Joseph Reich


The Demographics Of The American Family
i know a lot of families
a lot of couples
who watch tv
while eating
i don't know
why don't
they just
look into
this year in the subdivision...
there were 2 divorces,
1 alcoholic neighbor
who tried to make
the moves on his
best friend's wife,
1 suicide attempt, 
the head of the association
impeached based on some
collective paranoia, excommun-
icated from the neighborhood,
and a husband who just simply
took off on his motorcycle
out to phoenix, arizona...

For William Carlos Williams
when you
finally discover
your old faded baseball glove
resembles a toad
sitting on the side of the road
Stanzas Of Summer
pink motorcycles glimmer on the seashore
like soft-shell crabs with mustard one would want to devour
the painters come out after a full day on the job
you dream of grilled corn and kielbalsa
of her home-made meatballs
and sweet wilderness
creeping up your nose
after a full day's work you head home with a whole chicken
the whole pretty softball team in ponies ducks in with grins



tries to placate you with mundane metaphors
as the children of the corn come out from
behind the radio tower creeping through
the industrial brush on an overcast day
and it all comes down on the aluminum
siding of a rambling ranch when the man in
a beard on a tractor returns home in drizzle

For Some God Forsaken Reason
in watching old reruns
of battlestar galactica
you swear this old dude
looking a lot like
lorne greene 
sternly earnestly
approaches the
enemy and says
"i have prepared
your underwear"
For Convenience Sake
you sometimes just
wish to slit your wrists
and let it all drip 
into a window box
of geraniums as it
will be camouflaged
to welcome the hum-
mingbirds and crows
you'll look
to ghosts
who'll put
in perspective
your wife simply sitting
there with the babysitter
in their lawnchairs gabbing
away without a care looking 
a little like nixon and kissinger
(later on she'll inform you
that catherine told her
they almost got busted on
horseneck beach for starting
a bonfire and there were police 
and booze and jumped the fence)
sun coming down
on the iridescent
dead-end of

The Himalayan Birches
you smell her 
shake & bake
& potato latkas
streaming up
the staircase
life can't be
as bad as
you think
& breeze
will overtake
the evening

A Summer Poem
"erica while you got your sandals on
can you turn off the water outside?"
"thank you so much!"
you hear the nozzle turn
and the birds squeak...

The Unmissing
after spending a full day
with your boy on the beach
you can't get out of the back
of your head blissfully the song-- 
do you know the muffin man?
the muffin man? the muffin man?

Song From The Prairie
where never is heard
a discouraging word...
The Apothecary
baby please get
ice cream & wine!
through the blinds
you spot firelight


sun falls
like a slice
of lemon-meringue pie
The Supper Poem
you savor the last bits 
of paprika and sour cream
clinging to your palate and bid her goodnight.

Joseph Reich is a children's therapist who works in the state of Massachusetts; a displaced New Yorker who sincerely does miss dis-place, most of all the Thai Food, the Bagels, and the Smoothies on Houston Street. Joseph has had works which have appeared in such literary journals as Poesy, Dispatch, Falling Star, And Then, Graffiti Rag, Main Street Rag, Bouillabaisse, Decanto, Rogue's Scholar, and Poetry Motel.

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