Wednesday, May 27, 2020


quarantine blues

there are
at least half a dozen neighbors
whom i’d send to slaughter
when this virus is gone

the guy who talks on his phone
in front of my living room window

the guy who washes his car to bass

and the guys who rev their motorcycles
who look more like bankers on furlough
than hell’s angels

the old italian man who screams all afternoon
in his pigeon english
to the guy with the prick-jock face
who buzz saws in his van

a brand-new enemy list
for a band new normal

the governor says
we have to practice patience and empathy
if we’re going to get out of this

but the governor doesn’t have pot-head joe
blowing weed into his kitchen window
at seven in the morning

while he shouts to his buddy
(a self-social distance away)
blasting heavy metal in his car

a contact high for sure

i’d like to make some contact
brew up some toxic masculinity at its finest

but there’s so many dead here
all i can do is shout from the window
and stew in my own juices

start drinking the minute the sun tilts
in the chemical sky

daydream my old life

while the couple in matching surgical masks
let their kick-me dog drop a deuce
in front of my living room window

a steaming pile of shit
that they won’t pick up

as they binge-watch tv on their phones
at max volume

like they’re the only two people in brooklyn
trying to make something of a day out of this mess

this polluted
and disease-riddled world.

--John Grochalski


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