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Taking the Fifth and Running With It : A Psychological Guide for the Hard of Hearing and Blind

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Poetry. Social Criticism. 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. 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—by any name, this is poetry, deftly and dramatically suited to its time.

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