Four Poems by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Artwork by Van Gogh©


Bones and Cells

We grow around our bones
our organs
We encase our souls in fat
Our blood tunnels everywhere it can

That giant lamps atop our torsos
grow brighter
Bulb filaments learn to curl
Short circuits are laid down
for future sabotage

Some cells are already antsy
feeling restrained
They want to push over the apple cart

They want the apples to roll from North Carolina
to Kentucky
They want to send me chasing them
a Johnny Appleseed
without dignity


Last Dance

Nanci danced
at her daughter’s wedding
some abbreviated steps

She still had grace and rhythm
though her Syrian body
had been fighting itself

I danced with her
my red paisley tie flapping
sweat rising on my bald head
my body not used to Florida humidity
so far from the dryness of my desert home

I bicycled to the Gulf Coast
shipped my suit
I thought it was a beautiful suit
but when I put it on I realized it was
as used up
as Nanci’s body


Coal Footprints

My wife wore paper slippers
our friend had taken from her Chinese hotel room
and presented to her as a cheap gift
There was also an inadequate toothbrush
and some poison paste

The rug of our hotel in Panama City Beach
on the Redneck Riviera
was so old and dirty
that when I walked on it
in bare feet
(resisting my wife’s suggestion
that I slip on my sandals)
my soles turned black
and left coal footprints
in our rented bed

At least there were no bedbugs



Lance Armstrong
tangled in spokes of disgrace
goes on TV
says that taking performance enhancing drugs
was as necessary for him
as air in his tires

the same air the rest of us were breathing
believing he would deliver us from Cancer

Then Lance
goes home
leaves his shoes at the door

hunkers down in a giant bird’s nest
he’s built in his living room
using twigs he brought back from France

His nest is bigger than an Osprey’s



Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has published in over two-hundred literary journals across the U.S. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for his story “Purple Heart” published in The Examined Life in 2012, The Best of the Net, and the Queen’s Ferry Press’s Best Small Fictions Prize for work published in 2011 through 2015. His novel, Two Headed-Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available on Amazon. Grabois writes and lives in Denver.


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