the inventor

the inventor
comes into the job
every day
talking on his cell phone
snapping his fingers at me for
paper and pencils
to write down
important information

the inventor
talks to me about patents
and $3,000 dinners
with corporate headhunters
reality shows
where tech wizards
turn nobodies into somebodies

the inventor
says that his design
is going to turn the tech world
on its head

he tells me that when
he gets famous
heís going to spread the wealth
get me some new clothes
a new haircut
because when his product drops
the inventor is dropping it
right here at the job
because this is where it all started

this place is going to be packed
with the media
the inventor tells me

i think he better tell the administration
about this

iím going to be the biggest thing
the inventor says

even though he smells perpetually
of whiskey and weed
and has been wearing the same clothing
for a month

the inventor whispers a haiku

$3,000 dinners
the cover of wired and time

he has his golden future planned out

heís getting out of this place

and to think i was the one
who handed him
all of those pencils and paper

i was there from the beginning
listening to his dull schemes
for hours on end
thinking that he was crazy

i hope to christ
he makes it, the inventor
becomes a millionaire
with private jets and expensive women
$1000 bottles of champagne
condos on both coasts
and the most brilliantly subtle hangovers

i hope the inventor buys an island
i hope that he moves there
with all of his talent and genius
with a brand new idea to help
pad his wealth

i hope the inventor
makes more money than
the crown prince of saudi arabia
and that iíll never have
to see his face
at this job again.


fat gut
pale white
cold beer on the belly
trapped in the whirl
of the air conditioner
brooklyn is humid
after the rain
but i long for the days
with the windows open
in the summer
it seems crazy
but i miss the noise
of the street enveloping me
like a soiled blanket
the cars
the people
the dogs barking
you just donít get that
with this mechanical hum
blowing cold air
up your ass
thereís nothing to rail against
in this cave
of a living room
you end up arguing with the cat
bass music
boat horns from the estuary
motorcycle engines
teen posturing on street corners
and some asshole
telling his life story
on his cell phone
this is the stuff i need right now
the stuff of life, i guess
i need an enemy
or a savior
sitting here
fat gut
pale underwear
the last beer empty
sweat rings on my flesh
beethoven on the radio
the stock market crashing
as london burns
as i laugh the madmanís laugh
shaking my
goddamned head
never believing
for a second
that iíd miss any of you.

John Grochalski's column The Lost Yinzer appears quarterly in The New Yinzer, 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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