Friday, November 5, 2010

poem of the day 11.05.10

hank’s grave (bukowski exhibit)

i am just another
dumb writer
with a bad book of poems
standing at your grave
overlooking san pedro
searching for the pacific ocean

i’m sorry i’m here
sorry for you
because there’s obviously
no peace in death
no escape from another book
of poems placed at your feet
from the adulation
and horror of humanity

i’m a freak show
i came here from cold new york city
i made my wife drive
through the smog
and never offered to take the wheel
not even once
as she drove white-knuckled
on your l.a. freeways

the world is still here
clueless and cruel
the longwood avenue
house of horrors still stands
de longpre avenue is still here
it has a plaque with your name on it
carlton way and mariposa still bake
in the california sun
underneath the hollywood sign

your old neighborhood still looks like shit
it’s an anomaly of cultures actually
one side of sunset boulevard burned out
the other has a new yogurt joint
and an upscale mexican restaurant

we didn’t know which
way to turn to find you in los angeles
the maps don’t tell us anything
we got lost in the palm trees
and glitz of hollywood boulevard
the bartender in the red rock
thinks that you’re a painter
she told us to go and see your shit
at the getty museum

we went to pasadena instead
saw your typer and your wine chalice
saw your poems and letters
your horseracing parking pass
and the brown mountains of toil and flame

a security guard yelled at me
for leaning on the glass
because all of your things are precious artifacts now
a woman told her man
that ginsberg was full of shit
and did it all for show
while you were the one to really put it down

i thought i heard you laughing

i don’t know if any of this
makes you feel better
out there in the void
six foot under ground
my poem book soaking up
the dew and mist surrounding your grave
while an old ecuadorian cuts the grass

and i don’t know
what this does for me, hank
another city
another literary journey
down another rabbit hole
toward what?
toward what end?
i never seem to get any closer, hank
turning to my wife as the smog dissipates
wondering where we can get a decent lunch
in this town
before we drive off to see something else.


Anonymous said...

all i can say is bravo.. hank likes this.. he heard and is saying, "that damn boy is good and has chops"..

Unknown said...

... The man would be proud...

John Grochalski said...

thank you, folks. i did
find it funny leaving a copy of
my book at his grave. i thought
"hank, you poor bastard. even in death, so writer is sending you his book."