...and if you won't save me
please don't waste my time

deja vu streets
in the city no one misses
but everyone lives in
gray morning
gray faces
chinese charles bronson
going back and forth to his car
like an obsessive compulsive
aneurysm head
atypical cells
heart attack gamble
gas pains
chest pains
chess nights
sodium spells
cholesterol nightmares
talking pipes
falling leaves
browning city blocks
whisky breath
and winedrunk soul
you whore
you harlot
you work calendar
with not enough days off
kids crying in storefronts
chicken wings lining the sidewalk
as a man plays
the accordion and smiles
toward glass cities
made out of beer bottles
as women pull babies
along glass cracked sidewalks
as fortunes rise and fall
and the next thirty years
paint themselves
across my mind
in muted color
while the sun rises and falls
over all
that i've ever known.


heavy head
sore neck
getting worse
on my in-law's couch
on a cool october
saturday evening
and i can't shake it
so the panic sets in
and i go outside
to take in the night air
bare feet
start shivering on painted
white wood
the thud-head
and panic getting worse
tightening my chest
gas pains too
another problem
from other months
this year
and i think
i'm doing it
i'm finally falling apart
i'm too young to die
i haven't even seen
my new book
or got the next one
put together yet
i haven't toured old
british pubs with my wife
or taken a train with her
across india
the steelers are 4-1
the giants are 4-1
and i don't even know
who's going to the
world series this year.
when my wife comes out
to check on me
i calm a little bit
my head lightens
and i tell her i thought
i was having a brain aneurysm
though i don't quite know
what having one entails
and she laughs kindly
then takes my hand
she tells me my blood sugar
is probably low.
it's just that simple
i guess.
and we look at the
darkening sky
over monroe, new york
i saw my first shooting star
about ten years ago.
then she asks me
if i want to go back
get warm
get another beer
and have some dinner.
i do.
so we do.

John Grochalski published writer whose poems have appeared in
Avenue, The Lilliput Review, The New Yinzer, The Blue Collar
Review, The Deep Cleveland Junkmail Oracle, The ARTvoice,
Modern Drunkard Magazine, The American Dissident, Words-Myth,
My Favorite Bullet, The Main Street Rag, Thieves Jargon,
Underground Voices, Why Vandalism, Eclectica, Zygote In My Coffee,
Gloom Cupboard, and forthcoming in the Kennesaw Review, Re)Verb,
Octopus Beak Inc., and Cherry Bleeds. His short fiction has
appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and in the forthcoming
anthology Living Room Handjob. Grochalsk's column The Lost
Yinzer appears quarterly in The New Yinzer (www.newyinzer.com),
and his book of poems The Noose Doesn't Get Any Looser After Y
ou Punch Out is forthcoming via Six Gallery Press.

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