"the legendary vegas diner closes" and "covfefe"

the legendary vegas diner closes

after fifty years of memories
or so it says on their banner
the legendary vegas diner closes
after being one of brooklyn’s top diners
too many times to mention
and who knows what they’ll build on its spot
condos or a big box pharmacy
or maybe even a new diner
hell bent on cultivating
its own legacy of heartburn and grease
i remember i was in the legendary vegas diner only once
after my wife got diagnosed
with breast cancer at thirty-seven
after biopsies and MRIs and dozens of doctors felt her up
after their jokes about being glad
we weren’t having kids
after three surgeries to get good margins
after a summer of sleepless nights and worrisome days
i remember i sat across from my wife
in the legendary vegas diner
with a dumb smile on my face
because the final report said
that she only had a fourteen percent chance
of the cancer coming back
watching her as she made phone calls to oncologists
faceless men and women
who wanted to spend the autumn poisoning her
with radiation and chemotherapy
just to be on the safe side
and i honestly can’t remember
if the coffee was any good
in the legendary vegas diner
or what it was that we ate that afternoon
to be honest i’m glad the place is closed now
and i don’t really care what they build in its place
they can leave the legendary vegas diner
sitting there to rot
its windows smashed in by thugs
its banner fading from too much of the ugly sun
its parking lot becoming overgrown
in wild grass and weeds
all of its memories going straight to hell
for all i care.




it might be stating the obvious
or is a code word…to a russian spy
maybe it’s that moment in the day
where you realize that your country
is being run into the dirt by a madman
and that the house and senate
are controlled by a domestic terrorist organization
who’ll screw over the poor for a one dollar bet
as they lick the dirty boot heels of the 1%
a covfefe is a tit suckle on wall street
in french it means a broken promise
in german it might mean the moment where you realize
shit…we’re truly alone in this
according to the weather channel
the first hurricane of this season is going to be named covfefe
in january winter storm covfefe is going to dump sixteen inches on boston
the day after some record breaking warmth touches the region
on the bus last night some dude told me
​covfefe means make america great again
he said it like the word was going out of style
he shouted it at some muslim chick who was just trying
to get home from her shitty job
down south to covfefe means
to drive two hundred miles out of your way for an abortion
it means a weak and ineffective labor union
on covfefe day…which happens on the first day of summer, of course
it’s tradition to hang your flags
so that your neighbors can see how patriotic you are
some doctors think that covfefe
is the latin word for collective amnesia
personally, i asked the people who make the OED
to weigh in on this
i still haven’t heard back from them
but i have my own suspicions about the word
at times i think the word means to take our collective rage
and throw it back into the trivial and amusing abyss
or covfefe might mean to gaze absent-headed at a pointless spectacle
it means that we no longer care
about the integrity of the office of president
or our respect globally
a few months from now covfefe could mean
the end of america as you and i know it
all the same….i hope it was worth the laugh.



John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), and the forthcoming The Philosophers’ Ship (WineDrunk Press, 2018) He is also the author of the novels, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013), and Wine Clerk (Six Gallery Press 2016).  Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where the garbage can smell like roses if you wish on it hard enough.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, July 31, 2017 - 22:53