Poetry from John Grochalski

 monday morning meeting my landlady on the street

it’s a week day

and i’ve skipped work

when we see each other like this

my head

is vodka/wine cloudy

i have not yet recovered from

last week’s six-day work week

we are tight smiles

and inane pleasantries

to her i’m a monthly check

copious booze bottles on recycling evenings

and little else

her eyes get wide

and she says, not working today?

but i smile and reassure her

that it’s just a scheduled day off

that seems to placate her

but i don’t know how

i’m going to sooth her soul tomorrow

when i’m fucking off from the place again

drowning myself

in a titanic of wine

and internet porn


that i own this whole

goddamned world

no matter whom

i write the rent check to.

mother of the year

one kid

standing on tables

one kid

playing in traffic

the third one

picking his ass

and sniffing his fingers

her dumb face

glued to a cell phone

streaming tv shows

as the village




around her.

the love songs of joey ramone

all these years later

and i still remember the way

her tears soaked through the phone

the sound a heart breaks

when it breaks long distance

she wanted to be a child bride

but i wanted to be jack kerouac

only i was nothing to her now

but a punk

…gabba gabba hey.


sculpted women in bikinis

on cable sports tv

when i was thirteen

six in the morning

fresh from my paper route

amazonian goddesses

doing legs lifts or lifting weights

stretching and pulling

sweating and touching each other

as they cheered one other on

while i watched them

with my hand down my pants

strangling that little monster

hoping to get to that great

and grand explosion

before the next

commercial break.                     

big wigs

the genius of their job

is to create a lifetime

of pointless work for us

but to make us think

that the whole idea

was ours in the first place.

One thought on “Poetry from John Grochalski

  1. Sharp slices of Americana. Why I don’t miss, for one second, working in the “hospitality” industry. I know those people.

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