Sunday, February 13, 2011

John Grochalski - One Poem

It Could be Worse

i could be in north dakota right now
where it is forty degrees below zero

or still in the warehouses
with crazy leon spitting tobacco juice
all over the place
talking about fucking his girlfriend
telling everyone that he’s going to
pinch a loaf

i could be selling bad australian wine
to lonely secretaries
the ones who wear white sneakers
with their work clothes
the ones who vote on reality tv shows
and read the enquirer religiously

i could’ve married my first serious girlfriend
the one who still talked to her stuffed animals
who named our fictitious kids
back when we were only nineteen

i could be living with her in the suburbs
of pittsburgh
having her count my beers out of spite
wanting to murder her
having vanilla sex once a month
because she never did like it doggy-style

or i could’ve never put down
the first words
the first poems

could never have discovered kerouac
fante and hamsun through bukowski
or any of the other gods

i could be processing invoices right now
or pulling staples from documents
for eight solid hours a day

or loading trucks with windows and doors
hauling heavy shit through the rain and snow
drinking beer in the parking lot of the job

because i’d rather kill myself
than go in there for even one more hour
of my life

i could’ve never heard mozart

there are many more things
that i could be doing right now
unspeakable things
soul crushing endeavors
meant to weaken a man’s sense of self

things that are much worse than sitting here
killing the last hour of this job
reading fred voss poems

thankful that i’m not in north dakota
right now

waiting to go home for that first drink
your face
and a bed spread that i hope still smells of wine
and sex and freedom.

John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn't Get Any Looser After You Punch Out, and Glass City. He currently live in Brooklyn, New York.

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