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Grey Sparrow Journal and Press, as of January 31, 2018 will move to

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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The Day Betty Died

the day betty died a long forgotten memory

tugged me by the ear..


a vapor  maybe

saying we must visit

holes stuffed in the dark.


why have you hidden from me  for so long

my dearest betty?

why could i not remember you

when i  needed you most?

on which ledge did i leave that glowing

memory and simply move on without it?


i am spiritual when i remember you


when i think of betty she is in the kitchen.

in the living room.

in the car smoking with the windows

rolled up.

she is in the air–all around me

asking me did i know what i did was wrong

and when  was i going to come  back

and she always smiled when i lit her cigarette. 

                                                         -Kevin McCoy

Driving by the Old House

driving by the house.

the old house.

rattle of disappointment like a smoker’s last gasp.

scratch of sagging chains across the  lino in the kitchen.

empty shelves.

empty frames.

notre dame dreams spun by the chimneys smoke and sulfur.

station wagon clocked  pointless miles.


it’s a joke shared between us. 


this place gets to you


a planet too far out to matter now


the wisdom from the astronomers


as i stood there minutes ticked by

and the stars and planets aligned

but i could not embrace my time

i could  not grow up


and there’s the house–

the old house

like it's always been there

like it’s never been built.


the trees are brilliant now that the mills are chained

the grass is wet and burns loud green

it’s a schizophrenic swamp

a swamp the city fathers regret. 


what’s a boy to do

the oft held bitter turn of thought

i can feel the pain and inhale the smoke

this is where i am

i haven’t budged an inch in years.

                                   -Kevin McCoy