POETRY
The Ex-Pat
John Grochalski
Writer of the Month

the newspapers
and the internet are a horror show

everywhere i turn
the orange-faced bloviating billionaire
with bad hair and a small penis
tells me that he wants to make america great again
for its dying minority

his charlatan face plastered all over the media
his huge words a dystopic poetry on everyone’s tongue

while corporatists with grandma hair and wall street cash
and senile socialist demagogues
selling sugar sweet snake oil and unicorn blood
are duking it out on the other side

and i’m left with a neoliberal hangover

repaid for my carbon footprint
on every unseasonably warm day

and america is the shit stain
that i can’t get out of my drawers

i’m getting the shakes
the elephant and jackass DTs
and the blood pressure is on the rise

if i were an ex-pat i’d be an exuberant lunatic
checking out venus de milo’s ass in the louvre
or looking at the whores in amsterdam

but i’m stuck here in the shit with everyone else
spitting red, white and blue bile into the sink

black humor for two-hundred and forty years
only i’m not in on the joke

and in the bars all anyone ever talks about
is tv shows or superhero movies

they play on their cell phones and do little else

but i’m sure it’s just as bad over in spain and france
drinking rioja wine in may can’t be all the rage
and the venus de milo’s ass is covered anyway

but i did get horribly drunk one time
outside the cerveceria alemana in madrid
with some good friends

we talked about art and revolution
and the illusion of freedom

we watched some bum dance like michael jackson
for his hard-earned euros

i actually felt like an ex-pat in that moment

far enough away from america
that i finally knew how to breathe 

and how to laugh deep and long
like i really meant it.


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 novels, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013), and Wine Clerk (Six Gallery Press 2016). Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where the garbage can smell like roses if you wish on it hard enough.