Tuesday, September 26, 2017


poem on george gershwin’s 119th birthday

NFL players
take a knee for justice
as madman do their best to end the world
with dick-swinging
and bomb talk
as jack-off football fans burn their team jerseys
over their own ignorance and shame
but this morning d.j.
he’s so excited that it still
feels like summer so early in the fall
he’s playing gershwin and gushing
not worrying a thing about bombs and social protest
today is gershwin’s birthday
all i got to show for it is greasy hair
a cold cup of coffee and the shits
the d.j. tells me that good ol’ george
wrote the american song book
and i think of francis scott key and want to spit
gershwin is good enough though
his music is light and airy without a hint of threat
it’s like walking american streets
with a blindfold over your eyes
and an american flag stuck up your ass
maybe they should play gershwin before football games
or in the situation room at the white house
a little strike up the band
to comfort a world at a great divide
or maybe it could just be summer all of the time
with people walking around
with dumb smiles and ice cream cones
america’s a very good at doing that too
i’m no patriot and i’m not the world’s biggest gershwin fan
but i like a little self-delusion sometimes
it can’t be all suicide and sweat
i’m glad today is george gershwin’s 119th birthday
and i’m glad the d.j. is happy too
maybe i’ll play a little rhapsody in blue
on my walk to work
stop for an ice cream cone in the morning
smile at the people who walk by
check the sky from time to time
pray that i don’t see any rain clouds
or bombs.

--John Grochalski


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