Nathan J Reid


Nathan J. Reid is a poet and spoken word artist whose work has appeared in several journals, including the Penguin Review, Fox Cry Review, and Binnacle. He has a background in theatre and regularly performs spoken word at art events throughout Wisconsin.

His poetry is born out of a simple yet strong passion to strive for and share inner truth. Constantly rooting for the good in people, he explores aspects of human nature both sweet and bittersweet to create art that has an ultimately hopeful message. He believes the truth of one individual can ignite new truth in another, and that this process of sharing and discovering truth forwards the human condition in a direction that is positive, honest, and intelligent.

His chapbook, Thoughts on Tonight, is available for pre-order from June 20 - August 18 at and will be released in the fall of 2017.

He currently lives in Madison with his partner, Ashley, and their endless supply of books. Visit him at for more information, and be sure to check out his work on YouTube, SoundCloud, Facebook, and Instagram.

Thoughts on Tonight, Finishing Line Press, 2017


When You Wake

you hear distant rumors about what it will be like
to go to sleep and never wake up

about a time when all vibrations cash in their casino chips, take the red-eye home
when the biggest number is again smaller than the smallest number
when your mind is a wilting flower
and an hour yet pending returns you to the realm that fed you into birth

you hear these things happening someday

but today you breathe fire and music as if fire and music, like yourself,
were somehow separate from this collapsing dream of time trying to remember light

you have always been light
light is the reality beneath the dream

as you are breath you are the nothingness
a photon knows not its own existence

so why fear the wilted flower?

if the color has gone pallid
the leaves too brittle to touch
then cheer the fragrance

it is still so incredible and lovely

From Thoughts on Tonight, Finishing Line Press, 2017

Roamin’ Lourdes en Roma

I am made of rags and I have a hole in my pocket.

Did I say pocket?
I meant the palm of my hand.
It’s where I feed broken piano keys,
a library of melodies and dissonant chords.

How can I shake these disrupted lifelines?
I don’t trust the letter “m”, mother,
I don’t trust the letter “f”, pops,
with their serifs, their paraffin lips liquefying
while a rooster croons from its pulpit about the profits of man.

In my other hand there is a pocket
filled with true love for a stranger,
with praises expressed in native tongues,

with berries, chocolate chews, living stories
and a complete collection of mended holes.