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Gray Brian Thomas  is a 3-time member of the Salt City Slam team (reaching semi-finals stage twice with this team), and current member of the Wasatch Wordsmiths.  He has been  published by Tired Hearts Press, Unshod Quills, and enormous rooms.  
 
Gray tries to be a nice guy most of the time, but most people think he comes off as a tad exasperated. Until recently, he had a large moustache which he had to set free to obtain employment. He has very little skills other than reading as well as folding and refolding small pieces of paper.  His heart and eyes are keen and his words and phrasing are precise, he is a Salt Lake City poet.

Amper Sand

You use ‘&’
instead of ‘and.’
I thought you were trying
to be ornate or cummingsesque.

Now I believe
it’s because ‘and’
is too similar to ‘end’
& I know how
you hate goodbyes.

‘&’ serves as
a conjunctive
joining two words
that belong together.

Peas & carrots.

Bite & burn.

War & peace.

Even if they’re opposites,
‘&’ interconnects them,
as though ‘&’
represents
andinaway resembles
the way limbs intertwine
after a couple of drinks,
piles of cigarette ashes,
innuendoflirtations;
limbs become ‘&.’

There’s a ‘however’
in this explanation, some where.

Nomatter how ‘&’ these words get,
they forever remain separate, remote.

Neither can figure out why
they’re sofarapart
despite longnights of
intertwined limbs.

Peas wonders why carrots
keeps edging away.

Bite wonders why burn
won’t kiss her.

War wonders why Peace
won’t stay the night.

Per haps be cause
these words will never be ‘nevertheless’
will neverbe ‘sunset.’

willneverbe ‘sweethearts.’

Their know  ledge
of temp  oral, flee  ting
pass  ions leave them
dis  con  sol  ate.   

Nomatterhow awe struck
and impasse  ioned
they be come witheachother
theyknow brow  beaten,
theyknow heart  break,
theyknow after shocks,
theyknow Ineverwanttoseeyouagain.

& they under stand thechanceof
another fare  well,
an  other solong,
goodbye,
the &.
Question Mark

I have been trying
to unbend all of my question marks
so they will look like exclamation points,
and thus there will be no more uncertainty,
only excitement.

My palms have become blistered,
my finger tips callused
from my attempts
to place the paper fibers
into a more satisfying alignment.

All of my questions
have now become awkward exclamations,
such as
“Who do you think you are!”
“What is the meaning of life!”
“You’re pregnant!”

And now,
there’s no longer a need
for answers.

Just celebration.


-


Since I have started
unbending all of my exclamations points,
I’ve been wondering how I can unbend
other curves in my life.

If I could straighten out
my last lover’s hips which
resemble the curves of the question mark,
I could actually become excited
about the act
of making love
rather than feeling alone
and depressed
with the thoughts of
that this is quite possibly the last.

Or, I could straighten out
my 82-year-old grandmother’s back
so that she could live
the remainder of her life
in comfort and jubilance
rather than taking small,
careful steps
through her living room
forced to gaze at the floor
as though looking for
the tiny fragments of her life
that slowly broke off and disappeared
into the worn fibers
of the carpet.

Finally, if I could straighten out
all the curves in my life,
I could straighten out
that drunken 80 mph bend
in the road
coming down the canyon,
and you would be here
with me tonight
and we could still go
shot-for-shot
yelling
obscenities
at each
other
from
across the room
and still
dancing
and dancing
like idiots,
like death
isn’t lingering
with his
heavy breath
on our
shoulders,

instead I am sitting here, alone, drinking by myself, staring at the wall, pushing paper fibers into alignment, and asking your ghost “What the hell were you thinking?”

 


Niels
08/30/2013 11:38am

Great Poems! I have heard this guy read before and he is awesome.

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