two poems by robert duncan gray


A famous Viennese prostitute died of meningitis and
a Russian tightrope walker died of self-inflicted castration and

there is a pure white bicycle by the side of the road.
That means somebody died there too. Some bicycle rider.

A haunting monument to the fragility of life
or a bicycle gone to waste. Somebody

could ride that to work or to
their cousin’s house. We should all

visit each other more often or at least
talk on the telephone or something. We ride

bikes, I guess. Anything could happen. A crippled bird
could land on your shoulder.

A rain dance of dead
bodies. A bathtub overflowing.
A piano that plays itself
in a mall. All day
at work I think about
your thighs humming like a
refrigerator, buzzing like blonde hair.

Row me a boat. A
small island with a lighthouse.
I envy lonely men with
all their sadness and autumn
to shake at a windowsill,
to ignore the curtains.

I think I am going to die
drinking a glass of milk.
Robert Duncan Gray is an Englishman who grew up in the Black Forest of southwest Germany and currently lives and works in Portland, OR. He is an editor for Housefire Publishing. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Smalldoggies Magazine, Stoked Press and metazen. He is the author of the forthcoming novella, The Son of the Sun, out on Housefire in May 2012.