Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Work by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois appears in magazines worldwide. Nominated for numerous prizes, he was awarded the 2017 Booranga Centre (Australia) Fiction Prize. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and as a print edition. His poetry collection, THE ARREST OF MR. KISSY FACE, published in March 2019 by Pski’s Porch Publications, is available here. Visit his website  to read more of his poetry and flash fiction.  






When I return to my village in Africa

I always go to the round clearing 

where the wooden man stands eight feet tall


We atone for our sins by pounding nails

into him

I have done so myself

many times

every time I return from America


to rid myself of the

contamination I carry

I feel the need for deep cleansing

so I pound nails into the wooden man


and cry in a loud voice:

I’m sorry I’m sorry

Forgive me


He is riddled with

thousands of nails

mostly pounded in by

villagers who have never been to America



they all want to go

I cannot convince them otherwise


The wooden man stares steadfastly forward

He does not cry out as I pound in

the largest nails I can find