CFS by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has struck the star of a local ballet troupe, and a retiree who’s been waiting ten years to take up the sitar, and the daughter of a famous sci-fi writer, and a pharmacist at the nearby Walgreen’s.

There are too many others to mention who have been likewise affected, who (barely) live from day to day, plywood nailed over the windows of their lives.

There are unopened stacks of mail, piles of unread student papers, unfilled prescriptions, strings loose and out of tune. There are dishes piled to the rim of an empty hot tub. If we don’t recover our energy soon, all is lost.


Meanwhile, in the bruised skies above our republic, a tornado travels like a hobo looking for a handout, looking for a trailer park to rip to shreds, looking for my nephew, who is five months behind on his trailer payments. Now that he’s moved to another state, he thinks he’s outrun the bank.

He lives on Degradation Ave, where the weather is always squabbly and low self-esteem, like fog, drops ever lower, permeates his clothes. Senseless violence lurks behind every vodka bottle, every can of Red Bull, every tattered couch. Everyone wants something for nothing.

Here comes the funnel cloud. This hobo is deranged and howls with laughter, like a drunken trailer park resident on a Friday night.

The hobo wants to throw it all into the sky. He wants to call all the women Crack Ho and all the men Douche Bag.


At that time, I worked in a state mental hospital. Now I work in a Nursing Home. My next job will be in a school for Juvenile Delinquents.


Snow 323 has fallen. Canada repulses me like an electro-magnet. I keep taking my pills to keep me from despair. I keep using Unguentine for my skin conditions. I wear a back brace to keep me upright. I go to church to keep me upright. My nephew and his whore never go to church.

I get in my old Rambler, to drive away. The Rambler’s engine goes taptap  taptap  taptap  taptap.


About the Author

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over nine hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad, including RAY’S ROAD REVIEW. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and The Best of the Net for work published in 2011 through 2014. 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. He lives in Denver.

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