A Probing

John Grey

Your answer on fish, how they breathe underwater. Nice work. 
But regarding panic attacks. 
Sorry if your mind keeps lumping you here and there. 
And the gun barrel to your temple can't come soon enough. 
But please. Don’t waste good blood flow. 
And what has broken your spirit exactly? 
The way your senses keep assigning you puzzles? 
Or could it just be living in New England? 
You say there’s a crack in your brain. 
No, you correct that, it’s more like a backstreet 
full of deadly ruminations, free-flowing doubts. 
Hallucinogenic drugs don’t do the trick. 
No, they’re nothing compared to what comes naturally.   

About fish. So much of what they do is instinct. 
Okay, so all of what they do. 
Like gazelles when the lioness is stalking from the long grass. 
They can smell themselves think. 
But sorry if memory’s no salvation. 
And heart muscle sends for a doctor not a friend. 
I agree. No brain should treat you this way. 
But it just so happens yours does. 
Something to do with cerebrum 
and accumulation of thought in the bottom of your dumpster. 
Plus, the arbitraries are always hovering over the neuron decks. 
So are voices of the uncaring, 
the ones who keep asking you,  
what’s the square root of a daisy chain 
and never your opinion on something. 
So who is in the strawberry patch with Picasso? 
The answer is to strap a pair of wings  
on the question and fly away somewhere.  
No point sitting here like a chunk of meat on a neck pole. 
Go watch birds fly. Yes, better than a cold gun, there’s always jealousy.

John Grey Pic.jpg

John Grey is an Australian poet, playwright, musician, and US resident. His work is recently published in the Homestead Review, Poetry East and Columbia Review, and upcoming in Harpur Palate, the Hawaii Review and North Dakota Quarterly. A past winner of the Reisling award for genre poetry, he has had plays produced in L.A. and off-off Broadway in New York.