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July 08, 2024

walking to work poem (after frank o'hara)

By John Grochalski

walking to work poem
--after frank o'hara

it's the worst
when the sky is cloudless
and the trees are still leafless
and the seasons haven't decided
between the winter and the spring
i can freeze or sweat
with the best of them
and i have every house on this walk memorized
like bad poetry
and the same lady is smoking at 10th avenue
and the same old man is telling everyone
what a beautiful day his god has given us
and the same dog wants me dead on 17th avenue
biting and gnawing at a heavy metal fence
for my simple audacity of trying to get to work
somewhere along this stretch my ipod will die
and high school girls will act
like they can walk right through me
and the high school boys will smoke pot
while they talk their man-child tough talk
and i still won't be able figure out what music it is
that i want to listen to
and it has been twenty five years since high school
so i stick with jazz
because i always play jazz
when i'm undecided
except for when i play coltrane
when i play him i feel immortal
only on the next block a tiny electric car tells me
that the future is female
which makes me feel good for a little while
that is to say
this city is full of over eight million people
and i'm so happy in this moment
to truly know
next to none

Article © John Grochalski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2018-05-21
Image(s) are public domain.
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