poems by Mitchell Grabois



I thought I’d read the Inferno aloud to my wife

while we were house-sitting in a drafty old farmhouse in Umbria

but after a while

Hell got boring

It didn’t take very long


We started watching TV instead

the Italian version of Wheel of Fortune

with a former Miss Sweden

playing the Vanna White role


Miss Sweden strides across the stage on her endless legs

then turns, and her skirt swirls for the benefit of the “buttocks cam”

placed below stage level


My wife’s intrinsic lesbianism, usually well-hidden,

ignites and she falls to the floor and writhes as one possessed


It’s only when I change the channel to

Arabic porn that she momentarily settles down

I began to recite from the Inferno again




Lemon Drops


Lemon drops melt like troubles

down my

cancer-ravaged throat


I thought I was a made man

with my black leather hat

and Cuban cigars

but I am unmade


I have unmade myself

That’s always the way it is


whether you’ve organized your crimes

or left them unorganized


whether you’re Julius Caesar

or just some douche bag out on the

dirty street corner

trying to sing a capella






The woman with the dead eyes

gave me a sexually transmitted demon

She didn’t even have to touch me

She did it through my laptop screen


The woman with the dead eyes

is a venereal kitty

She’s a human immunodeficiency virus

but she’s not human

not really

The sum toto

of her experiences

have bashed the humanity out of her


I didn’t click away fast enough

she got me

gave me a sexually transmitted demon

she’s not even pretty

she’s ugly

according to Western standards of beauty

Eastern too

North and South


She’s an evil scag

all she cares about are the unmet needs

of her vagina


She poked me

and it was

the beginning of the end

poems by Mitchell Grabois

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