Catalogues by John Grey

Catalogues arrive in droves.
They want me fitted out with hunting rifles,
fishing waders up to my knees.
They’d have me listen to
CD’s of the Four Lads
or take home courses in Philosophy.
Some even think I’m Joan not John.
Hence, I’m let into the secrets
of somebody called Victoria.

I’ve heard this is all very scientific,
that my purchases tell the world about me,
trigger a response in various points of the compass
that automatically sends a glossy brochure
directly to my house.

I confess I abhor shopping.
Unless I’m wading through piles
of second hand books of course.
And now the enemy thinks it’s doing me a favor
by laying me to siege
though my traitorous mailbox.
Every one of these catalogues goes
directly into the trash.
As I do it,
I imagine I’m some goliath
dumping a chain store
into the abyss.

It’s a commercial world so they tell me.
A catalogue is capitalism’s advanced guard.
They know I’m in here.
But they don’t know me.




John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Schuylkill Valley Journal, Cape Rock and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Poem and Spoon River Poetry Review.


Photo Credit: bookfinch via Flickr

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