Thirteen Odd Stanzas Involving Culture

1. A Different Kind Of Martyr

suicide bomber
lost sight of target
cannot find direction
a matter of fact
even goes as far
as to ask for directions
and decides to settle
on chinese instead
and sits in take-out
watching the innocent
bystanders reflecting
about past girlfriends
how good the breeze
feels coming down from the mountain
heads home ditches dynamite
and shoots straight for the garden

2. The Blind Date/the marriage

Mr. Panic Attack meets Miss. Panic Attack
and decide what the heck let's make a go at it
seems so much better than any of the other options
to be surrounded by these constant rat bastards and
will find a way of being compatible and living happily
ever after and who knows maybe they'll even get
a home a time share a condo join the board
quarrel over their local cable over something
territorial keep kosher and swap psychotropics
so much better than in having to go it alone

3. Ballad Of An Aquaintance

carrying blue crabs home
in a brown paper bag
from chinatown

through white cherry blossom
beneath a midnight moon
to greenwich village

to share with my loved one
in the stray catacombs of our courtyard
and washing it all down with margaritas

sheltered by deep dancing shadows
by the fragile fossils and shimmering
echoes of church bells and foghorns

like some miles davis sponge horn
washing away all blues and moods
that redeem and heal you

as if you had never been
as if you somehow
were reborn

4. Bruce

in a deep depression
i decide to hit the showers
and suddenly out of nowhere
like some romantic sentimental trigger
find myself singing songs from childhood
as a teenager when i was in the shower--
"screen door slams/mary's dress waves
like a vision she dances across the floor as the radio plays
roy orbinson sings for the lonely/hey that's me and i want you only..."
suddenly feeling all burdens break and drained self drain down the drain

5. Mid-October Stanza

an old farmer simply
sits with patience
and a big bale
of hay all day
across from
some old
colonial waiting
first for his pay
in the dim grim
brilliant autumn
cows and crows
his only companion
contented as time
is not of the essence
for the woman of the
house to show up
at the start of
the season

6. Honest Living

i want to meet the man
of the house of blue lights
the electrician the handyman
maybe called by a nickname
like bob the slob sam the man
who's job it is to test to tweek
to tug to twist in bulbs when
they ain't working no more
on call around the clock
like some diligent doc
and perhaps when he's
done gets a nice nod
or wink from a lady of the night
working her window then returns
back shuffling down cobblestone
toulouse bourbon new orleans
to support his wife and children

7. History As Seen Through The Eyes...

(viva las vegas! viva las vegas!
viva las vegas ! viva las vegas!)
all swallowed in one single gulp
by buddha in the form
of a porcelain deviled
egg while on vacation
in the greek islands
spitting it out
into the aegean
all those centuries
all those attitudes
all those moods
all those egos
all those ages
all those generations
summed up
in one single
precious moment
(viva las vegas!)
while all the tourists
are still at the disco
trying to get laid
and ridiculous
(viva las vegas!)
cluseau staring
from the corner
of his schitzo-
phrenic socket
(viva las vegas!)
one big crank
phone call to
prepare you
for all the
of the
(viva las vegas!)
drops off
your junk
mail (viva las vegas!)
and you know there's
really no resolution
for any of this at all
just staring at all
the pretty young girls
(viva las vegas!)

8. Letter To Mother After Strept

all's quiet
on eastern
dylan is well
in williams shirt
erica out getting
mr. potato head
storms all night
daddy long legs
grasping on for dear life
sugar maple blazing crimson
ghost on door didn't make it
violet windows set
back in wilderness
skeletons still in trees
crabapples have all fallen
ladybugs envelop home
bathe your bones in pekid
sun peeking through pines
breeze sweeping through
the battered broom
pull dylan and scout
in wagon in my plaid
checkered lumberjack
jacket in and out wet mailboxes
erica returning home with brand
new spanking mr. potato head
and a proud smile ear to ear
simply looking to please kids
patiently waiting wrapped in plastic
nothing like a new mr. potato head
ready to be ripped open
cranes welcoming autumn
red sox will play cleveland

9. Fatherless

boys fake fighting
in wild and windy
forest of golden
glimmering leaves
hiding behind tall
sheltering pine
when dusk
meets evening
right before
and porch
go on
the ray
splat! clow!
flim! flam!
flum! flum!

10. Evening Activity

the thunder and rain
seem to say i will
stick with you
through thick
and thin
through thick
and thin
i will stick
with you
though thick
and thin

11. A Day In The Park

digging a huge hole
working nose paws
and then eventually
whole body halfway
into the ground
with a mound of
leftover kindling
from the tops
of chopped
off lagoon
dog licks
his chops.
at the other end
is dusk, sunsets
ending up
at the movies
once again
in the big city
been doing this
for centuries
(like a
of hope

12. An American Poem


texas cafe
hey have you ever been to rochester?
that girl who's father was a pharmacist
and knock-out and you met at the bus station


you cuddle your wife
like fluff & peanutbutter

like seraphim
last standing


pillow talk

jason rabinowitz was real cute
all the girls had a crush on him

what's he doing now?

i think he was studying
to become a rabbi or monk

he may have gotten into drugs
he was one of those rich kids...

on the state of...

ventriloquist: --"knock-knock!"

puppet: --"who's there?"


mock (all-american girl)




13. Reflections Of: The Empty Pool On Pitt Street

at the close of season
with a solemn sun
when winds come
all that's left are
and ladybugs
wet dazzling
crows with
dim sun
on their
flying off
into the
of fall

the young

Joseph Reich
Joseph Reich is a social worker who works out in the state of Massachusetts; A displaced New Yorker, who sincerely does miss diss-place, most of all the Smoothies on Houston Street, the Thai food, and bagels and bialys from The Lower East Side; When we all get a little older, hopes to bring wife and child to play in the playgrounds of New York.