Saturday, June 4, 2016

John Grochalski- Two Poems

BIO: John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), the novel, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013), and the forthcoming novel, The Wine Clerk (Six Gallery Press 2016).  Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, in the section that doesn’t have the bike sharing program.

the only adult on this block

if i’m your go-to guy
for civic responsibility
then surely polite society around here
has broken down and devolved more than i thought
but the water has been gushing
down seventy-fifth street for an hour
a formidable river cutting this part of brooklyn in half
most likely from a busted fire hydrant
and of course all of the people outside
are standing disguised as small packs of philosophers
asking each other, but what can we do?
the ones with cell phones
they’re stopping to take photos of the rushing watercourse
with that familiar skyward, tapping pose
i can tell they’re posting pics on social networking sites
instead of calling the proper authorities
so it comes down to me to play the only adult on the block
navigating the phone tree for 311
i watch thousands of gallons of water rush down the street
carrying sticks and leaves and paper
ubiquitous plastic bags and fast food wrappers
go sailing on by
to where, i have no idea
and the operator on 311, she wants to know more about me
than what’s actually going on
my name, my phone number
how long i’ve lived at the residency
lady, i say, what in the hell does this have to do with anything?
she says she needs the information for a report
report? look, i tell her, you’re losing water by the millions
while outside the denizens of the street are still strolling around confused
walking their asshole dogs while kids cry and try to jump into the deluge
311 operator tells me the EPA has one-day to respond to my claim
in one day we’ll all be living underwater, i say
this borough will be a virtual atlantis
but that doesn’t scare her at all
she probably lives in staten island
she thanks me for calling and tells me to have a nice day
as i stand there with the dead flip phone in my hand
watching all of this waste continue to pour down the street
thinking next time this happens
i’m not calling anyone
i’m going out for a fast food cheeseburger instead.


to be
quite honest
i thought i’d be a legend by now
though i’ve done nothing legendary
one of those self-satisfied artists
who could no longer
get the word down
choosing instead to rest on my laurels
repackage the old hits
in the same different way
but it’s still the struggle
the hangovers
the early morning noise of the city
waiting on the right words to come and save me
life is like that
some get the brass ring easily
and others get indigestion in the middle of lunch
it’s all a crap shoot
violent, chaotic at times
but mostly dull and unsatisfactory for everyone
with little glimmers of magic thrown in
to let you know what it could always be like
we accept it and call it existence
i accept it
and still wake
hoping to beat the dawn at its own game
with poems and fiction
a greatest hits collection still in the mixing stages
the collected works perpetually on hold
placed lovingly before obscurity’s long gaze
anonymity’s fragile kiss
at times no longer sure
if i even know myself
am i the aging man always walking with me
his puffy visage collected in the warped glass
of cars windows and buildings
or am i still that young ambitious kid
the one who’d never settle in long enough
to embrace his own
fleeting mortality
or some sad sack song
such as this.

No comments:

Post a Comment