top of page

two poems

by Jeremy Radin

Cocktail Party at the Producer’s Villa

There in your backless dress,

drinking your wine, talking

about the institution, pink pills

in white paper cups, you are

so fucking radiant I must turn

away to consider the fountain

in the middle of the room

and turn off my hands and turn

off the harps and marigolds

and separate my business from

my business, which is not relief,

not yet, but how foolish I feel

in this tuxedo with my combed

hair and polished shoes, standing

amidst these effortless soldiers,

and how I might in a moment

change everything, both my life

and yours, Isabella, simply by

lowering one foot and then

the other into the water.


Not lips you need kiss, but river.

Not luminous torso arcing toward

heaven, but luminous beads

unloosed from heaven’s belly.

Not palms but pond; not breasts

but brook; not stroke but seep;

not fuck but flood. Make no

mistake: only one will kill you.

Only one cannot be cured

by composure. How many

days did you choke on the gray

dust of a name without so much

as a swig? Not desolation, drought.

Not thirst, thirst. The first step

toward anything is being

here. Eight glasses a day,

enough to turn you tributary,

tumbling into some calmer

body, trusting then that one

will come to kneel

at your edge

and drink.


Jeremy Radin is a poet, actor, playwright, teacher, and extremely amateur gardener. His poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in Ploughshares, The Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, The Journal, and elsewhere. He is the author of two collections of poetry: Slow Dance with Sasquatch (Write Bloody Publishing, 2012) and Dear Sal (not a cult press, 2017). He was born and lives in Los Angeles. Follow him @germyradin.


bottom of page