Dan Tries To Dance On A Coffee Table by John Grochalski

i’m drunk
on the unholy mix
of champagne and vodka
eating grapes the size of eggplants
and there is marijuana smoke in the air
only i’ve learned some hard lessons about pot
so i’m not touching it
and i feel dubious about the state of america
our charlatan president
is already backtracking on his most nativist of policies
all the while installing hard-liner relics to his regime
it takes a hardy soul
to realize that you’re ruled by
a reality tv con man with no moral compass
and not jump in front of a train
it takes a a noble, quiet cowardice to understand
that he has control of the nukes and these tenuous times
and still get up and go to work in the morning
i envision a nuclear winter
nothing but bouquets of ash, cockroaches and kardashian news
as the cacophony of people around me
eat cheese and crackers
and drink copious amounts of wine
in these end days i feel so lost
how did i end up here?
an R train ride from the racist bowels of brooklyn
to an intimate wedding at city hall
twenty-two flights up over manhattan
with a miniature schnauzer
sleeping across the room from me
how do we end up anywhere in this vast metropolis
of neon blurs and loquacious invective?
tonight new york is like a creature comfort blanket
or maybe the only place where a human being
can feel some semblance of safety
in this brave new world
imagine that?
you really can’t because even that is an illusion too
just ask the swastika being spray painted tonight in a brooklyn park
hell, even the white, male leftist poets online
are telling me to shut up and give hate a chance
I tell them give me your tired, your poor
your huddle masses yearning to breathe free
under the glare of the statue of bigotry
and as dan tries to dance on a coffee table
his new husband yelling across the room
no daniel, no daniel, no
their rings of platinum and gold
signifying that fragile union of the soul
i think that constantine
had to be the world’s greatest comedian
since before the american electorate
for one has to have one hell of a black sense of humor
to unleash jesus christ upon an empire
or one just has to be ignorant
of the consequences
history repeating itself and turning inward
so i reach up to grab ahold of dan’s legs
to facilitate his madness or to steady him
should this gamble not work out
or the song ends
and he goes tumbling to the carpet
taking beer bottles and glasses with him
removing them from this imperfect little world
that we so desperately
want to hold on to
if only for tonight.

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), the novel, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013), and the forthcoming novel, The Wine Clerk (Six Gallery Press 2016). Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, in the section that doesn’t have the bike sharing program.

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