Sunday, May 27, 2007


In spaced-out Houston, Texas
Stands a stately pleasure dome
That opened with a towering home run
By a sober Mickey Mantle —
A dome now vacant, save for occasional
Tractor pull, or private party,
Its manmade turf curling with age,
And Mantle’s ghost haunting home plate.

Not far away, on Death Row,
Hundreds of killers, and perhaps a few others
Wait their turn to draw wretched last breaths,
Shuttered away, at the end of a pitiless needle,
With sober, victimized few to witness.
As Camus once said,
If this is being done in our names,
We should be permitted to watch.

So, sell tickets! Raise money for the dome,
Fill the bleachers, and raffle off retribution
To beer-bold executioners,
As condemned are strapped to gurney at home plate.
Perhaps I’ll win! And save the Astrodome
Like a drunken Mickey Mantle with syringe,
And show the wildly cheering fans
How glorious is revenge.

Copyright 2007, by Jon Gregory.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


They say they found his body
In a bathroom, bloated and shit-smeared.
Fell off the commode with a coronary
While reading some kind of sacred text.
I think he might be in heaven now,
But I'd bet a rock star's drug budget
That his house don't look like Graceland.
Twenty years after they found his obese corpse,
The faithful flooded Memphis
For the biggest velvet-painting convention in human history.
A reporter asked a man on the street
What he thought about the shindig.
He said, "I think it's all very nice,
But I prefer to worship God."

Copyright 2007, by Jon Gregory. Published in The American Dissident, Summer/Fall 2007. Written in 1997.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

PIGPEN PIETY (Dedicated to Robert Tilton)

Now is the time for all good pigs to come to the aid of
their poke.
The master beckons, and you all
must come,
rooting and grunting with porcine joy.
The day of judgment is at hand, and you all
will atone.
The Durocs will be separated from the
Also the boars from the sows, 'cause master don't want no
needless sin.
And if you're right holy hogs you'll go
to that Great Smokehouse on
master's estate.
O Beatific Bacon!
Hallelujah Hambone!
I is borned agin!!

Copyright 2007 by Jon Gregory. Published in The Dallas Review, July 1992.


I'd slept most of the day away
And suddenly found myself atop
My roof, inspecting a metal screen
Held onto the chimney top by three bricks.
The business wasn't interesting.
But a rapidly changing tree
In a neighbor's yard was
Turning red, setting off the yellow
Of our backyard trees.
And I suddenly felt like it
Was worth it to have lived this long.
Standing atop my house like a king.

Copyright 2007, by Jon Gregory. Written in November 1998.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


Death is the candyman
Who lurks beneath the sugar coating.
And by and by,
We all taste his brittle sweetness
On a day when leaves
Turn a sickly yellow,
The color of a lifeless
But well-preserved worm
Pickling near the bottom
Of a bittersweet bottle
Of Oahaxan mescal.

Death is the candyman
Who leads a procession
Of portly mourners
Marching to a sweet mariachi beat.
Most didn't know the deceased,
But sometimes a wake
Is one hell of a party.
So, let's have a shot
And praise the departed.
Death is the candyman
Who sugar-coats the night.

Copyright 2007, by Jon Gregory. Written on el dia de los muertos, 1998.


You tell me you're so lonely.
When were you ever alone?
You never left home
Or roomed among strangers.
You never went someplace new
To reinvent your life.
Even your hardships,
Many as they numbered,
Always were familiar ones.
You never knew the starkness
Of night's open road,
Or predatory faces
Of nameless fears on lamplit streets.
You never took warm pizzas
Into cold massage parlors, porno shops,
Or the blackest alleys of midnight.
As death lurks in the next room,
You'll learn in your old age
What I discovered young.
Our souls are all quite alone,
Even with family and friends.
So learn to savor quiet.
There may be much more of it.

Copyright 2007 by Jon Gregory. Published in Contexas in 1992.