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Grey Sparrow Journal and Press, as of January 31, 2018 will move to

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Parts of a Day




why lifting up blinds is a laborious task



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..."




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




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




the sputtering candle in the kitchen will keep you sane




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




there are two apples left in the centerpiece




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




you add antiguan rum to generic cola




after the rain nightbirds begin to whistle




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...




...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



& 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



-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



and go back to tailing

in the rat-race of rush-


hour holy land

of providence





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