Sunday, April 15, 2018

index | found poems by ron reed

Here are links to several found poems I've assembled over the years. They are centos, "poetical works wholly composed of verses or passages taken from other authors, disposed in a new form or order." 

Musicians and night-club proprietors lead complicated lives...

I know nothing about her but what I heard from the scuzbut on the streets...

It came to pass in New York...

gift wrap, old prescriptions, old chargers, broken headphones...

Other people's minds are a foreign country...

Earthlings are fragile, demanding, and germy...

Movements of the lower lip in dance,
A work consisting of a hundred love lyrics...

The morning was cold and the sky was bright...

God spoke.
My own true love...

Saturday, April 14, 2018

found poem 2017 #3 | assembled from the pages of the new yorker

While creating the universe,
did God have in mind that,
at a certain point,
a stuffed goat with a car tire around its middle
would materialize to round out the scheme?
It came to pass,
in New York -
where index cards escape their drawers and soar like white moths into the musty air,
and dried, vacuum-packed meats show promise as landing gear.

lost entities: out-of-print books,
elementary-school classmates,
decades-old damning quotes by politicians,
headlines with the words "sad last days" and "six months to live."

I think of the itch in world history and my mind goes blank.

by Ron Reed

Friday, April 13, 2018

found poem 2017 #2 | assembled from the pages of the new yorker

Mostly Beatrice

I know nothing about her but what I heard from the scuzbut on the streets.
Not real slender, not real bulky,
not black but not quite real blond;
polished trailer trash,
wasted, moody, and easy to snap,
A Cabbage Patch doll come to life.

We weren't really conducting our lives in a Christian manner for the most part.
We were all broken in one way, shape, or form,
brothers in the asshole nature.
Some were killed by flamethrowers;
others were shot by anti-aircraft guns before outdoor audiences.

O.K. But in the meantime my life has just went down the tubes,
sunk dead in the water.
I come from a very suicide-attempting home.
I am a work in progress on soft;
On the inside there is a soft person waiting to be released.

by Ron Reed

All but two lines in this poem are from
"Remembering the Murder You Didn't Commit" by Rachel Aviv
The New Yorker, June 19, 2017 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

found poem 2017 #1 | assembled from the pages of the new yorker

Character Sketches

Musicians and night-club proprietors lead complicated lives;
it's advisable to check in advance to confirm engagements.
Like a surly crew of mercenaries adrift at sea,
exhausted, strung out, and hungry,
they are so bored out of their wits
that they’ve taken to drinking the ship’s supply of whale oil
and throwing one another overboard for fun.

Rather than erupting in this healthy manner,
writers go home and quietly develop suicidal snacking habits,
or unnecessary family troubles,
or a rash.

He was a cineaste, plump and sedentary,
who made his own version of "Godzilla."
Made his name designing wryly impersonal T-shirts and
sculptures of clustered ductlike forms
in shiny aluminum sheeting,
home-made with shears and staple.
Call it post-zombie or born-again formalism.
During a break-in last summer, thieves took several tons of lead.

His job has allowed him to visit several countries,
which he described in terms of their cleanliness:
Switzerland (very clean),
Belgium (not so clean),
Bangladesh (not very clean at all).
In 2015, he went to Utah (clean).
He told me I was like a snail;
I was reaching out to be loved, but I was closing my doors.


Hypocondriacs aren't wrong. They're just early.
Perpetual magpies,
they pick up scraps of talk and offcuts of sensation,
tuneless singing and the slap of plastic slippers
that often flit about unpredictably,
like a mosquito stuck inside a car;
nothing goes to waste.


Communists hate to work.
They'd rather burn churches.
It makes them feel more alive.
If I had my ideal world I would not allow weapons and atom bombs anymore.
I would destroy all terrorists with the Hollywood star Jean-Claude Van Damme.

by Ron Reed