Wednesday 5 November 2014

3 Poems by Michael Lee Johnson

Untitled I Walk (V2)
(Psychiatric Assessment)

Untitled I walk
through life
with a shrink
from Yugoslavia,
who is as large as Bigfoot.
With a novel in one hand,
and shaking his fingers at me
with the other,
he wants to control me with a shovel,
tie me in knot balls, emotional twisters,
and squeeze the emotional pages
out of my life like a twisted sponge.
I retaliate, control him back,
wage war in a vicarious cycle
squeeze his testicles like electrical wires
inside my mind’s eye,
cut his tongue with razors,
dull his clinical words.
Play his game, only better.
He picks up the play phone,
threatens to call the police,
leashing me in my corner
like a trapped dog
forces me to bark
into submission
like a beagle basset bitch.
He treats me with word babble.
I tell him he is a damn Ukrainian idiot.
Peeved off I race
to the parking lot, head to the bushes,
like a blue racer snake threatened,
hop bunny rabbit into my S-10
Chevy pick-up truck,
memo pad in hand,
scribbling ruminating notes
I surrender naked until my next prescription,
untitled I walk.


Cut Grass in Snow (V3)
(Picture Available)

All daylong
night is my storm lantern.
I carry it into the farmland
cutting into my harvest emotions
covered by snow
edge them in half
in front of me
see me open, bleeding.
I am seed like a small orange
pit me out and devour me
spit pulp and seed
I step on jagged edges
of my feelings, sense my pain
cut stretched skin with glass shavings
torture under toes hurt bad with pain.
Pitch that stuff with dark
black top tar if it makes
you feel relief.
Do not laugh at me, a circus clown down,
I am 66; my dimples show smiles, ripples, age.
This day is a lawn mower
even in Canadian December.
Machinery is shacked-up, covered.
I plow beneath the white surface
cut rotten leaves beneath settled snow.
The aggravation,
cultivation nonsense hell with my runny nose.
In spring, the grass never pops up right.
All day, night is my storm lantern.


Summer is Dying
(Version 3)

Outside summer is dying into fall,
blue daddy petunias sprout ears−
hear the beginning of night chills.
In their yellow window box
they cuddle up and fear death together.
The balcony sliding door
is poorly insulated, and a cold draft
creeps into all the spare rooms.



Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois, who has been published in more than 750 small press magazines in twenty-five countries, and he edits seven poetry sites.   Author's website:  Michael is the author of The Lost American:  From Exile to Freedom (136-page book), several chapbooks of poetry, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems.  He also has over 69 poetry videos on YouTube.

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