Poetry Drawer: Adventure Travel: Glue: God Created Fledglings: Winds of Santa Ana: Janice M by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Adventure Travel

I have too much to eat
I take food from the mouths of children
from all over the globe
I am gleeful as I fatten

I’m a trust fund baby
so I don’t have to work
I take up silly hobbies
as past-times

I watch all the food shows on TV
I am a virtual glutton
I lick the screen clean

I masturbate to images of
the food
and the food show hosts

I like the chubby, spicy Sicilians
I venture into homosexuality
with the male chefs

I have too much to eat
but I don’t eat it all
A lot of it I throw out
I get carnal pleasure
from tossing food into the garbage
I have servants to dispose of it
but I like making expeditions into the alley
to dispose of it myself
I call this “Adventure Travel”


As a teenager
in his bedroom retreat
he built model airplanes
got lightheaded on the glue
listened to Odetta while he built
listened to Ledbelly
Muddy Waters

His schizophrenic sister skulked in the hall
Her complexion was pitted
and she wore thick glasses with black rims
but I found her attractive
an older woman
with secret knowledge
I feared I would never have

I wanted to be misled
I wanted to be detoured
by someone whose life
was a detour
I wanted to get high on airplane glue
without ever building an airplane

God Created Fledglings

The neighbours across the street have seen
the woman with the dead eyes
in the tree
and have called the police again
How many times has it been this year
the woman asks her husband
He shrugs

They think she’s dangerous to herself
or others
They’re less concerned about her
and more concerned about the others:

The police stroll through the house
of the woman with the dead eyes
as if they have the right

The woman with the dead eyes doesn’t mind
because she has a fantasy
that she is having a threesome
with these police officers
They are so tough and virile

The red-headed officer sees the fledglings
five of them
laid on a board across her bed
He says:
What’s that?

Those are birds, she says
God created them

What are you doing with them?

Teaching them, she says,
indoctrinating them into the new morality
leading them into the next stage
of their evolution

In fact, she’s going to decapitate them
because it will give her a thrill
and make her feel better
The neighbours don’t know that
but they are afraid that she is dangerous
to herself and others
especially others:

Winds of Santa Ana

The Santa Ana winds shaped me
Their power snatched the cigarette from my fingers
and drove it deep into dry chaparral
The resulting fire was preordained
I could have lived in Hoboken NJ
and the fire still would have been preordained
still my fault

The western winds overwhelmed me
They blew my garage open
sucked my tuba out into the pebbly road
dragged it down the street
Sparks flew from its brass
I was trying to teach myself to play it
so I could join a Mariachi band
with my friends Pollo Murillo and
Hector Delgadillo

My father was a half-Jewish Rumanian
but passed as Mexican
He knew all the love songs
all the songs that started with Mi Amor
and ended with
Mi Corazon
He never sang them to my mother
I knew he was not singing to her
though she was his wife
She was as beautiful and upright
as a statue of a Madonna
carved from pinyon wood
by a Colonial sculptor

When she was around, he shut his lips tight
or twisted them like a bad ventriloquist

He sang his songs to someone else
someone in a different country
he hadn’t met yet
someone he was preparing for
like preparing for the Second Coming

My mother was a Christian woman
though she didn’t love Jesus
It wasn’t that she didn’t believe in Him
She was merely indifferent

My cap flew from my head
My grandfather’s fedora blew off his dead head
his head a block of grey clay
awaiting the pinching of my fingers
to truncate the seven generations
of suffering deemed necessary

by the Holy Book
to wear down sin

I’d take it down to
maybe four

My grandmother reclined on a tree limb
holding a Russian ukulele and
the eternal flame
of youth
It glowed orange
like the eyes of a tabby cat
The wind blew her out of her tree

The wind blew carom boards
down Topanga Boulevard
out to the ocean
They skimmed across the surface
like plywood torn from houses
in a hurricane

I didn’t understand the meaning of youth
or age
All I understood was the wind

The wind would blow everything away
everything of value or lacking value
It would all end up stuck
on the branches of some bush

I didn’t need to go to high school
The wind was my teacher
The wind was the wisest teacher
The wind would get fiercer every year
All human life would disappear

The wind blew
like it never did in Patterson New Jersey
like Dr. Poet William Carlos Williams
never experienced
But Dr. Williams kept his wooden tongue depressors
locked in a glass jar anyway
He never knew what might be coming

The wind blew out the windows of our stucco shanty
the one Old Man Dengler allowed us to live in

The Electrical Engineer
had come from New Jersey
to remake the San Fernando Valley
in the image of a Diode
had come to cast Aerospace
in the image of the Aztec gods
with hordes of his
self-replicating spawn
who enrolled in my school
and looked down on me

This engineer sat at his desk and
the wind
sucked open his drawers
scattered his papers
financial papers
technical papers
He had no idea wind could blow like that
Those papers were his life

The wind turned coffee beans
into bullets
The Santa Ana winds stripped tomatoes from their vines
the grapes from theirs

Italians and Jews cried together
Tumbleweeds are weapons of mass destruction

In the future recreational marijuana would be legal
in Colorado
but in the meantime
I was going to prison

where I could not be touched
by the powerful
destructive wind
I can’t say
I wasn’t grateful

Janice M.

I wear a crown of spark plugs
crash a wedding party

I am bald
and my head shines
like fresh chrome
on the grill of a classic Buick

The bride will have to work hard tonight
to prove to her beau
that he made the right choice

and I will uplift my tits
as the Governor of California
mounts his white horse
and comes to rescue me

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over fourteen-hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for numerous prizes, and was awarded the 2017 Booranga Writers’ Centre (Australia) Prize for Fiction. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, is based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. His new poetry collection was published in 2019, The Arrest of Mr Kissy Face. He lives in Denver, Colorado, USA.

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