ISSUE 6: WINTER 2017 / POETRY

“Trying To Appear Tougher Than I Am” by John Grey

What you think you’re doing?
Peeking through a plank with a five inch-knothole.
Fake ID from three different states.
Sneaking into the old movie house without paying.
Staring at the Old Master and declaring,
I can paint better than this shit.
A preference for the words ‘bush league”
to describe just about everything.
Add in a shambling gait that’s almost a shuffle.
A constant look of self-amusement.
And the title – the Baron of Brag.

At seventeen, someone has the nerve to ask,
“What do you think you’re doing?”
There’s construction going on in there.
I really could do with a drink.
I’ve already spent my allowance.
The nudes I get but why must they be painted so chubby?
“Bush league” – it’s a saying of my old man.
Yeah, exactly,
to describe just about anything.
The walk is something I saw in a video.
And, let’s face it, even if the joke’s on me,
I can’t give anyone the satisfaction.
You’re right. What do I have to brag about?
By the way, the word is “barren” not “Baron.”

 

 


 

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