TWO POEMS – John Grochalski

Posted: January 28, 2013 in Fiction, Poetry
Tags: , , , ,

the joint i won’t smoke


the joint i won’t smoke

is sitting in the junk drawer in the kitchen

it is buried beneath my student loan breakdown

and a menu to a chinese place

that makes some decent won ton

it was given to me by larry dial on christmas eve

who came stumbling in the place

reeking of cognac

and said, here kid, merry christmas

before shoving something in my shirt pocket

i didn’t even know it was a joint at the time

i just thought that it was larry being an asshole again

stuffing his garbage in my shirt

until i started smelling sweet skunk later on

then i knew

the joint i won’t smoke is wrapped tightly

it’s a pro job if i ever saw one

i wonder if it’s of the medical marijuana variety

because larry has a lot of shit wrong with him

bum knee

bum wrist

bad eyes

an ex-wife who still gives him shit

that might be why he’s always on the cognac

and has pot to give out to ungrateful guys like me for christmas gifts

but i won’t smoke the thing for some reason

even though i could use a good pot high

and i’m always bemoaning the fact

that i don’t know any dealers in this city

i’ve gotten much more suspicious in my old age

and i don’t trust larry as far as i can throw him

i keep thinking maybe he spiked the j with something

because he seems so surprised to see me now

but that might just be me being paranoid

i mean just yesterday i told my wife

that someone might rob us for our toaster

just because you could see it through our kitchen window

that toaster can’t even toast a bagel

so i don’t see why anyone would want it

plus i don’t think larry is capable of murder

assault maybe

but not murder

it’s this kind of thinking that tells me

i should probably smoke that joint

loosen up a little bit

throw on some marley

some a tribe called quest

and let the crazy ride

but i won’t

my faith in humanity has sunk to a new low

that i can’t even allow myself to get high that way

my trust factor is the pits

i’ll guess i’ll just keep letting the liquor store man poison me

at least that shit comes with a seal

that you have to break before imbibing

and i’ll let the joint that i’ll never smoke

sit in that junk drawer forever

turning brittle

forgetting all about it

until the student loan people come calling

or the wife and i

are in the mood for some decent chinese food.



cops outside the apartment again


the cops are outside the apartment again


i know it’s the cops without even looking

i can hear their little radios

hear their dull voices as they question

the same loud bitch they always come here to question


having the cops come around here is boring


it’s always for the same shit

some domestic dispute on the third floor

involving a child and two immature parents


the loud bitch always gets involved and calls the cops


i think she’s the grandmother

regardless she’s always the one outside

giving the boys in blue her rote soliloquy

while those of us on the first floor are held captive

by her grating tone

by the child running free and screaming in the lobby


i wish the cops would come around here

for something else


drug crimes or dog murder


but then i’d probably have to move

because i don’t feel like living around that shit again


when you reach a certain age you search for comfort


but this is so dull and played out

it’s not even worth looking out the window


but i do anyway

hoping maybe for something else


like the father becoming irate

storming out of the building and lashing out at everyone

having to be subdued with handcuffs or a taser


while the mother screams and cries

grandma implores the cops for mercy

and the child stands there holding her doll



but it’s just the same act

like it is most sundays


the two cops nodding and writing shit down

the loud grandmother waving her arms

and pointing toward the third floor

the child yelling in the lobby or running around outside

because cops are second nature to her


while the mother chain smokes

and the father is nowhere in sight


it’s like watching a rerun

when the cops are outside the apartment


hopefully next time they come it’ll be for something

a tad bit more scintillating


a crime of passion

armed robbery

the crazy bitch across the street

kicking in her door again

or one of the old people found dead in the basement


but i’m sure it’ll be for this circus


and i’m sure i’ll take time out of my busy schedule

to give the action a good look


unless it’s football season


then i’ll just shut the window and turn up the volume

on the television


crack a beer or open some wine


wait for them all to go the hell away.



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