Monday, June 24, 2019


Michigan, Warmed

Islands of garbage
float across the ocean
They fester and reek

No ice in the world anymore
The only ice is in the dirty martini
I drink in the backyard
of my tropical Michigan paradise

My son is coming later to plant some more
palm trees
No corn anymore
no soybeans
Granddad would have been surprised to
see my sugar cane crop
the sweet smelling tassles
flowing in the breeze

I told him I’d never live here
I was pissed off, feeling confined by family farming
I wanted something bigger
more life

No streets out here in the country
dirt roads
dirt and gravel
I’m done with drugs, Grandad
I know I broke your heart
but that’s what hearts are for

If you’d come from a city
you would have known that

Islands of garbage float across the ocean
They fester, reek
and the salmon and trout in Lake Michigan
have given way to
evil little fish that stowed away on river freighters
and came up from Chicago
riff raff with the blues

Doesn’t matter to me
I sold my boat long ago
I lay out in the backyard working on my tan
and watch the
palm fronds sway in the breeze

Fruit rats in the sapodilla trees jump from
branch to branch
If only Grandad could see them!
He’d laugh

The old, mean wasps are still here
Sometimes one stings me in the face
but that hardly disturbs me
drinking my dirty martinis
in my tropical Michigan paradise 

--Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Work by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois appears in magazines worldwide. Nominated for numerous prizes, he was awarded the 2017 Booranga Centre (Australia) Fiction Prize. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and as a print edition. His poetry collection, THE ARREST OF MR. KISSY FACE, published in March 2019 by Pski’s Porch Publications, is available here. Visit his website to read more of his poetry and flash fiction.

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