Two poems by John Reed

Party Tricks

You really had all the best party tricks.

Like that time you pulled me into a hat.

Nevermind the delight when I climbed out.

And what a fantabulous cabinet

of curiosities. That one display.

Not only the prince pauper, rag and bone,

but a perfect twin in the pauper prince,

shoes and watch and a better bicyclette,

and just as broken and shining a trophy.

You, with your baton and ringmaster tails,

standing at the top of the stairs, Pinot

Noir and another walk-up sublet,

and candy bowls filled with wooden matches. 

V & V

We’ll cloak our bones for la mascarada—

you in a crepe gown and me in black muslin,

and all our v’s and v’s will pass through us:

ingress to egress, prayed-for sweet breezes;

torsos cleaned hollow by real mojitos;

echoes enchambered by años caprices;

vacant to capacity de nada.

Sí mi amor, and should we disrobe we’ll

clack clavicles, interlace in thoraces,

bonk bonk mandibles, orbit to orbit,

and serpent our vertebrae in one den.

White stripes multiplied, distant Adidas.

Marathon 20s and O Superstars. 

John Reed who has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University is the author of A Still Small Voice (Delacorte), The Whole (Simon & Schuster / MTV Books) among others. He’s had works featured in ElectricLit, the Brooklyn Rail, Tin House, Paper Magazine, Artforum, Hyperallergic, the Los Angeles Times, the Believer, the Rumpus, Observer, the PEN Poetry Series,  Slate, the Paris Review, The New York Times, and elsewhere.

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