Monday, August 26, 2013

Two poems by John Grochalski

gonna buy me a dog

my wife toasts our pints
and then says,
i worry about you if i die first
she’s thirty-six years-old and worries about this
because you don’t talk to anyone but me
with me you talk my ear off
but with everyone else you clam up and sit there
this is true
i’ve never been to a dinner party
and i’m too afraid to knock on the janitor’s door
i worry that you’ll get a dog, she says
and that you’ll talk the poor thing to death
my wife has some beer
i’m basically worried about you
and some poor dog you’ll buy when i’m dead
i won’t buy a dog, i tell her
well, don’t say you’ll be too busy
with your twenty year-old girlfriend
because i’ve seen you around other women
if they aren’t bagging my groceries
there’s nothing between us, i say
i have some beer
you might be right, i tell her
maybe i will buy a dog just in case
i’ll get a german shepherd and name him hunter
that poor dog, my wife says
it could be good
me and hunter drunk walking the neighborhood
after a day with wine and beer
and movies
i’d play him the radio
all the great ones, i tell her
and we can sit there passing the time
listening to the masters
there’d be no need to talk
hell, i’d probably forget the sound
of my own voice, i say
my wife laughs
that animal will be deaf or crazy within in a year
but then i think
i’m not gonna buy me a dog
i won’t have to
because without you, dear
i’ll howl so horribly every night
the dogs will come running to me by the dozens
and together
we’ll yelp sonnets for you
and aim them at the moon.


father sebastian
we all knew about father sebastian
could tell all there was about him
by the way he walked through the halls at school
his sing-song and joyful lisp during masses
and the way he waved his hands so carefree
some of us liked to go to him to confession
to see if father sebastian would try to look at us
over his shoulder
as we told him how many times we jerked off in a day
he always had a favorite amongst us
father sebastian ran the catholic youth organization
and loved being around the basketball team
he took a liking to my friend dave
paid dave money to clean the parish grounds and the gym
but dave got wise pretty quickly to father sebastian
he quit working and never said why although we all knew
especially when father sebastian started calling dave’s house
crying on the phone to his mother for almost an hour
so concerned about why dave no longer came around
eventually the diocese got wise to father sebastian too
they moved him from parish to parish
in typical catholic fashion
thinking that a change of scenery
would fix all that was hungering inside the man
but eventually even the moves couldn’t protect
those humble god fearers from father sebastian
and when the scandals become too public he drifted south
into florida and then into cuba
where he found some solace in the politics of the gay scene
his family’s money, and in the arms of a much younger man
a few years later when they found him dead in havana
strangled and pumped full of animal tranquilizers
everyone said that they knew something like this would happen
and that they were happy someone else got him
before he got to their kids
some news reports said
that father sebastian was into male prostitution and porn
others called him a cuban revolutionary
but in all of the parishes on sunday morning
no one said anything about father sebastian
no one even offered a prayer
the virginal priests stood at their pulpits
and told everyone how to act in order to get to heaven
and they all prayed for the usual bullshit
in typical catholic fashion too.

Auhtor bio:
John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), and the forthcoming novel, The Librarian. Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he constantly worries about the high cost of everything.

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