Tag Archives: Mitchell Grabois

Cleanin’ out my father’s house

by Mitchell Grabois

he almost would have qualified

as a hoarder

if anyone cared


kept every birthday

father’s day

Xmas card I ever sent him

there’s my name a thousand times

under Hallmark drivel

a sixty year river

of saccharine sentiment

emptying into

a saccharine ocean

in which he now lives



by Mitchell Grabois

Back in the day

before yuppies fucked it

Bill McNally’s was dark

sour and hood


Dick the bartender

kept my emptied glasses

on the bar

tryin’ to prove to any stranger

that I was a drunk and a loser

and they could beat me at bumper pool


15 screwdrivers

down to ice and o.j sludge

my attention crystalline

on the red and white balls

my bag of quarters keeping roberta flack my bitch

(I’ve been making him

kill her softly

so many times that

she should be dead

but she keeps singin’

as enduring as i)


My opponents clunk

like balls down the hole

red and white

my empty glasses line up on the bar

like bums at salvation army

waiting for a meal


mcnally’s regulars

strongarm the losers

if they think they can welsh

on a barely standing drunk

I’m buyin’ drinks for everyone

off my winnings

as usual


amazing how many losers

they bring off the street

I switch to marlene dietrich


by Mitchell Grabois

His kids come

son and daughter

obviously in hate with each other

both wearin’ his expressionless pupils

both hurlin’ eye daggers


I escape across the road

to Dan Connolly’s bar

not wanting to get nicked

my pitiful wrinkly body

needin’ all its blood

Walking rap sheets

those two


Connolly sees me come in

starts up with the

O’ Danny Boy

then slides quick into Irish Eyes

and when he finally stops

I’ve downed the first of

the Old Bushmills

he sets down

on the house

on account of me being a widow

and him pals with my dead husband


What’s up, he asks


I say: Rodney’s kids upstairs

bangin’ ‘round


We look out the window

at the daughter

pushing a blue dumpster

direct under my apartment window

puttin’ her broad back into it

Then the

torrent begins


the son throwin’ his dad’s comic books

out the window


Dan Connolly rushes to the door

throws it open


Hey! Them’s worth money!

Your dad collected thirty years


Fuck you, you worthless old fart

yells the son from the window

throwin’ out another armload

missing the wide mouth of the dumpster

even the possibility of money

not enough to keep the oaf

from trashin’ his old man

now he’s finally got the chance

free and clear


Dan Connolly rushes behind the bar

grabs his sawed-off

but I head him off

say, Whoa Seabiscuit

You get put it jail

who pours my Bushmills?


He stands there breathin’ hard

I start countin’ the breaths

When I get to 38

he lets the gun slump

like erectile dysfunction

goes behind the bar

changes the TV channel

I dislike that Judge Judy, he says


Then the door flies open

the son standing there

all lit up from behind

He yells at me:

I want your saggy ass out of that apartment by sundown


That’s my apartment, I scream

Been payin’ the rent from the get-go


As I finish

Dan Connolly comes out from behind the bar

with his sawed-off