John Grey, 5/25/2015

Current Occupation: Retired
Previous Occupation:  Financial Systems Analyst
Contact Information: Australian born poet, US resident since late seventies. Worked as financial systems analyst. Recently published in Clay Bird Review, Voices de la Luna and Pea River Journal with work upcoming in Euphemism, Gargoyle and The Homestead Review.



The Constant Office

It's not the job I wanted

but it's the one my alarm

sets me up for.

And my razor, shower and tie,

even my coffee,

are in on it.

I get teamwork

even before the real team meets.

When I grab the steering wheel,

I've already been working an hour or more.

The drive is less a commute,

more a moveable office.

By the time I'm in the elevator

up to the tenth floor,

I feel as if

I've only ever been on the job.

I have to make money.

It's like making love

only it's not my wife

but Alexander Hamilton

who's in bed with me.

Of course, Ben Franklin

is the one I really ache for.

The way home is no different.

I pretend to eat dinner,

watch television,

while what I forgot to do today,

what I need to do tomorrow,

fill the in-box of my thoughts.

Even sleep recharges me

for no other purpose

than so that it can

recharge me again the next time.


A Personal Revolution


Seated at his kitchen table,

picking at cold cereal,

husband and factory worker and man,

imagines himself a revolutionary –


Inform all the comrades at once!

Let them bow before these demands

I wrote during the commercials

of last night's ball game.

We have our rights.

We will not be cowed.

Long live the workers!


Andy out after forty years on the job.

They killed him.

They beat his body to a pulp.

They foreclosed on his house,

booted his family out to the street.

Management must listen

or we'll stop work,

smash all the machinery,

and burn this building down.


Finishes breakfast,

slips on boiler suit,

drives to work, clocks in,

reports to the assembly line,

slips some coins in an envelope

for Andy's retirement gift,

Noise and dust,

pain and sweat –

only ten more hours

until the next manifesto.


2 comments on “John Grey, 5/25/2015
  1. Jan Priddy says:

    Thank you for work.

  2. Charles Rammelkamp says:

    I loved “The Constant Office” – it’s why I am glad to be retired now myself! The job was so all-consuming, no room for other thoughts!

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