The Works of Joesph Reich 

Joseph Reich is a social worker and displaced New Yorker who really misses dis-place and lives and works out in the state of Massachusetts. He has a handsome little 6 year old with a nice mop of dirty-blonde hair, and a wife eleven years his former, who must have the patience of a saint as is raising two boys.
Joseph has been published in a wide variety of eclectic literary journals both here and abroad, and has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize.

All Poems © Joseph Reich


                      while on the treadmill

                                       watching the travel channel

                                                                       i got to thinking

                                about the sadistic & sleazy history of the world

                                                         all the fucked up things when you look

                                                                                                    back at its patterns

                                        not coincidental that have so

                                                       hypocritically & historically & strangely spiritually

                                                                                                  been revered & worshiped

                                                                  the crude & vulgar ceremony

                                                      of the killing

                     of the beautiful helpless bull

                  carrying jesus on a cross

      like a poo-poo platter

to his fate


                                 & sacrifices

                                           & slaughters



                                                                         slave quarters

[ap: america’s policy

in vietnam called “body count”

to kill as many vietcong as possible

not so different than hitler

caring to kill more jews

than winning the war

than stalin murdering

20 million of his own

during the purge

than japanese throwing

chinese babies up in the air

catching them on swords like shish-ke-bob

than the most recent repeated carnage

which has transpired by the government of

guatemala on its helpless women & children]

                              the tourists of turn

                                           of the century coney island electrocuting

                                                               some elephant for simply striking back

                                            against a heckler just getting sick of him throwing

                                                       lit cigarettes at him and gathering around in a mob

                                                                               hysterical in the sizzling smoke seeing

                                                       him slowly gradually tip over

                                                                  tumble and drop dead to the boardwalk

                                                                                        struggling howling crying out

                                                                   taking his last breath

                                                                           coiled up in the fetal position

                                                                                  eventually with hoofbeats to heaven

                                    still got these melodramatic americans

                 running like fucken madmen

down the aisle in the a.m.

(in the supposed struggling economy...)

                                                                                 come on down!

                                                                                         and you’re the next contestant

                                                                                                           on the price is right!

                you get off the treadmill

                                                                                                    feeling dead to the world

                                                                                              repulsed nauseated seasick.


After mowing the miserable lawn I honked the horn and Erica
came running in and we went down to the beach just around
the corner and hadn’t been there for ages and dunked my whole
body in and that’s the brilliant and amazing and redeeming quality
about water about the lake and river and ocean and these two
horrible creatures were just lying there staring straight at me
(as if we had invaded their terror/tree on the beach) could
never and still can’t understand people who just decide to
be randomly mean and angry when they don’t know a thing
about me. I think they were like these two miserable middle-
aged ladies and maybe I represented something of the male species
who the fuck knows and who the fuck really cares, and they were
wearing these red white and blue bikinis I think with stars on them
but always thrive in these types of situations and become more
crazy and wild and natural and conversational being something
of a New Yorker and remembering all the wonderful magical
weekends in Coney Island always being something of a mad
celebration of cultures who let it all go without a care
in the world without a single ounce of judgment
or criticism or reservation and have better
and deeper conversations even make
plans for the future with my beautiful
Erica while they naturally disappear and
get back in my Timberlands and we climb
back up the rocky shore and she lays down
a towel in the driver’s seat simply smelling
the deep scent of the sweeping salt water
all over our neck and shoulders and just
vanish through the sunflowers and corn.