Publication Date:  October 31, 2015
6"x 9.25"  216 pages

ISBN 978-1-937968-18-2
Paperback, $18.50

Booksellers:  Available from
Small Press Distribution
Joseph D. Reich
is a social worker and

displaced New Yorker

who really does miss
dis-place and lives and
works out in the state
of Vermont. He has a

handsome little son with
a nice mop of
blonde hair, and a wife
eleven years his junior
who must have
patience of a saint,
she is raising two boys.
Cover photograph by Rhett L. Beck
This collection begins in the shadow of a shuttered asylum, but we realize quickly
that the asylum of Joseph Reich's vision is very much open for business and we are
the inmates!  Reich is both a poet and a social worker, and while the line between
those two professions has always been blurred in his work, here more
directly than
ever he applies his diagnostic skills to the waking, walking psychosis of life in

modern-day America.  The results are frequently barbed, often hilarious,
unflinchingly honest (especially when he is himself the subject):

       After having sex with my wife
       I tell her I’m gonna slip out
       to work on my delusions.

       She asks me if I’ll need
       a Phillips screwdriver.

He also writes with genuine compassion - and passion - for the broken lives he sees
and tries to help patch together in his "day job" in the section "Scenes from the
Clinic," which closes with this vignette:

       When I finally end up doing termination with that kid whose
       parents raised him in a dog cage and time for me to leave
       and move on, he just very politely inquires in the front seat
       of my car if we can close our eyes and lower our heads and
       say a quick prayer, and think am so moved and touched by
       this, by all the obstacles and hardships he has had to endure
       and think I could probably use a little of this myself, and sick
       of all that obligatory and mandated social work bullshit
       and semantics and code of ethics, while actually being
       intimate and down to earth and human say of course
       we can and just lower our heads in the dirty slushy
       parking lot of winter outside the group home in
       Providence. He’s doing well and happy he is.

But for all the social worker's insights, this is foremost the work of a poet, and as
such it is all about the language, which is as frenetic and fragmented as the world

Reich portrays, at times running on in breathless hallucinatory streams of
consciousness, at others as staccato (and puncturing) as an Uzi.  Call it gonzo, call it
neo-Beat, call it a latter-day "Howl" to harrow the hipsters - by any name, this is
poetry, deftly and dramatically suited to its time.

Praise for Joseph Reich's Taking the Fifth and Running with It:

Reich is always putting together profound and nihilistic thoughts about topics dear
to his life; a unique expression of experiencing, then taking the time to reflect and
respond. He practices the art of thinking through his style of psychological poetry.
His experimental, empirical approach to evaluating his culture's impressions is one
of a raw, unwavering critical observations everyone needs to hear.

                                             Kat Lahr, Thought Collection Publishing

Reich weaves words in a way that evokes a plethora of emotions within one's psyche.
Taking the Fifth and Running with It takes your mind to an epic place that many
don't venture off to. Reich proves that words are not just words—they're
with the most memorable of ambiances.

                        Eva Xanthopoulos, Poehemian Press
Taking the Fifth
and Running with It
A Psychological Guide for the
Hard of Hearing and Blind

Poetry by
Joseph D. Reich
Being displaced and from New York, he misses most of all Shanghai Joe’s in Chinatown, all
those wonderful Russian and Polish diners of the Lower East Side, used to spend days on
end haunting, and Dominick’s in Little Italy, the Little Italy uptown on Arthur Avenue in
Bronx. He hopes one day to return to these places to play and pray and contemplate
with his
wife and kid in all those brilliant, scenic parks – most of all along the river on the
Westside Highway.

Reich has been published widely in an eclectic mix of print and online literary journals
both here and abroad, and has been nominated
six (and counting) times for the Pushcart
Prize. His many books include The Derivation of Cowboys and Indians, The Housing
Market: a
comfortable place to jump off the end of the world, The Hole That Runs
Through Utopia, The Defense Mechanisms: your survival guide to the fragile mind
(Fomite Press), A Different Sort Of Distance (Skive Magazine Press), If I Told You To
Jump Off The Brooklyn Bridge (Flutter Press), Pain Diary: Working Methadone & The
Life & Times Of The Man Sawed In Half (Brick Road Poetry Press), and Drugstore Sushi

Click here to read more praise of Reich's work.  You can also read more samples of his
poetry online at
Boston Poetry (search by name), in the December 2014 issue of Loud Zoo,
and in the March 2015 issue of Contemporary American Voices.