Study By John Grey

Study By John Grey

Fourth coffee, seventh book,
apartment looking down on train-track,
knowledge’s cruelty frozen into wrinkles,
his friends tried to convince him
that ignorance is inviolate
but with a lot of cramming
he may yet know these things.

Clock strikes midnight.
Legend has it that,
math and literature
dissolve into dust motes
at such an hour –
but no, he’s the one who fades,
or is it Pip, dissolute, broke,
or planar right angles in spheres.

He whispers in Romeo’s ear –
“Stay with me.”

H begs Hipparchus
not to bail out on him
but it’s sleep that walks
his streets of London,
that incorporates complex numbers.

His head falls down
on a makeshift desk.
In the morning,
he awakens with a stiff neck,
tired, and feeling a fact or two shy
of total ignorance.
So he makes coffee.
Opens another book.
Luckily, today
there’s no math, no lit,
just a character test.
Pass this

and who says he won’t pass these others.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Examined Life Journal, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Leading Edge, Poetry East and Midwest Quarterly.


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