Thursday, November 30, 2017


questions about islam

hustling through
the atlantic avenue terminal
with straphangers
who wouldn’t know the difference
between a sufi and a sunni
trains not running right again
a little weekend secret we keep over here
from the tourists in manhattan
and they are passing out brochures
every few paces
with titles like
questions about islam?
so you know it’s gone down again
this time a massacre in egypt
that our own dipshit president
is exploiting to build his wall
to keep the innocent out of america
three hundred and five mystics slaughtered
a thumbnail difference in your religion
that can get you killed
all we wonder now
is which cab driver will take a beating for it
for being a muslim when he probably isn’t even a muslim
which mosque will get hit with graffiti
the gentlemen passing out the brochures
to hurried brooklynites buried under holiday shopping bags
clutching starbucks troughs of coffee
look happy and docile
because they have to look that way
even when people brush them off
and tell them to go to hell
go back to your own country
good judeo-christian men and women
sitting on their thrones of judgement
too young to remember their centuries of holy war
heading home to apartments and houses
in the land of the free and the home of the brave
built on land settled by fanatics
so crazed with god
that they were kicked out of their own country
and had to sail across an ocean
to found this violent, bullshit one.               

--John Grochalski                                           

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Post Script
(after Kristen Kalp)

Shake out the match once the wick is lit:
no reward comes from fingers burnt, so
when it all falls apart, let it.

A pearl begins as a speck of grit,
but unlike a fire, its way is slow.
Quickly! Shake out the match once the wick is lit.

Buildings will crumble, the earth will split,
from ash is where the new things grow;
so when it all falls apart, let it.

Feel the jangle in your golden bracelet
as you give the candle its turn to glow -
remember to shake out the match once the wick is lit -

then watch this tiny flame, a parapet
that will tumble with its wax castle below:
when it all falls apart, let it.

See the new way the old pieces fit
when you let their old way of being go.
Shake out the match once the wick is lit,
and when it all falls apart, let it.

--Kerrilee Hunter

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


the guy with the book on trump
winning the presidency

comes up to me hands me the book
and says,

hey, have you read this?

i look at the cover
and there’s trump and there’s bannon
clasping each other’s shoulders
like the devil shit-packers they are

and i say….yeah….i’ve read it

the guy with the book on trump
winning the presidency says,

yeah, but, like…is it good?

i tell him that it’s all right
i tell him that i didn’t like the ending
but he doesn’t laugh at that

the guy with the book on trump
winning the presidency says,

no, like, if  read this will people
think that i’m smart?

you mean other than the mouth breather you are?
i want to say

but, instead, i hand him back the book
i tell him

they’ll think you know something about
trump and why he won the presidency

they’ll think you know stuff
about stephen bannon

cool, says the guy with the book on trump
winning the presidency

before he leaves me
to get up
and go wash my hands thoroughly

just like i did

the last time that i held the book
on trump winning the presidency.

--John Grochalski


Monday, November 27, 2017


Wise Potato Chips

are my absolute favorite
and can’t be beat.

Not only are the
chips fried the most golden,
or that every once in a while
a burned one appears
like a raunchy dream,
it’s reaching in
and pulling out
large chips, still sturdy
for a glob of dip,
usually from
a tub of Turner’s, but
often from Scheinder’s,
which is sweet.

Drunk, they’re
clouds in the sky.
I’ve crunched
dog heads and
patron saints, dunked
elephants fried stiff.
Some take two, three bites.
Stood in the snack aisle
snuffing back tears
on Super Bowl Sunday
after grabbing the last
giant bag the year
my father died.
He made dip out of
cream cheese, chopped
green olives w/pimento
and a bunch of brine.

