5 Poems by Mikaela Grantham

Please enjoy these 5 poems by Mikaela Grantham, and her reading below. Thank you. Love you.



The End of the World

is by the river
if you live here you may have
taken a walk there




mary gaitskill was totally lost
i watched her wander the neighborhood
looking for the bookstore
i could have helped her
i totally know where the bookstore is
but i did not help mary gaitskill
i didn’t feel like it
sorry, mary gaitskill
looks like you are doing okay, though



What We Do

i hear two guys talking in the bar
i am going to get some more hugs man, one says
yeah, go get some more hugs man
we spend too much time in bars here
and no one wants to dance with me
that is okay
i am not a dancer anyways
i sit on the stairs near the stage
sway with a big dumb smile on my face
watch one of the guys get some more hugs
watch you eat mushrooms while you play your guitar
i reach into my pocket and take a bite of a mushroom
smile at you
i am high and drunk
i gave that guy a hug
we spend so much time getting high and drunk in this town
no one ever questions that
you can have whatever job you want here and be a drunk
you can have whatever you want here
the guy who wants hugs just got home from being on the road
he was gone for months
people do that a lot
they leave and come back all the time

later we see the hug guy
all fucked up
at an old mansion in the bywater
everyone kisses each other
there is a swimming pool filled with leaves and bugs
we lay in the grass
it is so late
or is it early
we have lost track of time
watching the guy
dip his head into the dirty pool water
baptizing himself
while a another woman plays guitar
sings a song about the river and loneliness
we all are a little bit lonely
trying to get saved by something or someone
people come to new orleans to get lost
people come to new orleans and they get lost
maybe we were lost once too
but i can feel your hand resting on my thigh
and i can see the sun starting to rise



Unfortunately Waitress

i was hungry. and i was at work in the restaurant. i wanted a piece of warm flatbread with butter. i asked the chef for one. hadn’t eaten all day. goddamn i was hungry. his name is phil. but everyone calls him chef. he said ok. he said something about a trade. about roses and i knew he wanted me to tell him about roses because he likes those kinds of flowers. i know he likes roses and his wife likes sunflowers because he told me that once and i listen when people tell me about themselves. i don’t know anything else about him. sometimes he lashes out at work. one time he lashed out at me but i don’t care. because people do that. they freak out. sometimes they freak out about small things. can’t let them go. i lived with a man who yelled at me for drinking the last bit of malbec we had in our cabinet. he screamed, broke a glass on our kitchen table “everyone knows i love a glass of malbec when i get home from work”  i laughed. what would you do? is there anything else i can do for you tonight? i have learned to pretend that everything is running smoothly when everything is out of control and chaotic. i am sturdy. i am chaotic. i have learned to be sturdy. this is why i am your waitress.



can’t touch this

i have some supper for you on the table
i have some beer for you in the fridge
i have some lent for you in my pocket
and a penny
and a lighter
we can set something on fire
have you ever smelt burnt hair
it’s not bad
like campfire
have i told you the story yet
about how i burnt off all my eyelashes
when i was sixteen
we made a pipe out of an apple
broke into a housing development
MC Hammer bought one of these houses
my friend hopped the fence
is that the guy with the pants
we huddled around the apple
i went to light the pipe
in a stairwell
in an empty house
in the dark
a flame exploded in my face
bad lighter
i wasn’t doing it right
i don’t know
i left the house stoned
goodbye eyelashes
come home whenever you want to


(Image: The Hunter, 1924, Joan Miro)


Mikaela Grantham is the founder and co-editor of Disorder Press, which she runs with her brother. Her poems can be found in Hobart, Maudlin House, The Fanzine, and more. She currently lives in New Orleans with her dog, Ruby.