Monday, February 17, 2014

John Grochalski- Two Poems


i hear this kid at the computer going
oh shit
and out of the corner of my eye
i see a conveyor belt of chickens
getting their necks sliced
the kid keeps flinching
oh shit
oh shit
jerking back like he’s watching a horror flick
this is a horror flick
american made and processed
even i can’t turn away from it
from men with blurry faces
swinging chickens against walls
from cows being strung up and gutted
animals with legs broken and left to die in alleyways
from pigs being attacked by tasers
all for the dollar menu and the midnight munchies
a mouthwatering twelve piece bucket riding shotgun
if you want to know what the kids
are doing after school
it’s this
watching cows being pushed along
stepping in their own shit and mooing
flinching as some guy punts a turkey forty yards
the hack
hack of necks
some fucker punching a pig in the face
stabbing piglets with pens
meaty bodies mutilated and left hobbling
eyes full of pus
hanging upside down alive
after feeding them the testicles of their young
cows stabbed and dragged
animals sleeping on piss stained straw
chicken shit piled six feet high and next to the cages
pools of blood coagulating on the concrete
methane buzzing the air
oh shit
oh shit for sure
but at least the kids aren’t watching porn

television sets in bars

friday afternoon
and we’re surrounded by cancer
yet this bar is no respite

there’s a television at one end of the bar
another directly across the room

they are playing this medical show
with some floppy haired doctor
telling everyone in earshot and beyond
that caramel coloring could give you cancer

i can’t even enjoy a beer because of this guy
because of the way the televisions echo in the bar
like we’re in a club full of old degenerates

i can’t even hear myself think, i tell my wife
then i start my shit where i just close off and sit there

i don’t know what i wanted
a quiet friday afternoon for me and the mrs.
to get drunk on beer and talk movies and books
forget cancer and this unforgiving winter

if only for a few hours

but now i got this doctor blaring in my ear
about carcinogenic gases from soda and from frying potatoes

maybe next he’ll talk about how the air
can give you cancer

i down my first pint
i have to get the out of here, i tell my wife

it’s these television sets in bars
they weren’t so bad when they were small and tubular
and hung off into the distance

now every joint has some sixty-inch monster
that we’re stuck with
that permeates every nuance of the moment

i feel like i’m in an electronics store instead of a pub
it’s background noise, my wife says
these people are used to it

it’s giving me an aneurysm,  i complain
while the floppy haired doctor tells us
how cleaning supplies can give you cancer too

he’s a smiling angel of death

he’s raising my ire
and this echo off the dueling televisions is raising my heart rate

i’m playing music, my wife says
because she’s better at salvaging things than i am

i grow too content with the rot and the decline

she gets up from the bar to slide dollars in the juke
she asks the bartender to turn the televisions down
and he acquiesces with glee

because maybe he was looking for an escape from this malaise

life is really that simple at moments, i think
even with it being cancer all the time

then it’s the opening of street fighting man
and another round of beer

old men are doing their best mick jagger
talking about the old times

it’s like we all woke up

on the television, the floppy haired doctor
is holding up an apple
that’s probably going to give us all cancer too

but we wouldn’t know it
because we can’t hear him

and ignorance like this
is finally bliss.

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