Wise potato chips are fucking
delicious and now
I have to unpack this:
Found out they’re owned
by a huge nasty conglomerate
and it pangs. I could
live with it being
the official chip
of the NY Mets, but this?
What are we to do?
No matter how much we try
our greasy fingers
we will always
have to choose.
A trip to the
grocery store
is a political test.
Buying salmon at
Wal Mart funds
North Korea’s nukes?
Yeungling run
by a bunch of
Hell, even
texting someone
you love
is carried on the
backs of Chinese
slaves. All those
tiny parts dipped
in mercury.
Each breath
an injustice.
Our grandparent’s
love for bananas
peeled skin
from human skulls.
A man buried
in the Westinghouse
Bridge, some
Croatian guy,
who gives a shit?

Been this way forever.
All our bones
deserve to be crushed.
I dip and I dip.

--Bob Pajich

Sunday, November 26, 2017


I Miss the Cold War

I miss the Cold War:
cloak and dagger; spies; secret codes;
shorelines bristling with nukes;
Mutual Assured Destruction — MAD! —
how cheerful that now sounds!

I miss the enemy:
that broad-faced mass of men with sickles
and women with brooms; black-haired
multitudes in red Mao jackets;
Young Pioneers; mustachioed dictators;
reds; pinko commie sympathizers —
how I miss the old, predictable adversary!

I miss the Red Phone, the Black Box,
the Button, the Domino Theory, bomb shelters,
the constant threat of nuclear strike.
How safe, how comfortable, that ungainly
teeter-totter seems from the darkness
of this new and lonely perch.

I miss being one of the good guys,
miss knowing we were right.

--Tamara Madison

Saturday, November 25, 2017


thoughts and prayers

my thoughts:

i’d like paul ryan
to get a horrible case of
anal warts

my prayers:

are that it happens really soon

….like right now

--John Grochalski

WineDrunk SideWalk : ShipWrecked in TrumpLand week FORTY FOUR wrap up

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Thursday, November 23, 2017


choke on it

choke on it
you fat swine
choke on your dead dry bird
and cold gravy
choke on your pumpkin pie
and stuffing
huff your lumpy mashed potatoes
like you huff your gas
do your opioids in the bathroom, honky
while grandma thinks you’re taking a shit
have a heart attack over a football game
bitch at those black players
for taking a knee on some billionaire’s dime
tell me again
how we’re making america great
choke on it, uncle dave
choke on the wishbone that never brought you shit
but your thirty-five year old son
living in the basement
and your daughter doing coke in georgia
choke on it, aunt sarah
as you suck down that broccoli casserole
so you have enough time to make it to the mall
for smart tvs and an iphone x
sit down, cousin bill
let me get you another drink, you soused cunt
or a third helping of this slop we call freedom
choke on your secular holiday, america
fuck you, you pig ignorant shits
as you waddle toward the super hero exits of the cineplex
shove your yams
up your ass while you’re at it
eat the rich
burry the poor
while everyone in between gets a tax hike
for christmas
choke on it, america
suffocate on your hypocrisy
but don’t forget that after dinner mint
so that the rest of the world
doesn’t know
that your soul and your breath
both smell like shit.

--John Grochalski 


Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Hymn to Paradise

I watched sunrise at Rehoboth
I watch sunset over Paradise
stuck in a fucking traffic jam
map sprawled across passenger seat
cell phone sleeps in a cup holder
analogue man tries for peace in a digital world

I’ve crossed three states in two days
excessive drives to see an ocean
once before the year ends
once again like last year
same week, same circumstance
same places, same hotel
same part of the beach after the same walk
a different joint
listen to the waves
hood up against the cold
a monk in darkness

