Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Fig

Post dysentery
Petra was now a good match for Morris Mordes
just as twitchy
Traveling with her, Mordes put on a protective air
though he was incapable of protecting anyone
not even himself

Petra was so reduced she was
visible only to the black-veiled
bedouin woman
who roamed the desert
at the command of her husband
searching for his lost fig tree

Idiot Wind

1.
The spinning of the turbine blades 
make my wife's teeth ache
She cannot sleep and
her headaches are ever more intense

When she looks at me in misery
I feel guilty
because I was the one who picked out this land
designed the house
did most of the labor

but how could I have known
that the county decommissioners
would betray us
and give the greedy power company free reign
to destroy our township?

I can rant and rave
and rail
against injustice
but all those R's are
only a reiteration
of one of the many noxious sounds
a turbine's blade makes
as it spins

It's amazing how many grating noises
can emerge when wind interacts with metal

2.
I'm a Northerner
I used to love the wind
the brutality of it 
as it rushed down from the Arctic

I used to love the South wind too
with its elsewhere warmth
Caribbean or Mexican
a place my wife and I could fly to
if we wished
for a respite from ice and snow

But now the South wind is my enemy
the worst wind for turbine symptoms
Tinnitus and ear pressure intense this morning
an ice pick in the back of my eyeball

3.
Every swoop of the blades 
is another dollar in federal subsidies
to support an industry that could not otherwise support itself

Every swoop of the blade-
whoever's sunk that ice pick in the back of my eyeball
shoves it in
a little further

The turbines are madmen
acting out their murderous fantasies

Turbine wealth flows like the Pere Marquette River
through our township
bypassing us

The turbines pound our house like
cold Pacific surf


Old Hotel

I imagine Tiffany and I living together
not in my house in Sloane
but in an apartment here in Chippahitchka

Highcastle is a Christian
and his pharmacy staff are kind to
mental patients out on grounds privileges
whether they want to be or not
Highcastle has made it a requirement of employment

I went to school with Highcastle
a modest, unassuming guy
who slipped into Christianity easily
Though I think he knows about my illicit
affair with Tiffany, one of the
chronic schizophrenics in my care
he doesn't say anything
doesn't give me the hint of a fisheye
Everyone's morality or immorality is his own to suffer
Love has many forms
All forms come from God

Highcastles's Pharmacy is almost at the end of town
near the rise that quickly descends to the river
There's a cheap apartment house poised there
once a hotel

It has a nice view


Cunning

The cunning farmer
raises thirty wind turbines
close around my house
You see, the fix was in

and I am so disquieted
by the wind noise and the shadow flicker
but especially the subsonic vibration
that I go crazy
and dynamite one
(they didn't know that I was a munitions expert
in the Army)

but I miscalculate and it falls on my house
(luckily my wife and kids are in town,
at the doctor's office)
and no one is hurt
except my old Australian Shepherd
who was crazy as hell
and ran around in the back of my pickup
chasing his tail
fifteen miles into town and
back again
never stopping
barking like a dog possessed
and now he's gone
I've killed him

I'm in prison
I tell myself it's for the death
of my dog
Those windmills cost
a million dollars each
I wish I'd had the TNT to blow them all up


Charity Ward

Money troubles
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

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

She and I are desert rats
I ask her if she can find me some Viagra

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

"Joshua Tree", Editor


Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over fourteen-hundred of his poems and works of fiction appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He was awarded the 2017 Booranga Writers' Centre (Australia) Prize for Fiction. 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. To read more of his work, Google Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois. He lives in Denver, Colorado, USA. He turned 65 this year and took up a new hobby: high altitude hiking.