December 7–13, 2009: John Grochalski and Jason Sturner

week of December 7-13, 2009: 

John Grochalski and Jason Sturner

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John Grochalski

Bio (auto)

I am a published writer whose poems have appeared in Avenue, Thieves Jargon, The Lilliput Review, The New Yinzer, The Blue Collar Review, The Deep Cleveland Junkmail Oracle, The ARTvoice, Modern Drunkard Magazine, The American Dissident, My Favorite Bullet, Words-Myth, The Main Street Rag, Underground Voices, Eclectica, Zygote In My Coffee, the Kennesaw Review, Octopus Beak Inc , Re)Verb, Clockwise Cat, Ink Sweat and Tears, Cherry Bleeds, Indite Circle, Lit Up, Gloom Cupboard, One Night Stanzas, American Tanka, Tattoo Highway, Lit Up, Ghoti, The Smoking Poet, Why Vandalism, The Delinquent, Delirio, The Chiron Review, Gutter Eloquence, Opium Poetry, Mad Swirl, Deep Tissue Magazine, The Loch Raven Review, The Hidden City Quarterly, Poetic Desperation, Red Fez, Eviscerator Heaven, Viral Cat, Leaf Garden, Alternative Reel, and the Orange Room Review My short fiction has appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Fictionville, Bartleby Snopes, Retort, The Battered Suitcase, The Big Stupid Review, Pequin, The Legendary, The Moose & Pussy, and will be forthcoming in the anthology Living Room Handjob My column The Lost Yinzer appears quarterly in The New Yinzer ( My book of poems The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out is out via Six Gallery Press and my chapbook Meditations On Misery With Women is due on Tainted Coffee Press in the summer of 2010.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by John Grochalski and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

so you’re the one

so you’re the one, she says
i’m in the wine store
with a handful of cheap french bottles
trying to replace all of the wine that my wife and i drank
you’re the one who’s been
drinking all of my wine
your wine? i say
the store owner laughs nervously he dresses nice, better than i ever could i’m probably putting his kid through college
with how much money i spend here
yes, she says she points to my bottles that’s my favorite wine it’s so smooth and it doesn’t give you a headache
that’s nice, i say, putting the bottles down
the store owner rings them up
on his brand new, digital cash register
vivaldi is playing the background
and i realize then and there
how much i hate vivaldi and this wine store owner
how much i wish there was somewhere else to go
now i know, she says, putting her
wine on the counter
as soon as i take my bagged bottles now i know who’s been drinking all of my wine i can put a face to the culprit she says
i guess you can, i say then i leave the store
and begin the slow walk up third avenue
toward the apartment
bracing myself against the wind
coming off the ugly, brown river.


we are in bed
my parents are visiting from
my father has had the weather channel
on for three straight hours
i really liked that poem you posted
my wife says
thank you
i just hope that my sister doesn’t
read your blog

well, because you criticized my family
for the black friday dinner
it was a joke
you didn’t criticize your parents
for staying with us for three days
i have plenty of poems
about my parents
which ones?

it was all in good fun anyway, i say

some people won’t see it that way maybe your fans will
i don’t have fans
then we were quiet through the bedroom door
i hear that it is going to be fifty degrees
in new york tomorrow
i hate the sound of televisions
through thin apartment walls
it’s going to be forty-seven
on friday, i say i read it in the paper
good, my wife says why don’t you write a poem
about that too.

comb on the floor

my father is on his hands
and knees
he can’t find his
comb on the floor
and he is blaming my mother
telling her she’s the one
moving shit around
all of the time
they have been here
for two days
and i started drinking
at eight in the morning
on thanksgiving
my father is on his hands
and knees
he finds his comb underneath
his own travel bag
he then proceeds to move all
of his things
across my living room
away from my mother’s things

and the two piles
of luggage stay like that
for the rest of the holiday
like two boxers in their respective
waiting for the next round
to begin.

Jason Sturner

Bio (auto)

Jason Sturner resides in Wheaton, Illinois and makes his living as a botanist In 2004 he published his first book of poetry, titled Kairos, followed by two chapbooks in 2008: 10 Love Poems and Selected Poems 2004-2007 For more information, please visit

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Jason Sturner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Props at My Funeral

While I sleep
throw ropes down my mouth Climb in—
But beware of the biting words
that linger along the throat They are bitter, always questioning
destiny’s decisions When you reach a path lit by embers
Grab your cross, and hold it tight There, bits of heart decompose along the turn You should cover your head, for it drips still
off the ribs
.of a splat-
affair) You may even see her against the starless dark A ghostly angel playing the loose string
of a smashed violin (It is true: sometimes the old sounds are deafening
and you can’t hear the new ones)
But I digress Follow the map that I gave you
and gather the props as you go:
The rusty crown The bloody pile of nightingale feathers The broken teeth of one genuine smile And don’t forget the dried up pen and quill I should remind you now
to leave by morning,
for tomorrow I will sit at the edge of the world There I will smile into the rising sun
and without a thought

drop off.

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