I’ve marveled at herons in estuaries
watched saw grass shake across wind
watched foxes across frozen cornfields

there are so many shorelines to  memorize
before we change them
before the ocean swallows them

brake lights gridlock along the highway
the shortest days of the year
so much time in darkness
peaceful, I lock on a thumbnail moon

if the world ended now
if the world ended now

--Jason Baldinger  

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Wear Your Sorrow

We wake to the day at hand
like another thing we never wanted
but can't quite bring ourselves
to give away

outside the billboards
and the faces advertise
the latest version of fear

but we've already bought
the deluxe edition
with the lifetime warranty

so we find a place
where we can rest a bit
and get some poison in our guts
so we'll be safe awhile
from the things that chase us

the world's no different
from anyone
just another sad thing
trying to make it through

on nights without sleep
it cries for lost things
and the lack of what it once
dreamed to be

wear your sorrow like a favorite dress
and I'll sing you songs of no second chances

our only crime is imagining the world
more beautiful than it was born to be

if we met it on the street today
it wouldn't even know our names

but I swear to you it loved us once
and you can't buy that kind of thing anymore
not even on computers.

--William Taylor Jr.

Monday, November 20, 2017



Even if he is more challenged chemically
Temporarily, follicularly than not
The candidate is none the less right:

With restricted growth, he’s chatting amicably
Right now with a wheelchair user, and
A person with visual and hearing impairments

Yes, he does look as vertically challenged
As she is cosmetically different, and
You are certainly not differently logical

Although he is a reactionary member of
The white power elite, he is socially misaligned
In fact. What comes the least best is the very way

He knows he is ethically disoriented as uniquely
Coordinated, but he longs to be our politically correct
Representative. Yes, vote me, you damned assholes!

--Yuan Changming

bio]:: Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver; credits include Best of the Best Canadian Poetry:10th Anniv. Ed., BestNewPoemsOnline, Threepenny Review and 1339 others worldwide.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Climate Change

They are without clean water
mud lapping against their homes
they are lost and scared
after the storm ripped
from their hands
everything they ever had
to define themselves by.

They wait for him
to send help.
They wait for him
to arrive.
To hold them
and help them.

They wait for him to see them.

They check the air
for the hum of a plane,
hold phones up
for service
like a hand reaching skyward
for food
and water
and love

as they wade through the destruction
they wait for him

oh father,
benevolent one,
please hear us
they pray
they scream
till they are hoarse

They reach out
with tired hands
with frightened hearts
but their hands are the wrong color
and their votes do not count
and he is not coming
is not Texas.

--Ally Malinenko

Saturday, November 18, 2017



paul ryan
is a nice man
because he’s got good hair

he’s a handsome man
my mother thinks

therefore he is trustworthy

paul ryan would never take a knee
in front of the american flag

and the trunp boys are so well groomed
with their hair parted back
and to the side

like your high school graduation photo
my mother says

why can’t you wear your hair like that again
like the trump boys?

maybe i should go and kill a lion too
i think

but instead i nod and drink my wine
look at my gray and greasy visage
in the reflection of her tv and shrug

that ivanka is so well-spoken
my mother says

you can tell that she really loves her dad
and would do anything for her kids

and her husband is so handsome
with his hair parted to the side
and not a trace of facial hair

i hope that he and paul ryan both get ass cancer
i say out loud

but everyone laughs
because no one really
wishes that kind of shit on people

my mother says,
but i don’t understand trump

she says,
all of that money and all of that power
and you want to tell me that he can’t
do anything about that hair of his?

it’s a shame, she says

an american tragedy, i agree

then i have some more wine
and go down to the basement
to take a good old hearty shit

for uncle sam
for america

and in celebration
for all of the well-groomed white men

burying america
with their hair products

and suburban charm

--John Grochalski


WineDrunk SideWalk ; ShipWrekced in TrumpLand weeky FORTY THREE wrap up

i don't know about you folks out there but, to me, nothing says patriotism and "america first" like siding with Vladimir Putin over our own intelligence agencies and then finishing off your Idiot Abroad journey by meeting with a murderous thug like Rodrigo Duterte and declaring that you have a "great relationship" with him.....well...i guess it's the old adage that mediocre autocrats tend to think alike.

i know i took a week off from this shit....but here in week FORTY THREE it continues to boggle my mind that this jack-off is president of the united states...that he's actually allowed to travel to asia and beyond in that name of the united states....what a pig fucker of a nation we are....all of us.

