Poetry: Selections from Steve Grogan

My Way

The enthusiasm required
to revive a story has returned. 
I can still recall the plot: 
a young man has sex with a female teacher.
Somehow word of this event reaches the press.
Results are: teacher fired, young man expelled, 
parents unwilling to call him their son out of humiliation. 
His soul is sucked dry by guilt.
One day he meets the Hermit, 
a Chinese man who lives in a mansion
near the protagonist (who I shall name Christopher).
The Chinese man, a Wing Chun master, decides to
give poor Christopher some help. Physical and
philosophical training changes Christopher’s life.
I remember there was something about a girl
that Chris loved, and her boyfriend (who hated Chris),
and aliens (who hated humans).
I can’t recall how aliens worked into the story,
but I bet I can unearth this missing treasure.
Now I went from nothing to write, to too much!
Screenplay, poetry, novel. 
Where to spread the attention?
There is only one way to find out:
I must work on each project. 
Whichever one seems to write itself 
is the one I must complete.

Fable of Urges

I can see the brick walls hidden 
Behind their eyes, can sense the cold steel
of their skin. Against the world, man,
just my anxiety and I against the world.
Each day we find the difficulty increasing
exponentially as we sit at that desk
and attempt to uncover any combination
of words that could sound new or interesting. 
However, the poet’s dilemma is the same 
as the musician’s: words are my instruments, 
and they have been as well used and explored 
as the piano, clarinet, or guitar. This doesn’t mean
I am abandoning my efforts. It just means I will have 
to spend more time sitting there at that desk, 
bathing in the artificial glow of a 60-watt bulb,
wishing it were a halo and dreaming 
of Amazon women and golden palaces. 
If only we could all share these dreams!
Sometimes I wish everyone was a writer
so they could understand the magic involved 
in creating, and I wouldn’t feel like such a freak. 
Could we ever be freaks together, so that we could
gain a universal definition of normality?
It makes no difference to me anymore.
The noose closes around my neck
and strips away all my cares.


A monster
my Eyes
melting in the Heat of his proximity,
Gushing down my Face.
Cannot stand It.
It’s crawling across the floor.
Its claws are on my face.
Rips the skin away.
I feel like I am dead,
and so perhaps I am.
I am dying.
(fingers poking my side)
(out here in the cold)
(is there any escape from this?)
No exit.
I trudge through gore
wrapping around me
while my soul is examined by no one.
Do I escape from this?
Clawing at my face,
tearing at my hands,
the blood hot against my eyes
as they split in two.
(is there any escape from this?)

Writer’s Block

Out here in the open
are the words not meant for me to say
for 1,000,000 years.
The cement block won’t break
not even if I hammer it with these words,
but with those words it’s a different story.
Fourteen new tales
are all I have the chance to count
before another block forms.
My eyes are untied
yet my brain is knotted.
The block falls on my head,
crushing my thoughts.
Now it’s inside my brain,
pressing down on me.
My sanity is powder
I will never think again.
Never will I think again.

Rambling in Some Chinese Lit Class

wow whoa holy hell shit goddamn
you it she fuck  you know ack
love desktop bitch cock luck eat
sour scope magnet sun weed
learn order out courageous me I
nesting world but netherworld over
skies ankles stains regions hips
your do mine me don’t skillet ugh
whisper fade about girl woman lips
fuck girl love girl kiss girl hate girl

Steve Grogan is from the often-filmed city of Troy, NY. He’s been writing for over 30 years. His work has been published in several magazines and ezines. His biggest influences are Phillip K. Dick, William S. Burroughs, and Thomas Pynchon.


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