Dried Fig By Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

November 9, 2015 Comments Off on Dried Fig By Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

My dog and cat ran away. They’d been conspiring, waiting ‘til winter so they could cross the lake, knowing I can’t stand the cold and distrust the thickness of ice. Both of them were calico, so they had a lot in common despite their difference in species. They told each other that they lived in a post-species world, and were thus reassured.

Relationship troubles. Money troubles too, and then I ate an e-coli burger, with cheddar. The nurses’ shadows are those of Joshua trees. It’s Suffocation Centigrade in the ward. I am as parched as a dried fig, but they won’t give me any water.

It was a lonely morning when I awoke and padded into the cold living room to find my pets gone. I knew right away what had happened, as I did when my wife left me, even before I found the note nailed to the black walnut cutting board I’d given her one Xmas. It was beautiful, dark and severe like her, but she never showed any enthusiasm for it.

All the other charity cases look like Charles Bukowski, one per bed. One Bukowski is sucking off another. One Bukowski is sweating piss, saying: This is the biggest accomplishment of my life. Joshua trees stick needles into my arm, set up a drip. One tree says: I’ve never seen anyone this dehydrated. Your body is a desert.

My dog and cat agreed with my ex: I could be an insensitive, condescending bastard. They’ve only been gone a couple of days, but I’ve already forgotten their names.

The nurse and I are desert rats. I ask her if she can find me some Viagra.

There are more dogs and cats in the pound. They see me coming and shrink away. They can tell the kind of man I am, not abusive, but capable of sucking all the joy out of a room — that’s what my ex-wife told me. That’s what the low woofs meant, the sour meows.

The nurse says: Your body is a Rubbermaid cabinet stocked with disease and tools for which there is no longer any function.

© 2015 Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over eight-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.

Zither Lost By Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

June 4, 2015 Comments Off on Zither Lost By Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

The Spanish conquistador lived his life in postcards, terse and exposed to the world. Now cicada wings sprout from his ears, delicate, with many fine lines. He is grandly mustachioed and bearded. He is the cough drop Smith and the Studebaker Brothers rolled into one.

He has no arms. His hands extend directly from his body, all blown up like cow udders. His children want to pull on his fingers for milk. That’s why he wears yellow latex gloves at all times, even when he sleeps, which is nightly, even when he showers, which is rare. He is a member of my posse. In fact, he is my lieutenant.

They took my zither away from me when they got me in this bughouse. They said I was disturbing the other prisoners, but how could the celestial music that issues from my thin fingers disturb the already deeply disturbed?

I would have cured them with music, though I could never cure myself. That is often the way of the world: Jesus died for our sins.

© 2014 Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois’ poems and fictions have appeared in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize. 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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