Maybe I should just keep my mouth shut and wait on the next mass shooting. (I wrote this the morning of the Rancho Tehama shootings and I'm leaving it on here just as a reminder of how sickly predictable this failing nation has become).

But speaking of pig fuckers.....Roy Moore.....what are we going to do about Roy Moore, America? As of this writing a fifth woman has come out to accuse the GOP senate nominee of sexual harassment when she was under the age of 18. (ACTUALLY AS OF THURSDAY MORNING I DO BELIEVE WE'RE UP TO NINE NOW). Look, I know this is Alabama, and most of the people from there are married to one of their relatives and can probably count a cousin or two or a farm animal as a viable ex....but we've got laws in this country folks....and most of them, i think, state that you don't assault or sexually harass a woman when she's under the age of 18....this is America....we're only allowed to catcall and shout abusive things to women under 18.

but Roy Moore....i tell you....this douche bag already had an impressive list of 'achievements" before all of these accuser came out.  A little background on Roy the Assaulter? Roy Moore is a staunch evangelical christian which means that he hates women, hates people of color, hates Muslims and liberals and anyone who doesn't want government to comport itself as if it were an organic and democratic body of government. Moore is a theocrat.  Roy is virulently anti-gay, hates same sex marriage and like to give gay parents are hard time by labeling their "homosexual conduct" as detrimental to children...but I'll bet that he likes a good action film where the body count is nice and high.  He was actually removed by a judicial ethics panel for not taking down his bullshit ten commandments plaque....and in his spare time Roy Moore likes to espouse upon the threats of Sharia law taking over America....when he isn't writing his comically nationalistic and racist poetry.

Now.....I understand that Roy Moore wasn't the GOP first choice for the senate.....BUT after he won that primary they'd pretty much shut their mouths about Roy...i mean why say anything when he's up 10 points in polling? Then the sexual harassment charges happened...and Mitch McConnell and those moral stalwarts in the GOP have begun making noise about how Roy Moore isn't fit to be in the he doesn't uphold the moral values of the Senate

That's all fine and dandy....but I'd like to take a poll of GOP senators....i'm curious how many of these fine and upstanding moral stalwarts voted last November to put a racist, sexist, xenophobic reality TV star nutbag with a rape allegation and at least 11 sexual assault claims against him, into the highest office in the land.

And let's not kid ourselves about Mitch "believing" the women. If Roy Moore was the accepted GOP candidate and not some hick mouthpiece for Stephen Bannon's Neo-Nazi platform, Mitch and Co. would be doing everything in their power to cast blame upon the victims here....If Roy was the GOP man you'd be hearing stories and tall tales about promiscuous young women, about the sexual culture of the time, and about the loose morality of one specific gender.....I mean, honestly, FUCK Mitch McConnell and his bogus moral grandstanding.  Roy Moore shouldn't be a senator. Hell, he shouldn't even be a citizen....but save it it are the problem here.

For those of you who still think you live in a democracy and not a cartoon dictatorship in a third world nation  run a muck with the iPhone X....word on the street is that the Justice Department is looking to open an investigation into the Clinton foundation and whether or not they accepted donations in return for the Obama administration allowing a Russian nuclear agency to purchase Uranium One, which was/is a company that was allowed access to uranium in the United States.

First of all this is bullshit. Second of all....this is bullshit. Third.this is also an attempt by the DOUCHE administration to insert itself into the justice system like some kind of third world strong man to punish political rivals.....motherfucker has been spending too much time licking Putin's balls. What this also does is it gives Jeffy the racist Sessions as chance to maybe compromise current special investigator Robert Mueller, as he was FBI director at the time....that said....I believe in his lie-filled confirmation hearing that Jeffy the Racist said that he would recuse himself from any Clinton investigation.....let's see if that happens.

but...the GOP man....liar, criminals and thieves....every last one of them. Party beholden to oligarchs who couldn't give a FUCK about democracy.

