Monday, June 8, 2015

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois Speaks of Merfolk, Suicide Convicts, Hollywood Horrors, and Atrophy by Social Media


Diana Nyad
drops her mask, 
custom made to protect her from 
jellyfish stings,
onto the sand

Jellies are vicious in the waters between
Cuba and Key West
Key West and Cuba
and they have bedeviled her
her entire life
but now, at 64 
she has accomplished her dream

I squat to recover the mask
People’s bodies press around me
Adulation all around

Before I rise 
I press the mask to my face
and feel for a moment
what it is like to be Nyad

salt-burned, swollen


It was not immediately clear
how W was able to hang himself
He was on suicide watch

The guard must have had to answer the 
call of nature
and maybe he was constipated
He took too long
Maybe he had a magazine in there
a girlie magazine

Maybe it was a newspaper and he 
was fascinated by a story 
about the events unfolding in Syria
and in the United States

his strong feeling that 
World War Three is creeping up on us
and there’s nothing we can do about it

Maybe he had a philosophical moment
in which he recalled his favorite scenes
from Dostoyevsky’s novels
especially Crime and Punishment

We don’t really know how
W got the opportunity
to kill himself

but now he’s gone

The guard feels guilty
feels terrible about it
but he won’t feel that way 
for long

Reading Frankenstein

Louise blisses out in Paris 
and in return
the universe awards her 
a swollen neck gland

She’s reading Frankenstein
and the monster’s neck is swollen too

She was always an impressionable adolescent
She went to a summer creative writing class
and met the famous science-fiction writer H D

H D invited all the students to come up to his mansion
on Mulholland
and when everyone else left
Louise stayed behind

They sat on a couch and she adored him as he told her
how he had written the famous books 
that became the famous monster movies

He asked his black house servant
to go out to the garden and cut some 
fresh mint for tea
He didn’t give Louise alcohol
or drugs
She was high on being with him
She was only sixteen

He fucked her
she got pregnant 
he paid for the abortion
done in a private clinic
used by Hollywood stars

When she was waiting in the lobby
another young girl asked 
Do I know you?

She never told her parents
That was the last she saw of H D

Now she’s drinking too much wine in Paris
It’s so many years later
she suddenly remembers him
She’s no longer angry 
no longer sees herself 
as a victim

She’s reading Frankenstein
for the fifth time
Her neck is swollen

Her friend comes back from the bathroom
lipstick smeared

Someone Mourns His Dog

Someone mourns his dog on Facebook
Someone celebrates a raise
Several people have insomnia
they always do this time of night

I run a record on yellow graph paper
I try to draw conclusions about the 
world and the 
“universe” by how many people have insomnia
on any given night
by how many people are angry with 
other people for being
douche bags or assholes

Sometimes I make bets on horse races
based on this data
as if I could successfully generalize
across life domains

I’m spending way too
much time in front of my

My muscles are getting smaller
and weaker
remarkably fast

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over six hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for work published in 2012, 2013, and 2014. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. He lives in Denver. 

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