Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over a thousand of his poems and fiction pieces appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, The Best of the Net, and Queen’s Ferry Press’s Best Small Fictions for work published in 2011 through 2015. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. Mitchell lives in Denver.


Little Dog Cart

Mitchell Grabois


I started out with a two-hundred dollar Studebaker

but later in life

I was reduced to a little dog cart


I started with a big dog

but ended with a dachshund

and a dachshund can’t even pull a short man

like me


I went to Mexico

and had my stomach stapled

but the dachshund

still looked at me with disgust


Like all dachshunds

he was bitter

and stupid


His IQ test had showed

that he was in the lower quartile for dachshunds

so he was even stupider than most dachshunds


I’d paid a psychologist

ten dollars

to administer the test

ten dollars

I really couldn’t afford


Then true misfortune befell me

They wouldn’t let me back in the USA

even if I promised to leave the dachshund behind


even if I abandoned my cart

even if I left my battered saxophone

even if I stripped down to my

grey underwear

and hobbled into the homeland over  

sharp gravel


What part of no don’t you understand,

asked the immigration official


They confiscated my passport

The underling said: Go be a prostitute

and earn the money to hire

some bandito

to guide you across the desert

to the border


But I decided I would stay in Mexico

become a Mexican

and use the money to buy another Studebaker

one that shuddered

even when the engine wasn’t

turned on



Kim Chee

Mitchell Grabois


I worked too hard

in a room that wasn’t even a room

just a roof


Smoke from stripped bark

and other burning tree trash

blew in and burned my lungs


My Korean coworker

brought me pickled cabbage

that he’d buried in his back yard

and redeemed one jar at a time


The kim chee burned my throat

and masked the

damage to my lungs


Woman should be like sheep

he told me

meek and mild


but I was confused

because I thought he’d said ship


Actually he had said ship

but he meant sheep


I finally figured it out

I tried to imagine

my wife, a farmer’s daughter

as meek and mild

and had a good

laugh over that


She wasn’t the vixen kind of farmer’s daughter

that figured in a traveling saleman’s jokes

She was the kind that labors

because there are no sons

in the family

My wife could kick that Korean’s ass


She forbid me to eat kim chee

in the house

It made her nauseated

so I had to eat it outside

I also had to smoke outside


I did those things outside

while my wife watched stupid TV shows


They say that TV shows

have gotten stupider

over the years

but I remember those shows

she watched

and I don’t think anything

could ever be more stupid