Friday, June 11, 2010

3 poems by John Grochalski

what you’ll get out of it

a nice night
in brooklyn
a good day out
in manhattan
an all right movie
some beer
in a favorite old bar
and this fine thai
along 3rd avenue.
maybe that’s what
your poetry is lacking
like you could move
away from the darker themes
and still write straightforward poems
but maybe every once
in a while it could be a little
bit bright.
not to sound like an optimist
or anything
and i know your influences
never really looked
on the bright side of things
but it’s a nice night
in brooklyn
and we had a good day out
in manhattan
the movie was actually pretty good
even if it preached to the choir
and the old bar wasn’t
as crowded with college assholes
as we thought
and this is a fine thai meal
that we are having
what’s that wine called again?
but anyway i think you should
write a poem about this moment
if you want to
and maybe look at the positive side
of it
instead of searching for the usual
stuff that ends up in your poetry.
maybe just give it a shot
this one time.
but you’ll see that couple fighting over
or you’ll think about the assholes
with their phones at the theater
or that guy that blocked our seats
in the bar
and how we had to stop a few times
so that you could take a shit
because of your stomach
or the fact that new york city
doesn’t care about its literary history
and that’s all you’ll get
out of any of it.

a good friend wherever

the two-bit louse
grabs me
and moves me again.
it leaves me aimless
and amongst strange faces
with ugly intent.
i pass an italian grocery
in a mostly unfamiliar
strip mall,
and the smell of new bread
and fresh sausage
holds me
for a second,
until i remember
the liquor store next door,
where they have
my wine for tonight,
and a couple of bottles
of scotch
for the rest of it.
the liquor store.
like the same old friend
in any city or town
that i’ve ever been to.
the good friend.
the ones who doesn’t call
too much,
or bother me with questions,
but will just sit quietly
with me,
a little bit,
always knowing what i want
without me having
to ask.

genius at work

i wonder what rabalais
would do in a moment like this

what would fante say?



i sit back and listen to the radio
wondering how anne sexton would
capture this moment

the kind of spin that f. scott
would put on it

i think i know what shakespeare
would do

kerouac would set his typer
going like a machine gun

or was that bukowski?

whitman would howl
and jeffers would shut the door
to the word

villon would steal this moment

so might jean genet

in a moment like this
i think about what all the great ones
would do

then i update my profile picture
on facebook

i read a celebrity gossip site
look at old lady porn
and wonder what’s to eat
in the fridge.


Jenny said...

I enjoyed these pieces. There is something deeply agreeable about them, like punching and soothing at the same time.

Ande said...

A real joy to read. Darn good. Funny that you mentioned Fante, because I just bought a Fante book today.

Peter Greene said...

Most amusing. I like.


Anonymous said...

This is so darn good.

Peter Greene said...

I liked 'em the second time through too. Suddenly I realize: I'm not proofreading, I'm enjoying myself! It's so nice having FOS to play on.

Now, I better go proof; 'tis endless, and errors grow in the ground of the work like rocks in a field.

Thomas Sheridan said...

I am transported back to my years in New York. I really laughed at the line:

"or you’ll think about the assholes
with their phones at the theater"

I actually gave up going to the movies in NYC beacuse of the incredible rudness of people in such places. Talking on their phones, having loud conversations about nothing to do with the movie. LOL! I am almost nostalgic now.