3 poems by John Reed

John Reed


I've seen it, unexpectedly enough,
a few times, as I've hurried through my day,
hushed and losing things, everything really,
that I've ever cherished, wanted to keep.
Have you, from the window of your Uber,
ever caught a glimpse of the foil paper,
the need-me crimson ribbon with the ruffled bow?
I don't go back. No. But there it will be,
across the avenue, shining with rain.
Once, dangerously close, I touched the tape,
frayed, unstuck, like you'd also been right here,
not peeling back the wrapping for a peek of
the gift that's addressed to the two of us.

Pointe Shoes

The birds know what you're up to but don't tell.
And the trains I take are rerouted to you
as soon as I get off, and the doors close.
And people are always talking to you,
on the phone or over coffee or drinks,
right before and after they talk to me.
You're looking up in the covered well--
and you're out there whirligigging pointe shoes,
adorning cable lines at roundabouts.
I know. I know you're finding lost kittens
where the suburb ends with Industry Road--
and you’re the cabin cook of Two Valleys--
and the spirit that speaks through every bell. 

Brass Rings

And the tunnel of love at Love Canal.
When we were, what? Children? Pixies? Zombies?
The walking wounded? The last ones standing?
It was after the fires--Dreamland first--
but before we’d forgotten mermaids in
Adidas and the menu at Nathan’s,
before the quiet of these petit mals. 
Ten punches a ticket or two brass rings. 
The midway prizes in three tries times three.
Under the boardwalk in Levolor sand. 
Slushies and french fries in buckets and quarts.
Seagulls, saying, “never call, never call.”
And the D train won’t tell but sings and sings.

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John Reed is the author of three novels, one book of poetry, two non-fiction illustrated projects, one project of poetry/theater, and one book of history/narrative non-fiction; published in (selected) Artforum, Art in America, the Believer, the PEN Poetry Series, Gawker, Slate, the Paris Review, the Times Literary Supplement, Vice, The New York Times, Harpers; anthologized in (selected) Best American Essays; current faculty at The New School University MFA in Creative Writing. More at: easyreeder.com

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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