Poetry from John Grochalski

 


the masturbator

 

hear him

 

in the library stacks

oohing and aahing

beating that rhythm

to chinese beauty magazines

 

see him

 

head down

on hard wood tables

snoring and scratching his balls

sleeping like a child of heaven

 

a wad of paper towel

still clutched in his hand.





this work email

 

today

i’m not going to answer

this work email

 

i may never answer it

 

i want the person who sent it

to sit in their office

 

and wonder why i didn’t respond

 

yes

 

i’m going to let

this email sit in my inbox

and rot

 

like raw meat in the hot summer sun

 

because

it’s the only form

of independence

 

that i truly have left.





bait box blues

 

i watch

the exterminator

put poison and steel wool

into the holes in the wall of my office

 

watch him set a huge yellow trap

with a dollop of chocolate

and line up bait boxes

like rows of black, plastic apartment buildings

 

the rat has run by me

twice in a month

 

the second time

i sprained my foot

trying to get away from him

 

the exterminator looks at peace

while he sets the traps

 

he gets up off the ground

and says, we’ll get him

 

fooling me into a certainty

that i haven’t felt in a long while

 

even though tomorrow i know

 

the steel wool

will be pulled out from all the walls

 

the chocolate from the trap

licked up and gone

 

those bait boxes pushed around

like an earthquake hit

 

and a small pile of rat shit

will be waiting for me

 

on my desk

 

reminding me of my true place

in this pecking order.            





 halcyon

 

each human transgression

is its own freshly sharp blade of grass

 

i try not to hold it against anyone

but sometimes you just want someone to blame

for all of this sadness and futility

 

a god to shake a fist at

 

and i could say i make

the best of things in my spare time

 

but i don’t

 

i’m a hungry man with a fork

in a world full of nothing but soup

 

angry almost always

and growing older ungracefully

 

another car wreck of a human life

 

musing those halcyon days

that never were

 

as the stoplight changes

from green to red

 

and any semblance of home

seems an eternity away.





everything

 

and

when she said

it feels like

you hate everything now

 

there was

nothing left to do

but wash the dirty dishes

sitting in the

dirty sink.


John Grochalski is the author of five poetry collections, three novels, and the forthcoming novella Wolves of Berlin Play Amateur Night at the Flute and Fiddle Pub. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

 

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