Thursday, September 26, 2019


fear and loathing in springville, ny

somewhere out there
was a book of poetry
with my name on it
but an editor who wouldn’t return my calls
so i made art out of carrying
windows and doors down wet planks
in an early april mixture of snow and rain
when the truck died in springville
i wanted to call it a sonnet
hungry and tired we were miles away from anything
but some asshole’s half-built mansion
but the radio worked
so joey and i sat huddled in the cab
listening to hate-filled pundits
and sipping the dregs of cold coffee
waiting for someone from the company
to come and pick us up
my body was writing haikus
to sore backs and banged up knees
to a rust belt city where a guy
couldn’t get a decent job to save his life
and all joey wanted to talk about were guns
and school shootings
how much he hated black people
even though they didn’t
have anything to do with either of those things
and how when his dad died
he’d probably sell the company
to the competitor
instead of carrying it on
maybe get himself a house down south
near half-naked women on a beach
i thought about my editor
and my book of poetry
how no one buys poetry
but almost everyone owns a gun
i thought about the turkey sandwich
that i didn’t buy at the wegman’s
on our way to the job that morning
a little insurance for my stomach
that i wasn’t willing to make
how joey’s dad ate two slices of pepperoni pizza
every day for lunch
and paid me next to minimum wage
to break my ass
and act as a sounding board
for his idiot son
so when joey turned the ignition again
just for shits and giggles
and the car suddenly turned over
and we pulled out of the work site slop
back on to the highway
i thought about how
when we got back
i was going to secretly quit the job
drive down to the pizza restaurant
and get me two slices of pepperoni
eat them in the car
with a nice cold beer
and some coltrane playing on the stereo
pretend that i was a millionaire
best-selling author for an hour
then crawl the two miles back to the warehouse
to wait on the next job
or the next immortal poem
to come.

--John Grochalski


No comments: