by John Grey

Impact – cue ball 
smacks against solid green – 
drops it in the hole, 
backspins toward the waiting yellow. 
What’s not to love? 

Chalking the tip of the stick, 
gripping it tight but tender,
lined up on the rail: 
eye, colors, the abyss. 
When is vision ever as unclogged? 
The point so obvious? 

The bartender, the drinkers,
are oblivious. 
Conversations, smoke,  
laughter, jukebox music, 
have nothing to do 
with my mastery of geometry.

But I’m on a roll. 
The balls are falling. 
On a bounded table, 
slabs of slate  
clothed in felt, 
there is none can beat me this night. 
Who’s not to adore? 

A self-portrait? 

No, a soliloquy 
where the protagonist stands alone, 
scrutinizes the nature of the world, 
comes to terms 
with his own place in it. 

In this case, 
pool stick in hand, 
balls racked and ready, 
waving a sawbuck 
at any fool enough to play me.