Wednesday, April 14, 2010

poem of the day 04.14.10

the cabbie

the cabbie tells us
the he is from greece
but i don’t care
this morning i woke up in paris
twenty two hours later
i am in this car
on the way back to brooklyn
almost missing the flight
back to new york
because my wife and i wanted
to drink beer in an airport bar
after hours in the sky
with a crying norwegian girl
and a sobbing spanish girl
who got the plane all worked up
because they thought
the turbulence meant
that we were going to crash
into the atlantic ocean
they interrupted the in-flight movie
on the life of ian dury
but the cabbie
he tells us that he is from greece
i try to believe him
even though he has the last name, esposito
which doesn’t sound very greek to me
he tells us that he doesn’t like the english
they’re snobs, he says
they stole from his country
back in the 1600s or something
maybe the 1500s
i remind him that
the french also stole from the greeks
he tells me not to get him started on the french
i don’t remind him
that the french are currently
working to bale out the greeks
from financial ruin
maybe they’ll sell the venus de milo
to pay off the debt
the cabbie says that things
are bad here in america
that if it weren’t for dancing with the stars
and american idol
we’d have a civil war going on
i try to imagine
300 million fat, lazy self-involved people
storming the white house
the minute their cable goes out
it makes me laugh
the cabbie looks at me through
thin eyes in his rearview mirror
he tells us that he doesn’t have any money
he doesn’t have health insurance at his other job
the cabbie is a school bus driver during the day
i wonder if he tells the kids
how bad the greeks have it
to keep watching reality television
to stave off that revolutionary fervor
in 1968 they almost had another revolution in paris
in 1968 we elected richard nixon in america
16,592 kids lost their lives in vietnam
not much has changed since then
i wonder if the cabbie knows this
he sure knows how snobby the english are
he tells us again how they robbed
his country blind
them and goldman sachs
at jfk international
some smug customs agent
pulled my wife aside and went through her bag
they made me leave the room
i didn’t know what i was going to do
the guard told me not to worry
that i was back in america and safe
i told him “yeah right”
he seemed docile and unable to protect anyone
he must watch reality tv when he’s not
harassing tired people coming home from europe
i wonder if the cabbie has ever been to europe
or greece
has he seen the venus de milo?
it’s impressive and resides in the louvre
but not as impressive
as jacques-louis david’s coronation of napoleon
that fucker takes up almost
a whole wall
the french own that one outright
it never once belonged to the greeks.


Meitha Olderaan T. Soekotjo said...

oooh the cabbie...ooohh...
thx John.. :)

John Grochalski said...

you're very welcome. it was one helluva ride

Unknown said...

So much color; vivid in its character...

John Grochalski said... always thank you for reading this stuff.