To The Critic

I can only think of you
by making a game of it.

It’s monopoly and
you’re the banker
or craps and it’s
your right hand
that’s rolling the dice.

You step in
when the odds arc
in your favor
then fade away
if I seem to be winning.

You see yourself
as offering encouragement
but like a winner’s patronizing
to the poor soul
struggling in second.

The thing is,
the better I get at this,
the less likely 1 am
to give this all up
to be you.

Okay, so I’ve written
a poem about you.
But be careful what you criticize.
It might not be a poem at all.
It could just be you.


Projected Letters is a literary magazine dedicated to publishing the best new and established writing from around the world.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Homestead Review, Harpur Palate and Columbia Review with work upcoming in the Roanoke Review, the Hawaii Review and North Dakota Quarterly.