Tuesday, February 25, 2020


watching youtube videos
of baseball card breakers
as democracy fails again

the dilemma is
i could read hannah arendt
or watch faceless men with fat hands
rip open baseball card packs on youtube

the point is not to work
although i’m sure there is an incident to report

another leaking roof somewhere
in this wretched building

outside my office is the muffled din of calamity

twelve-year-old boys
playing sharpshooter games
that only show you the barrel of a gun

there is a homeless man
who has locked himself up in our bathroom
for almost an hour

showering by flushing the toilet over and over

customers and staff
keep informing me about him
as if i were his warden

and all i can think
is though i may live in a sanctuary city
there is really no sanctuary from america

i choose the baseball card breakers
over the arendt

it is an easy choice to make
as democracy fails again

there is no totalitarianism
in watching a faceless man rip packs
looking for cardboard heroes

shouting in joy
like children

it’s just some triviality to cover over the dark
a little sanctuary for me within his sanctuary

that won’t cost me my soul

as the homeless man
flushes the toilet again

and the boys playing video games
line up another shot in the crosshairs

screaming to each other


like some new american mantra.

--John Grochalski


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