Where The Spirit Shines And My Pride Blocks Out All The Light by John Grochalski

the cat howls
her death rattle in the morning
for two and a half hours
while i sculpt shitty fictions
and the sun boils outside
like a rotten egg
and now i have these kids
making a huge card for a politician
thanking him for whatever
we thank politicians for these days
and they are drawing
flags and moons and flowers and rockets
and more flags and smiley faces
writing god bless the u.s.a.
all over the thing
while i think about putting the cat down
and killing this novel for the third time
when out of nowhere
she shoves her cell phone in my face
and there is the politician looking back at me
smiling and magical and american
then she asks
her childlike smile as precious as a basket of puppies
why are you so ugly
when he’s so handsome?
and i have an answer for her somewhere
i swear i really do
somewhere deep down in me
where the spirit shines
and my pride blocks out all the light
and i’d say it
if only i could give myself
some cold, hard words
learn to speak the trifling language
of self-preservation
once again.


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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s