More Tales From the Laundromat

More Tales From the Laundromat



I enter the laundromat clutching clouds,

am greeted by cumulus steam

A radio crackles in the background

like a distress call from somewhere out at sea.

On all sides, wobbling white and grey monsters

churn and belch and shake the room.

On wooden benches sit expressionless robots

of all races, some staring at the wiles

of the hypnotist spin,

others slowly turning limp pages

of year-old People Magazines.

I look about for the one machine at rest

but eager to join the others in noise and reverie.

A few coins, some soap powder later,

and I am on that same bench,

but pulling a squashed-up paperback from my pocket,

Kafka’s “The Trial”, the sweat-stained coffee-spill edition.

“What you’re reading?” asks the guy next to me.

“It’s the story of a man arrested and tried

for an undisclosed crime by a remote inaccessible

authority,” I reply.

The man fades into the pages

of a Sports Illustrated.

“Of course everything stems from

his inner self,” I add.

My words are drowned out

by the clang and bang 

of sheets fighting back against

the greater forces of cleaning and rinsing –

my purpose here after all

if not my interior work


John Grey


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Stand, Washington Square Review and Sheepshead Review. Latest books, ”Between Two Fires”, “Covert” and  “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in the McNeese Review, Santa Fe Literary Review and California Quarterly..

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