broken toe

the streets are flooding rivers
and the trees come down
like junkies
the people are like statues
and the birds are boiling
in their new nests
while you make rings
on the coffee table with scotch
and wine glasses
while you cry over the past
and pull at your shirt
while you stagger around
drunk for the last time
kicking at your boots so hard
you just know that second toe
on the left foot is broken
if it isnít
itíll hurt like a mother for a week or longer
but it wonít matter to you
because the sky is the color of car exhaust
and youíre finally happy
you have a perfect lack of ambition
and the noise through
the walls is like a symphony
tomorrow could be a paradise or a hell
they are the same thing
there is still enough to drink
there are still enough tears
there are enough poets to kill us all
the sound of the burning birds
is like an angelís wail
the pain has not yet reached your brain
tomorrow you will wake before dawn
to send out more nonsense
then youíll limp along the pavement
heading for the gallows and the noose
hoping for a cheap place
to get a cup of coffee
and somewhere far enough away
from the middle school
where you can vomit
in someoneís trash can
and call all of these years even.

John Grochalski is a published writer whose poems have appeared in Avenue, Viral Cat, Lit Up, Rusty Truck, Thieves Jargon, Outsider Writers Collective, The Lilliput Review*, *The New Yinzer*, *The Blue Collar Review, The Deep Cleveland Junkmail Oracle, The ARTvoice*, *Modern Drunkard Magazine *, *The American Dissident*, *My Favorite Bullet*, Words-Myth, The Main Street Rag, Eclectica, Zygote In My Coffee, the Kennesaw Review, Octopus Beak Inc., Clockwise Cat, Ink Sweat and Tears, Cherry Bleeds, Indite Circle, Lit Up, Gloom Cupboard, Alternative Reel, One Night Stanzas, Re)verb, American Tanka, Tattoo Highway, The Smoking Poet, Why Vandalism, The Delinquent, Delirio, The Chiron Review, Gutter Eloquence, Opium Poetry, Mad Swirl, Deep Tissue Magazine, The Loch Raven Review, The Hidden City Quarterly, Poetic Desperation, Red Fez, Calliope Nerve, Eviscerator Heaven, Leaf Garden, Down in the Dirt, Black Listed Magazine, Poetry Super Highway, Carcinogenic Poetry, Ghoti, The Plebian Rag, (A Brilliant) Record, Front Page, Yes Poetry, Sex and Murder, Gnome, Poor Mojoís Almanac, Thirteen Myna Birds, This Zine Will Change Your Life, Children, Churches and Daddies, Fosebook, Litterbox Magazine, The Scrambler, Guerilla Pamphlets, Clutching at Straws, Thunderclap, Eunoia Review, The Camel Saloon, and the Orange Room Review.* *My short fiction has appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Fictionville, Bartleby Snopes, Retort, The Battered Suitcase, The Big Stupid Review, Pequin, The Legendary, Troubadour 21, The Moose & Pussy, and the anthology Living Room Handjob.

His column The Lost Yinzer appears quarterly in The New Yinzer (www.newyinzer.com), and he can be found at his blog Winedrunk Sidewalk (www.winedrunksidewalk.blogspot.com). His book of poems The Noose Doesnít Get Any Looser After You Punch Out is out via Six Gallery Press, and his book Glass City is out on Low Ghost Press.

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