Archive for the Nathan Graziano Category

Nathan Graziano

Posted in Nathan Graziano with tags on December 6, 2021 by Scot


Existential Crisis in Quarantine


It’s early morning, before the sun licks the window’s ear,
while the dog snores at the foot of the bed, and I’m snapped

awake by a strange and daunting dream that disappears
like a foreign word as soon as I stand up and squint to read

the world’s last clock radio on the bed stand beside my glasses.
In the bathroom, I turn on the light to piss and notice

myself shirtless in the mirror and rub my eyes and ask,
Who the fuck are you? for the fifth time since dinner. last night.

It seems that quarantine breeds with the existential crisis
like teenagers on a basement couch, Netflix streaming.

I stare back at my body, shed of its clothing, flabby and pale
and middle-aged misshapen, molded from years of beers.

But lately I’ve been laying off the alcohol and waking up
before noon and practicing yoga and meditation with my wife

and rereading the classic novels that I skimmed in college
so I can stop spewing borrowed nonsense about Nabokov.

Still, as I stare at my face, my heart pounds and breath quickens
as the birds in the bushes outside start their morning songs.

I want to run from this man who is almost smirking at me
then realize there’s no need to hide when nobody sees you.

Two Poems by Nathan Graziano

Posted in Nathan Graziano with tags on March 1, 2021 by Scot

A Crib Sheet for Middle-aged Dilemmas


When asked if you want to look at a picture of yourself,
the correct response is to chew off both pinkie fingers.
When your teenage daughter prefaces any conversation
by asking you if you love her, you knit her a wool scarf
and buy her a one-way ticket to Buffalo in February.
When your wife asks you if it looks like she gained weight,
answer her using the metric system, compliment her hair.
When you find yourself staring into a mug of draft beer
and wondering how 45 years disappeared, stare harder.
Realize you were never as cool as you make yourself
seem when retelling the tired stories from your college days.
Realize your life is half over, human skin naturally sags
and it’s now better to ugly cry than lie about your age.




My Great Idea


Last night, while flopping like a fish on the futon
in the basement, after a small but spirited discussion
with my wife landed me in exile, I had a great idea
for something to write, something of real consequence.
But as Rodney Dangerfield’s Back to School shot colors
and voices and the cartoon music through the room;
as I found the one cold spot on the waif-thin pillow I snuck
from the bedroom, I forgot to write down my great idea
as my eyelids fell like white screens followed by sleep.

The next morning, the great idea knocked on my mind,
asking to be let out, but I was too late to the door
and by the time I straightened my spine and stood up
to find a pen, my great idea was gone, nothing remained.
So I went upstairs to apologize and make some breakfast
but my wife was gone, too, and my son ate all the bacon.


Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester, New Hampshire, with his wife and kids. His most recent book Fly like The Seagull was published by Luchador Press in 2020. For more information, visit his website:

Two Dreams by Nathan Graziano

Posted in Nathan Graziano with tags on July 10, 2020 by Scot


I can’t pretend her throaty invitations never
whispered their way into my waking world.
I dream of her with her lipstick in full bloom;
the next morning my eyelids are soaked towels.

In one dream, she dies, her white throat slit
like a ribbon, from ear-to-ear, by a dark man
in a Red Sox hat who watches her bleed out.
I stand in the corner, my hands on my throat.

In another dream, she wears a wedding dress
and waits for me at the end of an endless aisle.
When I arrive, she smiles and straightens my tie.
I cry and tell her in July we’ll find a lost promise.