Like using a tax bill to remove the Affordable Care Act mandate.....christ, the GOP will try any and EVERYTHING to screw people out of healthcare. Can't actually get your party to vote to repeal and replace? Don't actually have a clue WHAT to replace the ACA with other than YOU....Poor Person...DIE? Why not add it to the tax bill?  Or maybe get together that infrastructure bill that DOUCHE was talking about during his Nazi campaign and kill the ACA with that? Nah, but that would never happen. An infrastructure bill? The GOP doesn't improve things like that....unless the Koch Brothers say so.

I guess I should mention that Jeffy the Racist was in front of another House Judiciary Committee again this week not remembering Russia....or things were too hectic trying to get a rapist Nazi elected president to remember....or Jeffy was too busy making the Keebler cookies to remember....honestly this hillbilly, midget racist lies so much these days its getting harder and harder to tell when he's telling the truth......Jeffy is from Alabama, right? Explains a lot.

In a week where more gropers and forced kissers and possibly even rapists have once again come into the national consciousness....the Keystone pipeline has sprung a leak...a 210,000 gallon leak.....i'm just gonna let that one sit there for a minute........


on thursday this pack of assholes passed their oligarch-boner causing tax bill in the House:

But the word is still out on whether or not this gilded baby has legs in the Senate.

One last.....I was a disappointed as a lot of people to have Al Franken added to the rapey/gropey/douche bag club....but it was the height of irony having good ol' Donny John DOUCHE Donald J. Trump mocking him on I'll say this b/c I know Donny John is an avid reader of this makes no sense, you gilded, Cheeto prick to mock someone when you yourself have at LEAST 11 women claiming sexual assault against you and when your first wife actually claimed that you RAPED HER......prick.

Anyway...another week in Red White and Blue nationalistic hell has come to a close. Stick around...if you dare....I'll be your 10:30 am dalliance with poetry today and tomorrow at 10:30 it'll be the great Ally Malinenko.

Send me your poems/fiction/essays/art/rants so we can keep this thing going.


Friday, November 17, 2017


belay the night / last
device to final friend

when plants rule

the singularity
of our mechanized

i will send
a final instant message to sin

dear verdant abyss

series of blinks
man in the shadow of a hoe

the vines the
leaves the petals


honey on a fifth
wheel trailer tongue
no one

to move the comb

- Paul Koniecki

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Intolerable Conditions

“The right thing to do is pray in moments like this.” – Paul Ryan

Camille reads moronic responses
to the latest assault weapon slaughter,
implores the goddess
to intercede, impose sanity,
vaporize clueless males.

She is fed up with
second-amendment fanatics
who fail to comprehend automatic guns
capable of mowing down hundreds
had not been invented
when the constitution was written.

Camille fantasizes a sea of white,
Republican men on their knees,
begging to be spared as she smiles,
presses the trigger of her AK-47,
targets hypocrisy, drops them like flies.

--Jennifer Lagier

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Yes, yes....i know it's that orange cocksmoker's 300th day in office...but politics blah blah is also the 20th anniversary of my first date with the poet/novelist Ally Malinenko, who eventually made me so becoming my wife.

pittsburgh like a postcard

full of wine
and thai food

i ask you
what you’d like to do next

and you tell me

as long as it doesn’t involve
you going one way
and me going the other

that instant
when i knew loving you

would be a simple game of genius

played out in the first fall snow
that framed pittsburgh like a postcard.

