Wednesday, June 8, 2011

poem of the day 06.08.11

shitting my pants in finnegan’s irish pub (madrid)

oscar had been right about the spanish food
only maybe i’d had too much of it

pulpo ala gallega
and albondigas by the plateful

enough tortilla espanola to last a lifetime

all washed down with cold cerveza
or a nice rioja

foods whose names were as
fun to say as they were as good to eat

my wife and i
all over the streets of madrid, chanting

albondigas
albondigas
albondigas

as if we weren’t just walking around shouting

meatballs
meatballs
meatballs

or maybe it was the heat
that hot and dry spanish air

but by the time we made finnegan’s that night
i felt as if i were ready to die

running past the smile of the bartender
who had only last night told oscar that i had a kind face

and down those old wooden stairs to the bathroom
whose caballeros sign i’d ripped off the door two nights earlier

because i was a drunk american in madrid
and it seemed like the thing to do

into that little stall
with the door that didn’t shut
bracing it with my foot hoping no one
would try and come in

sweat pouring down my face
all over me

making a tight shirt feel tighter

caught in the spanish night, looking for release

just one fart i told myself

but it was one fart too many

a burst of shit came before
i had my drawers down

and then there i was
a grown man
a helpless mess in a strange country

shit, i said

not this

not tonight

i stood there bowlegged
foot against that door
music pouring down on me

my wife probably wondering where
in the hell i was

still, somehow i got the jeans off
the ruined drawers
that i had to toss in a corner of the small stall
while i tried to clean myself the best that i could

but that was when the pain came
and i dropped down on that bowl

like an anchor

grunting and moaning

no longer chanting

albondigas
albondigas
albondigas

but instead wondering if maybe there was a god

and if he could see to it
to end my misery as he saw fit

maybe death or something else

the shits came like a river
hissing brown rapids of disgust

the stench was maddening

christ, i thought
first i vomit in the reina sofia and now this?

what else is there for me to do in this country?

the door to the bathroom opened
a stranger came in and started coughing

i feel your pain, i said in english
but he did not answer me

he washed his hands and left

i took no offense to this
i was happy to be alone again
to finish doing this terrible deed

i looked over at my soiled underwear

if only i hadn’t farted, i said
as the pain began to subside
if only i’d stuck with american food

mcdonald’s or burger king

the american stomach is conditioned
to handle that kind of bland junk

ah, but the spanish food had called to me
as so many things had in this country

as picasso had
as goya had
as the long endless steps leading to toledo had

i rose from that bowl, wiped,
and surveyed the damage that i had done

still as proud as any man
after a typically good shit

life is funny like that

i pulled up my jeans
and grabbed my drawers
with whatever dignity i could muster

threw them away

washed my hands and took the long walk
back up the wooden steps
to where my wife was waiting for me

one of those sad looks on her face
typically reserved for children and dogs

two cold pints of carlsberg sitting on the table

she said it happens to the best of us
but i just waved her off

i sat down carefully
the unfamiliar sensation of
my balls scrapping off of the stiff denim

i had a good pull on my beer
looked at that portrait of samuel beckett by the door
and shook my head

as we sat there in silence
waiting for oscar to show.

2 comments:

Bukowski's Basement said...

Dude... is it wrong to laugh during parts of this?

John Grochalski said...

it's fine to laugh...my humilation make great foder for comedy...laugh away!