Poem by John Grochalski


car wreck at 5 a.m. outside my window

sun rising
you hear the engine accelerating
a few minutes before impact
shake off last night’s vodka lull
think it’s just another new york douche bag
speeding from one thing to another like always
for some reason
you picture a fat italian asshole
weighed down in gold chains
someone named, sal, who does club promotion
as the sound of the car gets closer
it doesn’t sound right
sounds like the car is bracing for liftoff
like it’s coming straight toward your
shit-hole apartment
hear tires squeal
hear tires skid
think, watch this fucker come right through the wall
and kill me
you don’t even get proper obits
in this city
unless you’re pulling in a million a year
and what a cheap way to go too
maybe you’d have frank o’hara beat
but the car spins and hits
another parked car
a few feet between you and annihilation
metal and glass and plastic
meet making beautiful bombs in the periwinkle light
you race to the window
your wife too
both still alive
to see car on car like sick porn
you wonder
before you even wonder
if sal
or whatever people inside are alive
if the car they hit
belongs to that asshole
whose alarm keeps going off
or is it someone else
who’s going to be on the horn with the cops
raining sirens and whatnot
down upon this quiet street
while you stand there gawking
whatever poem you were going to write
the first cup of coffee
somewhere in the sudden-still apartment
colder and colder
by the


Artwork © J. Powers Bowman
Artwork © J. Powers Bowman


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 novel, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013). Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he constantly worries about the high cost of everything.

J. Powers Bowman was born in Austin, Texas and attended college in Los Angeles. He has been refining his approch to pen-and-ink and collage for the last eleven years, and has been producing art via his current method for the last eight. For further information, please email him at jpowersbowman@gmail.com.


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