John Grochalski

by Horror Sleaze Trash on November 7, 2013


boycott you


in his bitter end

jack kerouac became a racist

and an anti-semite


he went on tv and blamed his jewish friends

for everything


the same can be said for eliot, wagner

degas and crazy ol’ ezra pound


picasso drove two women to madness

two others killed themselves over him


and ernie hemingway pushed through four wives

and two fucked up sons

before he finally took a bullet to his head over breakfast


on video i’ve watched bukowski kick his wife off a couch

over and over and over again

in a fit of drunken jealous rage

while norman mailer tried to kill his wife


hell, caravaggio and ben jonson actually did kill people


villon and genet were thieves

and rimbaud ended up nothing but a smuggler


nabokov wrote lolita and lord byron fucked his half-sister

of course flaubert paid to fuck little boys


dickens, the immortal charles dickens

for all of his philanthropic work

chuck had a taste for the whores

just like vincent van gogh


and those are just the men, ladies and gentlemen


let’s not even get started about what virginia woolf

put leonard through before

before she took a pocketful of rocks to the river


the point is for all of their blemishes, heinous words

or despicable acts

i wouldn’t give one of them back to this slush pile life

i’d rather their art over their good conscience

and citizenship any day


because some of them have given me more light and life

than my family or the closest of friends


so to you people boycotting this artist and that

over their personal views


orson scott card or whoever you trolls have lined up next


someone who’s views aren’t yours

or aren’t the fashion of the day


do me a favor and sit down and try to sweat out

thirty novels in as many years


or a handful of operas

a symphony or another wasteland


hell, try to write out your grocery lists


do something other than pounding out your inane

uneducated opinions behind the safe mercy of internet anonymity


your dull bullshit in 140 characters or less


and then we’ll talk

about who’s boycotting who


you motherfuckers.





and then i tried playing football again

for the grade school varsity team


even though i never really liked football


plus i had a bum left leg

from running through a glass door

the previous summer


i still couldn’t lift my ankle well enough to run

but my doctor had cleared me anyway


the coaches understood this to an extent

but they needed guys


the head coach kept saying to me

you’re coming back right?


even though i rode the bench

and drank all of the gatorade when it rained


i couldn’t do laps for shit

it was too hot in the full uniform

and my ankle kept giving out


the coaches thought that i was lollygagging it

that my leg injury was ultimately bullshit

that i just needed to get tough


so they set three eighth graders on me when we ran


they trailed me

and tried to scare me into compliance with their chants


they called me a pussy and other colorful things

they tripped and pushed me when they caught up

or because i’d finally quit running


a few of them got overzealous


they would try to get me the next day in school

brushing me with their shoulders in the hallway


telling me that they

were going to kick my ass in the bathroom

or at practice that night


but nothing even happened


when i returned my uniform to the coach

midway through an undefeated season


he looked at me as if i were a piece of shit

then he spit on the gym floor and said


you’re such a coward, grochalski

you know that?


you’re a little girl

we should put you on the cheerleading squad


nothing but a goddamned coward


maybe i was

but he was a small man in a small school

and at thirteen years-old i already knew that


so there was no harm that he could really do


and all i could think about

as i tossed him my helmet, my pads

and my high numbered jersey


was how free i suddenly felt

to cower or persevere


to walk or run as i’d like


or waste my saturdays laying on the couch

watching shadows spider across the walls


while somewhere else

some other kid was riding the bench


drinking all of the gatorade


or getting yelled at and pushed around

while he ran pointless circle after circle

in the hot sun and dirt.




