Wednesday, December 4, 2019


midtown manhattan as the days
bend their will to the holiday season

i wish there was a timer
to denote when this bullshit begins

because you just can’t tell anymore
looking into the windows of big box pharma stores

that mix their jack o’ lanterns with santa claus
come the first whiff of autumn

midtown manhattan as the days
bend their will to the holiday season

and i’m just not ready
for this depression to settle in

a beautiful gray and rainy sunday afternoon
and still so many fucking people around

taking pictures and clogging up the streets

packs of high school blondes
in matching red, satin jackets

talking their heartland talk
walking their heartland walk

moms and dads in midwest college gear
pushing, whining cherub babies into the neon blur
of tourist traps selling ten-dollar cupcakes

i feel like the holiday season exists
for people who never developed
a sense of personal autonomy

or who need something to do
in between summers

but i know that must not be true

its more like a game or a dare
that we play on ourselves annually

a ritual sacrifice
to the gods of capitalism

just to see how it feels to fully succumb

(at least those of us
who can afford to)

hollowing ourselves out
in kindness and good will

in gifts and gatherings
as famous ghosts sing songs on the radio

as the days
quietly bend their will
back to winter

where come january second
we wouldn’t so much as spit on stranger

than wish them
a happy holiday.

--John Grochalski

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