getting stuck in a parade

getting stuck in a parade somewhere downtown in the deep mountains of vermont
by joseph reich
when all else fails
& goes void & vacant
roll out miniature golf
sip n’ dip lickety-splits
roll in the parade
through shadows
of corroded keyholes
of cathedrals & prisons
& barrooms & blood banks
& pregnant girls & madwomen
& motorcycle men & mannequins
& firetrucks & policemen
& old timers reminiscing
still missing-in-action
roaming past apple
trees & motels
& pharmacies
& graveyards
& farmers & stray dogs
& ghosts on lawnmowers
& wild strawberry blonde
nymphomaniac daughters
bright-eyed & eager
folded-out on front lawns
& half-crazed blind girls in 3-d glasses
& fully-crazed boys swerving bare-chested
on bicycles past gun shops & diners
over rivers & through wildernesses
junkie clowns nodding out beneath movie theaters
while the deflated human cannonball flushed
with heatstroke waits for a bus
that will never show up
his fucked-up mother
wicked crossing guard
who’s been cheated on
by god by the opposite sex
what’s gorgeous is grotesque
and what’s grotesque gorgeous
& within all this controlled chaos
& celebration this sacrafice
& slaughter they somehow
appear to come together
still seem connected
in the mad disconnect
damage & dysfunction
relatively contented
a deranged noah’s arc
of the fragile & forgotten.

0 thoughts on “getting stuck in a parade

  1. The last two lines of this poem are probably the best two lines I’ve seen on this site so far. Beautiful. These are the lines I wish Whitman wrote.

  2. The last two lines are great, with the possible exception of the misspelling of “arc.”
    Unless that was purposely done to suggest an arc, rather than an “ark?”

  3. To not read this aloud is to not get the beauty of it. MUST be read aloud. I also do not like the appearance of the ampersand in poetry. Reading this piece aloud solves this problem, but created the problem of not WANTING to in the first place.
    “within all this controlled chaos” is the epitome of it’s self description.

  4. zzzzz. ch. zzzzzz. ch. “I am ampersand robot. zzzch. Hal-i-fax, do not hate me..bzzz.
    It does shorten the lines a bit and evokes a different visual emotion, in me at least, that is not as redundant as ‘and’. Only my personal opinion.
    The whole poem is a parade of various sentiment and observation and if you turn your head sideways to the right and look at poem, it visually replicates mountains…how awesome…makes me want to join ranks with Ethan Allen and the Green MT. boys fighting for our nation’s independence on classy furniture! Or maybe it’s just the acid i’m on! lol!
    The alliteration is fun here, and lines are a quick-birthed in-fighting poetic kung fu…hiyaa! like it.
    Yeah, this poem would be exciting to hear as the spoken word, i agree…as long as it’s in a nice little bookstore on a rainy day and wine and hot smoked salmon are available.
    2 best lines i’ve read on H&H in a while: “nymphomaniac daughters bright-eyed & eager”. Yes! Thank God Almighty for nymphos!
    Ending squares poem nicely! Thanks for sharing!

  5. “arc” is a nice twist of meaning, and the “&” weaves its way around and through the grammar beautifully. So, I took Tara’s advice and read it aloud – which really brought out its consonance, rhythm and intensity. Very enjoyable.

  6. & fully-crazed boys swerving bare-chested on bicycles pas gun shops & diners.
    can’t you just see it?
    well done. i read it to myself and out loud. it is amazing.

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