Joseph Reich

All In Moderation & Moderation & Moderation

You wait on the liquor line with the guys
who all look like ghosts pale bone tired
with bags under their eyes beaten by life
who always seem to be whining about
their wives as if this is the reason they’re
on line holding up their case of light beer
like some interminable case as though
advertising this is why i’m here and why
she made me do it and if it wasn’t for her
and this is the only thing that’s gonna
help me get by and survive and can
and will down it like a cocktail like
a couple cocktails multiple martinis
like fine wine tonight always waiting
on the liquor line with a little splattered
paint on their work shoes always telling
the other guys kind of why they’re there
and in between jobs yet somehow seem
to have spent half their lives in between
jobs so you wonder what they do with
the other half of their lives (waiting on
the liquor line and in the john) always
on something like unemployment
or disability or blaming their boss
or sibling/rivalry/family or girlfriends
or sometimes if they get real creative
blame a whole generation then drift
off in their cars under a bright blue
sky beneath a sea of clouds
to look at all the pretty
young unsuspecting girls
in their bikinis who really for
the most part are not that innocent
or unsuspecting knocking down a couple
cold ones wanting really to knock down
a couple cold ones as they all just come
out here to the sand for the sole purpose
to get their tans and instant gratification
and try to turn ‘em on turn ‘em off then
turn ‘em on again until they all leave
just as fucked up and crazy as when
they showed up and came in the hopes
of being saved but this time with a little
more hope this time with a little more
bravery trying to hold on as long
as possible to fantasy and memories.


Joseph Reich has been published in a wide variety of eclectic literary journalsboth here and abroad, been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize, and his most recent books include, “A Different  Sort Of Distance” (Skive MagazinePress) “If I Told You To Jump Off The Brooklyn Bridge” (Flutter Press) “PainDiary: Working Methadone & The Life & Times Of The Man Sawed In Half”(Brick Road Poetry Press) “Drugstore Sushi” (Thunderclap Press)  “TheDerivation Of Cowboys & Indians” (Fomite Press) “The Housing Market:a comfortable place to jump off the end of the world” (Fomite Press)”All My Born Days: the spirit of home movies” (Writing Knights Press)”The Hole That Runs Through Utopia” (Popcorn Press)

Scroll to top