Wrapped In The Ugly Arms Of Another Saturday Night by John Grochalski

there is some shit song playing loudly
adele or some other faux-soul crap
anyway it reminds me why i stopped
going into bars this year
bad loud music
bad loud televisions
bad loud people
take your pick
and of course there’s one of them alone
grooving to the adele music
there are only three of us in the place
wrapped in the ugly arms
of another saturday night
i didn’t even want to be in here
i wanted to be in the other bar
that had slightly better music
but there were no seats
except one that was occupied by the husband
of someone who looked like wavy gravy
so i’m here
my wife is not
and i’ll leave it at that
the adele fan turns to me
with teeth that glow in this amber darkness
she says, they play the best music here
have the best drinks
she says, i work with children
and every fall we have them paint the windows
of the businesses up and down 3rd avenue
with halloween decorations
i tell her children need to be taught early
which ones are the bad artists and which ones have talent
i tell her, there’s no point in encouraging them
we can’t all be picasso, you know
but she doesn’t hear me
doesn’t understand art
just smiles and starts shaking her ass to the adele song
so i kill my beer and head back outside
bay ridge packed with people in the humid air
watch a group of bros
all in plaid shorts and polo shirts
bar crawl into the other bar
where wavy gravy and her man
are still holding court window-side
do that slouchy drunk walk the several blocks home
where my wife is walking slowly
up the block
sad and forlorn under the florescent streetlight
that shines through our bedroom window
like an anemic sun
looking just for me.


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), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), and the novel, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013). Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, in the section that doesn’t have the bike sharing program.



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