Last Revolutionary

You stuck your nose where it wasn’t wanted.
No surprise then when they sheared it clean off.
It all goes back to these others’ need for privacy,
to keep themselves to themselves.
And your tongue got the same treatment.
A good slice of politics,
a great chunk of what matters to you.
That’s interesting, they nodded,
before gutting your throat.
So you retreated into your eyes,
stared your way into the being of the crowd,
until they found you out,
dug out your sight with their stilettos,
their umbrella handles,
their plastic swords.
All you could do then was think of them
and that would never do.
They kicked your head around like a soccer ball
until it broke from the neck,
smashed against a brick wall,
crushed the brain.
Now, there’s just this headless man,
walking and touching, walking and touching,
with no clue who or why.
Would you believe they enjoy that.

Man on the Ledge

A great silence undertook
to relieve him of his duty.
It hardly mattered that
he had to stand for hours
on a narrow ledge of stone.
The unrepentant world
stood unveiled before him:
streets crisscrossing
like veins and arteries
unloosed from their hearts,
crawling beetle cars,
people-like creatures
with their necks arched upward,
their mouths forever frozen
in fascination and horror.
He had no one to answer to at last.
He couldn’t float up
so the sky, blue and cloudless,
stripped its direction
of all responsibility.
The air below was free and indifferent.
The ledge was charged with the loving prospect
of ultimate annihilation.
If it could stand it, so could he.

John Grey is an international man of mystery. So much so that we don’t have a bio or author photo of him.

Lead image: “Man on a Ledge 2.0 Tilt Shift” (via Flickr user Freaktography)