by David Simms
A woman named Season is listed
as an instructor in fiction writing
at the Gotham Writers' Workshop
in Manhattan. Season Smith-Jones,
or whatever hyphened, has had
fiction, poetry, and book reviews
in literary journals, and has an MA
from Nebraska. Not an MFA, but
no matter. And no matter that I live
far from the city. I'll commute, or
rent a room in a brownstone, or
sleep in Central Park. I want her for
my teacher. To finish my novel, I
must become more seasoned. It is
vital for me to know what Season
looks like, the way she dresses and
walks, and of course how her voice
sounds as she discusses my plot
and its protagonist, and whether I
should shorten Chapter 9. If she
becomes my teacher, I'll invite her
to lunch and ask, over our salted
specials, if she believes in happy
endings. When it's published, I'll
dedicate the book to her. There's
just one obstacle to my plan:
no mention's made of which class
she will teach. Should I enroll in
Level 1 or 2? In the Bowery or in
the Village or in Midtown or on the
East Side? What day? What time?
A plethora of combinations. Not to
mention not just Season but a near-
myriad of instructors. I might get
Brandi Something or Other instead.
Or Danny Whoozit, God forbid.
Does Gotham give tuition refunds?
Perhaps there are seasons Season
would give private lessons. Surely
she could be a woman for all seasons.
FACTS OF MY LIFE
by John Grey
The photographs are merely fill-ins
for this interminable succession.
It’s a close-up of the eggs they should be showing me.
This soup of creation is where my nose comes from,
not these fading shots of great-grandmother
at the shore, suited up hip to knee.
Nor this embarrassed pose of grandpa’s,
standing beside his tractor,
a black dog restless at his heels.
To be here, I came by gamete, zygote,
nine months huddled in dark belly,
finally poked and prodded
into an Ellis island of the light.
Not one glossy in my DNA,
not one shot of Uncle Harold in his uniform,
great-Aunt Matilda nursing to the sick.
I came out expecting an audience of scientists.
So why was it the people in the photographs
who greeted me?
Bio John Grey is an Australian born poet and US resident since the late seventies. Works as a financial systems analyst. Recently published in Slant, Briar Cliff Review and Albatross, with work upcoming in Poetry East, Cape Rock and REAL.