baron munchhausen sits


baron munchhausen sits on a chair

near where i’m working in the sweltering heat


he says, well,  i got something to tell you


then proceeds to tell me how he slipped in the mud

running from the rain


i think i need an operation on my left knee, the baron says


last year he fell and it was his elbow and he was out for a week

the year before that the flu and another week

in 2010 he had the right knee operated on for the same thing

and missed two months


he often catches a nasty one-day cold on his scheduled late nights


i wipe the sweat from my brow and look at the baron

i was starting to wonder when this year’s ailment would arise


because every time he’s sick it means i’m pulling more hours at this place

more late nights and weekends

more evenings i shrug an apology to my wife before

i hit the bottle to make this shit go away


when the baron so much as coughs i get paranoid


are you sure you need surgery? i ask

but only because he’s sitting there waiting for me to say something


sure i’m sure, he says

even though he hasn’t been to the doctor yet


and that’s why everyone here thinks he loves being sick

because most of us avoid the doctor like the plague


then he starts talking my ear off about trying to buy

the right knee brace on

while he waits for the union to decide to cover his injury


when the baron’s done talking about knee braces on

there’s nothing that i can really say to him


but, wow, what a drag man

although i mean that more for me than him


then i watch baron munchhausen get up from his chair

and waddle back toward his office


he moves better than i do for a guy on the cusp of his

second knee operation


when i turn around to get back to the thankless task

of working this job to pay my bills and help put food on my table

my other co-worker is standing there glaring at the baron’s door


she looks at me and tisks



don’t he know

he’s too fat to be running in the rain





she says i feel like a slave

pushing this old white lady around all day

she keeps telling me that i’m not allowed to sit


there’s a lot of racism in this job

she tells me

but i don’t know why she confides in me that way


i’m a white guy

and we created racism out of cotton and sugar cane


maybe it’s because i spent an hour

helping her with her resume

typing parts of it and having it emailed to her address


so that she doesn’t have to feel like a slave

pushing angry old white ladies around


maybe most of us really do want to be color blind


and in the bar

where i’m trying to kill an hour after work

this old whore

keeps shouting at the television news, saying


i’m so fucking sick of all of these riots and rallies

that occupy business

and this trayvon martin bullshit

like they’re doing it outside her front door


so i kill my pint and leave

hedge my bets on the bar up the street


but outside there are two black women

in florescent spandex

i’d seen them on my way inside


they’re collecting donations

for latoya jackson

no relation they smile and say to the cautious


a little girl whose only dream in life

is to be healthy enough

to see the ocean at coney island

although i don’t know why

little latoya would want to


because coney island is full of fat russian women in bikinis

and guys like me

staring at the asses of fifteen year-old girls


but who am i to argue with a sick kid?


only now the two ladies are standing across third avenue

one of them has her hands over her mouth

and the other is yelling at a group of valet parking attendants

huddled under the awning

of a restaurant too expensive for most of us to sniff


a group of good old brooklyn white boys

smirking and smoking away another lazy summer


while she shouts

i can call myself a nigger whenever i want

i have that right

what right do you have to do it?


but the boys answer her

by flicking their smokes and laughing


they know their rights like the back

of their soft hands


and at the next bar i enter

they are doing the same trick as in the last

screaming at the television

telling the crying visage of trayvon martin’s mother

to go the fuck back to florida


they might as well be wishing her

back into the fiery pits of hell


and when the president comes on

he says, thirty-five years ago that could’ve been me


well, with all due respect, mr. president

that shit didn’t happen thirty-five years ago

it happened last year


hell, it happened five minutes ago

but thanks for trying


still, i grab my new pint


thinking thirty years ago

ronald reagan said


it’s morning in america again


but then he deregulated everything

and with bill clinton’s help they finally buried the poor

and crushed the middle class


on a super bowl commercial

clint eastwood said that it was halftime in america


but all i can think

sitting in my second bar

and bracing myself for a new round of hate

as the news switches from trayvon to the economy


is fuck you

clint eastwood

go talk to another chair down in tampa


because it’s third and long

the fourth quarter with under two minutes on the clock


a hail mary from coast to coast


and detroit is as bankrupt as a politician

sitting in a sunday pew at church


the hate keeps spewing

while the bankers continue to run off with the bounty


and all i hope is that little latoya

has another destination in mind


because it’s sundown in america

only everyone is still acting like they’re at the beach.



and he says


ninety-eight degrees

eighty in this place


this city smells like body odor

rancid food and dog shit


and he says


it ain’t just about

stamp catalogs, kid


there’s a war going on out there

or didn’t you know?


a holy war

christians versus muslims


world war iii


shit, and you don’t

even have a security guard in this place


all these kids

you stupid clueless people

some towel head could come in here right now

and blow this fucking place to smithereens


hell, i’m in here now

i could do it


well, not me

but someone like me with time on his hands

some jew or muslim


brothers in arms to the end

only they keep tearing each other apart

like it’s world war iii, man


and he says


did you know we’re all jewish?



that little black kid on the news

who got himself shot


all of us descended from the twelve tribes of israel


bet you didn’t know that either


and he says


but it ain’t about none of that

because this world is just dirty and sick


and if i find out you people

took those stamp catalogs

and are the ones selling them on ebay

for two bucks a page


i swear to god

i’ll have your jobs so fucking fast

you won’t know what hit you


to which i say


ninety-eight degrees outside

eighty degrees in here


this city smells like body odor

rancid food and dog shit


have mercy on us, sir

please have mercy on the damned.











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