I will be posting poems here that have been written since the publication of POET’S MODEL. I may post a few older ones as well. All will be included in my next poetry collection.


There is no money, even though
forty-two billionaires have a great deal of it,
and live in fear of having a little less.

Some people have none, and so go hungry,
sometimes homeless, sometimes both.

There is no money,
at least nowhere near as much as it seems.

All the money in circulation in the year 2010—coins and notes—in all the world, in every country everywhere totaled, so I’ve read, 5.2 trillion in U.S. dollars.
It’s unclear if the 2008 U.S. bailouts are accounted for,
but some 400 Americans have $2.7 trillion of that.
Some school kids can’t afford to eat lunch.
The figures have probably gone up since 2010,
and fossil fuels are currently subsidized by $5.2 trillion.
In 2010 that would have been all the money in all the world,
so they probably printed and coined more.
Does that spark a thrill of relief?

Workers are asking for higher wages.

But there is no money.
Ask the billionaires.

And things have always been pricey.
The B-2 Spirit stealth plane cost more than 2 billion dollars each to build, and we built 21 of them. That was in 1997, which means it would cost more now, so you could argue we saved money. The total 45 billion they cost doesn’t seem like
much of a dent in a trillion or five. But there are other things.

Some people want to raise the minimum wage.

There is no money.
There is no money.
There is no money.

Enough of this.
Now, let’s discuss leprechauns.

© 2019 Michael McGrinder


Don’t try to follow the logic.
There were two maybe
three I can’t really be sure
But they added or maybe subtracted one or more
more or less
Dividing that by 2/3 and we all know how that goes
Life itself is indivisible by its own division.
That is taught somewhere that we are not told
And we take it on faith or we don’t
We could be wrong about it
Or we could be right about everything else
That too
Until we know it all
Without exception
We will not know everything.
We’ll know some of it though.
We always do.

Copyright Michael McGrinder 2019

Making Time To Write a Poem

I will start this poem soon- in a moment or so.
(Curious tha “moment” has no finite definition. I just looked it up.)
I was in the midst of doing something; I’m not sure what.
I do know I have a couple of other things I need to get done.And then I can settle down to writing.
It’s just that there are so many things I ought to take care of
in addition to the things I should have already done,
not to mention those on which I am hopelessly behind.
Before all that, I suppose I should finish the dishes
(They’re half-done.) Make the bed, sweep the floor, put the laundry away. And take out the garbage before it spills over. Recycling’s piling up too.
I probably should do some shopping so I’ll have food for dinner.
Maybe if I take a shower I’ll get some energy going.
My nails need clipping as well — fingers and toes both.
And wouldn’t you know it!
I’m forgetting to make a couple of calls –
two of them important,
the other could probably wait. Mmm… then, again…
Maybe I could send a Facebook message.
I’ll just go online for a minute–no more than that.
And then I’ll write that poem
I’ve been meaning to write for some time now.
It will be good to get to it.
Soon now.

Copyright Michael McGrinder 2018


I Don’t Care About Anything

I don’t care about anything
Save for the sun in the morning and the moon at night
And all the people and places and things in between
And the same between the moon at night and the sun in the morning
And the days and the nights when it rains
And the days and the nights when it snows
And all the other things
I could go right on mentioning
And never finish.
Otherwise, I really don’t care about anything.

Copyright Michael McGrinder 2019

The Thing That Was There

Does it ever happen to you?
Has it ever—
At least once, memorably? Often?

I’ll scan something: a list, a column,
A block of prose;
note something I want to come back to.

Finish what I’m doing,
Come back, try to,
To what seemed so interesting.
Can’t find it
Look again
Still not there
I saw the thing!
Try yet again.

If it’s online I do a find.
Still no results
Maybe I’ll try a search engine.
It may show up, perhaps ask Did you mean…?
No, I meant what I said.

Titles and names yield pages
And pages of irrelevant entries:
Who coined the word invention?
(That takes you to Quora,
Costs you a few hours. Fun, though.)
Phrases generate
Too many results to be of use.

I go back to the original
Look again, again. Again.
Nothing. Zero.

So, where did the spectral phrase come from?
Was it really there?
Was I thinking something else simultaneously?
Did a previously lost thought demand expression?
Did someone else’s thought
Fall through the ether
Conflating with the words before me?
And is someone now searching for it?

Why did I start this as a poem?
I wanted an explanation.
Maybe I was being summoned
to write a poem.

© 2018 Michael McGrinder

The Mighty Hudson

Sailors on a ship.

Passengers on a ferry.
Revelers on a yacht.
Lovers on a sailboat.
Loner in a kayak.
Fly on a popsicle stick.

© Michael McGrinder 2017



Nothing new about Mama smacking me.

In front of a nun this time.


The principal: Sister Eucharista.

Her lips tighten, pale, bloodless.

The top of her back veil dips forward

as she nods (almost, not quite)

imperceptibly (definitely displaying approval.)

Eight years old

as the smack resounds

throughout the school halls.

Ballpoints are new, imperfect

come with a wax protection,

sometimes hard to get them started.

Then they skip.

I get ink all over me.

His penmanship is atrocious.

The crime brings Mama to school

to the principal

I’m eight fucking years old!

I always know

I’m going to catch it from the nuns.

My hand sweats,

messes the paper:

it won’t accept the ink.

It gets worse.

I never finish.

I want to explain about

my sweaty palm

the wax on the tip

the cheap pen skipping

even on dry paper.

I start to speak.

The pen . . .

Never finish


Talking (back to, j’accuse)

to the nun, the principal

Sister (expletive deleted) Eucharista

Sounds like a dance

La eucharista ista rista

Leetle Seesta


My face red where hit

from the hit;

red everywhere else

from humiliation

and anger

and frustration.

Censored. Always censored.

Could have much to do

with my opposition to it

in any form. Ever.


For my penmanship

for my mouth

for embarrassing Mama

in front of La Eucharista

pale and jowly

Naaah eucharista !

Can’t get words on paper ?

Not allowed to speak?


How the fuck

did I become a writer?

©2016 Michael McGrinder

Now I Remember

It’s under something

that’s under something else
that’s under some other thing

that’s next to something

that’s next to something else
that’s next to some other thing

that’s on top of something
that’s been misplaced.

© Michael McGrinder 2016


Yes. I was
the plums
for breakfast.

They would
have been
delicious shared
so sweet
and so cold.

your oatmeal.
It’s in
the icebox.

© Michael McGrinder 2015

POET’S MODEL abookofpoems

Published on November 8, 2015 at 5:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

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