--John Grochalski

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Long Ago and Far Away

I tell my younger wife
in my Jungian daze
long ago before the moon was full
before pen pals
before pencil pals
in the goose quill days
we had to go out in dark of night
for black to grind
and trek to oughter water
to make liquid ink to write
on the cut down clarinet reeds
we slowly beat to pulp
and dried for paper and envelope
hoping the snail express came that year
to take our letter
and communication was soooooo slow
it took seven years to get an answer
from one who lived just down the street
but it was two miles uphill to their house
and three miles uphill back to ours
before the TV worked
this box that just sat there
next to the dinosaur egg
doing nothing
jack squat
and we said what is that box?
why do we have it?
so we had no commercials
no reality shows
no faux-haired orange-skinned men
who tried to grab pussies
with their hands so small
they couldn't clutch logic
so lied a lot
and whined in their cheesy suits
and we were happy

--Steven B. Smith

Monday, November 13, 2017


Edith Piaf Sings Her Broken Heart

Late afternoon in the Tenderloin.

The sun glints on wheelchairs and crutches
and broken glass.

I'm hiding from the world
in this little cafe

and there's a man
sprawled on the sidewalk
next to a walker made of tin.

No one bothers
to check if he is ill or dead,

all of us
as indifferent as the sun.

Another man scours the ground
for things to smoke or to eat

as Edith Piaf sings
her broken heart

and I sit here with a beer and money in my pocket
never knowing whether to feel lucky
or ashamed.

--Willaim Taylor Jr.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


If You Float You Burn

The really popular comedian
is on my television
about abortion.

This is what he chose to start his set with.
He keeps telling me
that I have a


to choose but that
let’s be honest
it is just killing babies, right?
I mean at the end of the day that
is what we’re talking about


the audience is laughing.
It is a sign
of agreement
that they are there with him

against me

I get it.
I can see from my couch
what it is he’s talking about.
It’s simple really
what he’s saying is
when women
chose to not have a child
they are also choosing to be


because even though
it literally takes two people
to create a third
it is women at the end of the day
that carry that weight
that burden
that labor
because to raise
a human being
means that your entire life
is sidetracked
but that is not a choice
women should make

and laughs are laughs
and that is what he is paid in
I can’t help but wonder
what the damage is
when you talk about women
as vehicles
to babies

and nothing more.

I think of assembly lines
car parts

What happens to
women who are reduced to
just their reproductive abilities
instead of their autonomy?

What is humanity?

Where are their futures?
Their dreams?
Where is the novel they would have written?
What disease could they have cured?
What is the life they could have lived
motherhood became


still what I’m saying
is old
and trite and women
have been made
to feel useless for ages.

We have one purpose
as the men tell us
one purpose
and that is to



--Ally Malinenko

Saturday, November 11, 2017


Now Considering Eschatology

they burned in all-terrain vehicles
on abandoned graffiti highways
tires whine on paint, bud light cans
rattle teeth in unseasonable mouths

they did wheelies
while people milled
tried to bury or bring
feeling or question to the surface

what is America?
what is reality?
are there ghosts
and if so, is death real?

pavement buckles
vents for heat underground
to burst through, volcanos
of memories time can’t hold

graffiti changes each visit
some strange chance to make
a mark on time, which disappears
foot prints in dust, now
considering eschatology

guardrails taken with scribble
rocks painted so drunks
keep their feet in neon dark
trees, lovers trysts, breathe
wonder, why silver lips
huff dozens of empty
waiting spray cans

we are scavengers
we are scraping at the sides
we are alive, wondering
if this is another dream
another chance to fail
an epoch with fear

surveillance films of  bacchanals
cemeteries cremate
bodies, already buried, bones
dust and earth, there can be no
zombies, apocalypse is a word
often overused

--Jason Baldinger

Friday, November 10, 2017


Poet of the Americas

for RQF

It was in Hell
when he finally got
his big break
The Devil had him
in a headlock
and his armpit
smelled of herring
but Terry Gross was there
“How was it
being the great poet
of the Americas?” she asked
“Hell is bad,” he said,
“but I’ve had
it worse.”

--Jon Bennett