Poem – Eve of The Revolution (By John Grey)


City’s so dark along the edge

and cutthroat down the middle.

There’s a police presence.

They’re looking for identity cards.

But I’m an artist.

Can I show them my vermilion instead?


It’s raining a tarnished silver.

Sirens make a show of keeping people safe.

A drunk’s being kicked and beaten by cops.

All I can do is watch from the window and paint.

Landscapes? Do such things still exist?

Why not portraits.

An important man as how he thinks he is.

But my brush has a hard time lying.


Along the sidewalks, you can count the blood-types.

Guys scribble their toughness on the walls.

Music booms out of every place,

a thousand sources, none to be relied on.

Self-portraits are a way out.

The model can’t leave no matter how much he begs.


Two guys are cussing each other on the street below.

Or maybe they’re just writing the city’s script.

One pulls a knife. I go for a shade of gray.

He plunges but misses.

I drive my color hard into an unsuspecting blue.


More cops.

In this place,

if you haven’t been arrested yet,

you’re doing something wrong.

The jails are short on conscience.

They need one or two of those.

I have a little turquoise.

Will that do?


So many cops here.

People don’t want a voice anymore.

They long for a strangler.

What about an artist?

I squeeze a tube of crimson,

await further orders.



Author Bio:
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Perceptions, Gargoyle and the anthology, No Achilles with work upcoming in Big Muddy Review, Main Street Rag and Spoon River Poetry Review.