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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Parts of a Day

 

 

1.

why lifting up blinds is a laborious task

 

2.

this morning my wife went into my son's room because

he woke up early and when she came out said—"i put in

ben stiller, nash and young" and forgot how young she

truly was. later on after coming home from work i sang

 

in the shower with my hand over my head patsy's—

"crazy, i'm crazy for feeling so lonely" then went

into a rendition of barry white's—

"never never gonna give you up..."

 

3.

 

a toute a l'heure. the cats are home. a toute a l'heure. the cats are gone.

a toute a l'heure. the cats are home. a toute a l'heure. the cats are gone.

 

                          

my wife still doesn't understand my sense of humor.

we are going into our seventh year of marriage—

"partially responsible? you're fully responsible!"

"baby i'm joking!" expecting golf ball size hail

in eastern minnesota and western wisconsin

 

5.

 

when the sun goes down

you walk down into the perfumed rain

to the scent of wood from the waxy wilderness

smells rubbing off from the maple floors of your home

 

6.

 

the sputtering candle in the kitchen will keep you sane

 

7.

 

how come no one ever speaks of someone being low-maintenance?

 

8.

 

there are two apples left in the centerpiece

 

9.

 

your kid's hyperactive cartoons muted on the t.v.

 

10.

 

you add antiguan rum to generic cola

 

11.

 

after the rain nightbirds begin to whistle

 

12.

 

you wake up your saintly wife to tell her

you're sorry for the last couple days

 

(if only she knew all you cared

about was that she was happy)

 

she cutely 

responds mmm-hmm

 

i ask her will you remember this in the morning

half-sleeping she says yes...

 

13.

 

...cause quitting just ain't my schtick


                                               -Joseph Reich




A Land Called America




 

people just want to get home for supper

watching their backs for state troopers

 

escaping from oceans

from the sideshow

 

from the flesh & bones

from human nature 

 

past miniature golf & cathedrals

& exotic dancing & ice cream

 

past the mulch

& dairy queens

 

gymnastics

& karate

 

past the big billboards

of corny phony news-

 

teams smiling transparently 

before you reach the big city 

 

clowns & vampires delivered to tragedies

way down deep in the lagoon of the farm

 

o-psued-o

-call valley

 

port-o-sans rushing

down the highway

 

horses in the back of trailers holy 

well-behaved and breathing deeply

 

through peep-

holes of reality

 

the chimney sweeps are out on blind-dates and

reunions are in full swing at hospitals & factories

 

as when they reach the traffic jam white boys

from the suburbs stick in rap from the ghetto

 

and they glamorize this and have no concept

of what it's like for survival on a daily basis

 

they head to the stripmall

with their tinted windows

 

(yet with all this bumpa-da-bumpa it's finally discovered

much to the chagrin of the inquisitive rubberneckers

 

that in fact there is no accident at all yet rather

a blonde muscle-bound stud in his ten-gallon

 

standing guard over some stranded swan

who has strayed and is there to carefully

 

place cones around his poor pecking body

while disappointed blood-thirsty commuters

 

race off

indifferently

 

and go back to tailing

in the rat-race of rush-

 

hour holy land

of providence

 

rhode

island)

 

sun finally falls

& lights go on

 

on the ballfield

as all is well

 

in the weird

& wired land

 

called ker-o-

sell of america...

                 -Joseph Reich