Sunday, May 18, 2014

05/12/14 / corn muffins / new colossus

John Grochalski lives in Brooklyn, New York with his long-suffering wife, the poet and novelist, Ally Malinenko, and their 15 year old cat, June, who simply refuses to leave this plain of existence. When he isn’t listening to every subtle nuance of noise made by neighbors, vehicles, barking dogs, and garbage men, or being distracted by the wide variety of internet porn made available, Grochalski attempts to write poems, stories, and novels. Subsisting on a diet of pizza, tacos, coffee, beer, scotch, and cheap Chilean red wine, Grochalski works full-time as a public librarian which has only served to lower his opinion of librarians and the general public as a whole.  Dealing with a mild case of OCD, Grochalski refuses to believe that that the oven is off and the windows in his apartment are truly closed.  He has traveled extensively in Europe coming to the conclusion that every place is different in exactly the same way.  Grochalski often confuses trapped gas for heart attack pains.  In his spare time he hates children, teenagers, republicans, democrats, hockey, onions, 21st century American Art, cell phones, and anyone who calls him a Luddite for hating cell phones.  He thinks the work of Hans Fallada is currently the bee’s knees.


6:50 in the morning
he is parked across the street
from my living room window

blasting a pop song so loud
it feels as if coming from my own stereo

this american abomination
thumbing through his cell phone
as if it’s nothing

as if this world exists at his whim
before the sun is fully in the sky

while i
racing around the apartment in blind anger
grabbing shorts and a shirt
my keys and maybe a sharp knife for good measure
now finally and fully understand how
a man can commit murder

i think
well, this is how it’ll end for both of us
as i bend to put my shoes on by the window
watching as he fiddles with his convertible rag top

oblivious and dull
a true patriot of the work week

and as i race to the front door
i hear tires screech and a last blast of music
pollute the air

and then he is gone

leaving the street as it was before
quiet and periwinkle in the dawn

until that goddamned dog next door
starts barking away at a thin breeze

at really nothing at all.

corn muffins

not all cops are assholes

i mean i’m sure there are
one or two good ones out there

anything is possible

the one here in the bagel store
standing midway down the line
blocking progress and playing on his gadget

while the rest of us fools line up behind him
and out the door

he’s definitely an asshole

eight in the morning on a sunday
with a hangover and the inability to sleep
all i want is a corn muffin
to go home and scald my tongue on coffee
laugh with the new york times

but it seems like everyone working here
is waiting on this cop

one of them is making his coffee
one of them is frying his eggs and nuking his bacon
one of them is toasting his everything bagel

he’s getting the full treatment
while the rest of us proles are getting leg cramps

and one of them is saying, yes, officer
and one of them is saying, sure, officer
and one of them is saying, whatever you need, officer

is your coffee all right, officer?
can the staff scratch your ass while you wait?

i wonder what the cop would do
if i vomited right on the bagel store floor

the baby faced prick
would probably arrest me
for disturbing the peace

or he’d take a picture of me with his phone
to show the other dickheads back at the precinct

and i can just see those corn muffins
sitting there encases in glass

i’m wondering why one of us just doesn’t
walk around him and demand service

why none of us will revolt

christ, the average citizen is even scared of the police
while trying to get breakfast

then i start thinking
maybe i don’t need a corn muffin
maybe today i’ll just take the hangover and the coffee
and all of the misery the new york times has to offer

but the cop finally gets his order

the entire bagel shop staff gather around
to hand him his coffee and his sandwich

officer friendly doesn’t even look up from his phone

he just takes his bag and leaves
with his cop pants wedged right up his cop ass

new york’s finest for sure

as the rest of us robots move up in the queue
to finally order all of those delicious things
we’ve waited so long for

everything that’ll just turn into shit
by the end of the day.

new colossus

she says, i feel like i live in china now

how’s that? i ask

by way of explanation
she waves her arms around the room

there are chinese people reading books
chinese talking on cell phones
chinese playing on the computer
or engaged in some other activity

somewhere down the block
a chinese family is buying some old italian’s home

it is true
we are the only two white people in the room

i knew i felt good for a reason, i say
i always feel good when whitey isn’t around

she gives me the same dirty look she always gives me
when i tell her i don’t celebrate the fourth of july

yeah, well, it’s the wave of future, she says

bring it on, i say. give me your tired, your poor…

she rolls her eyes
she looks poised to go into one of those rants
about the good old days of america

but she settles for, this ain’t my country no more

then she glares around the room
goes back to video games on facebook
the three cell phones she keeps that beep and chortle
and make the most inane robotic noises

nods at a meme that says
america love it or leave it

as the battle hymn of the republic plays
on and on and on and on.                                             

No comments:

Post a Comment