The Spoken Word
Michael Lee Johnson
Michael Lee Johnson
I Edit My Life (V2)
I edit my life.
Clothesline pins & clips
hang to dry
I turn poetic hedonistic
in my early 70's,
reviewing the joys
and the sorrows
of my journey.
I find myself wanting
a new review, a new product,
a new time machine,
a new internet space,
a new planet where
we small, wee creative
creatures can grow.
Day Time Bitch & Nighttime Whore (2)
Fern Dickson life untrue to her marital vows, peachy,
what did you expect from the Indiana Rockville whore?
Daddy was welder man, sweat, bleeder bending
over hot steel rolls all day, he was a verb man,
Oliver farmer, noun, welder machine man.
Fern Dickson was a sneak out the door whore, peachy,
2:30 pm. daily was her homemaker check out time.
Waddling penguin style down to Kubiak’s bar
to write her own mystery novel.
Demolition of their marriage, started with table hopping at the bar,
peachy, free drinks and a celebration of wholesale sex.
Narrative, family circles and circuses run in the gypsies of whores,
daddy dog, dancing sin, with the Rockville whore.
Daddy comes home from work,
angered at the burned potato fries,
cold Sauerkraut, Bush's fresh out of the can,
maple cured baked beans, cold Cole Slaw, A&P grocery store.
Narrative, old prostitute whore habits die-hard.
Coon hunting, fox hunting daddy, I’m the storyteller
of this Rockville, Indiana whore.
Her brass tits suck then stuck in the mouths of strangers at the local bar, peachy.
Fern has no regular job, bar hopping, table jumping,
became her unemployment check, salary, entertainment and career, peachy.
This cemetery now is Archangel Lucifer, secretary, note taker
for the Rockville whore.
Children in the Sky (V2)
There is a full moon,
distant in this sky tonight,
Gray planets planted
on an aging white, face.
Children, living and dead,
love the moon with small hearts.
Those in heaven already take gold thread,
drop the moon down for us all to see.
Those alive with us, look out their
bedroom windows tonight,
we smile, then prayers, then sleep.
Lilly, Lonely Trailer Prostitute (V2)
Paint your face with cosmetic smiles.
Toss your breast around with synthetic plastic.
Don’t leak single secrets to strangers-
locked in your trailer 8 foot wide by 50 foot long
with twisted carrots, cucumbers, weak batteries,
and colorful dildos-you’ve even given them names:
Adams’s pleasure skin, big Ben on the raise, Rasputin:
the Mad Monk-oh no, no, no.
Your legs hang with the signed signatures
of playboys and drifters ink.
The lot rent went up again this year.
Paint your face, walk the streets
again with cosmetic smiles.
~ Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. He is a Canadian and USA citizen. Today he is a poet, editor, publisher, freelance writer, amateur photographer, small business owner in Itasca, Illinois. He has been published in more than 930 small press magazines in 33 different countries or republics, and he edits 10 poetry sites. Author's website Michael is the author of The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom, several chapbooks of poetry, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems. He also has over 134 poetry videos on YouTube as of 2015:
The Road to Pleasanton
My writing community has broken down. So many have died, gone mad, grown old, lame, stupid, lazy, tired, and stopped showing up. Someone else died. They found his body on a BART train heading to Pleasanton. Why he was on that train nobody knows. Perhaps, he had no place to sleep, and Pleasanton seemed like a nice place to die? There as a time we used to meet at my place, and drink, share drugs, smoke cigarettes, laugh and talk wildly into the night. Today I sit here alone on the coast and the rains continue day after day. My writing community has broken down, vanished, disappeared, but I still sit here scribbling works to the beat of the rains falling on my windowpanes. I miss the thunder, and lightning.
This Other War
A rush of Nuevo Bacterioso rippled through my intestines causing my body to revolt, tremble out of control. First came the dry heaves, felt my life about to pass, but not before my eyes, and I felt weak and fell down on the bathroom floor waiting for the poison to work its way through my system. What appeared to be ripe cherries shipped north from Chile turned out to be a message of vitriol from someone who wants to kill me. Horses don’t piss on cherries, underpaid farm workers do because they hate us for importing produce cheaper than they can pick them. That’s how much they hate us. Or, maybe it was their field boss who poisoned the Bing cherries. Maybe he is the one who hates us. He might have been a decent guy once, just a regular guy who worked hard and loved his family and friends. Before he took the foreman job, crew leader and big asshole paid to talk shit like the boss talks shit to his co-workers, who were once his friends and brothers. He wasn’t even the most productive guy, not even close, just a little taller than most, and who always had a big smile for the boss. Still, he worked hard for his money, like everyone else. Only now he does it for a little more money and has no friends, so maybe he takes it out on me, fucking Los Americanos. He used the unfiltered water to hose down this produce. He used the less expensive local tap instead to send his season’s greetings with love from your friend down south, and curses, on top of their cheap, imported, out of season, Chilean grown, fancy, and very sweet, Bing Cherries.
The Witch Hunt
Are you going to the witch burn?
President Witch is a lot of fat to burn.
Are you going to the witch burn?
They will all be there. Lock ‘em up.
There’s going to be a party afterwards.
We’ll have an election. Lock ‘em up
In a for-profit prison, seems fitting.
for an old-dude like me. If I get stopped,
they’ll let me call the bar to ask a friend
to drive me home, they’d let me go.
I’ve lived here forty-years, what do they want
With an old dude like me? They’d let me go.
Really, I don’t care if they’re still here or not,
I’m not the one they’re looking for.
~ Alan Ray Simmons was born in Chicago on December 21, 1948. He attended Northeastern Illinois University, in Chicago, and won two Illinois Arts Council Awards as editor of Stone Wind Magazine, Northeastern Illinois University Press. Poet-In-Residence, City of Chicago Council on Fine Arts, 1979-80. Founder of the Blue Store Readings, Home of the Spoken Word Movement, and creator of the Main Event, the World Heavyweight Poetry Championship Fights, and The World Poetry Association, (WPA). He was Commissioner of the WPA and the World Poetry Bout Association, (WPBA), Chicago, Taos, New Mexico, 1979 - 2002. He has two books, Care Free, poems, Smithereens Press, Bolinas, California, 1982, and King Blue, a memoir, Stone Wind Press, Chicago, Illinois, 1992. He has been published in The Chicago Reader, Strong Coffee, Exquisite Corpse, Queen City Review, Blue Collar Review, WORK, Out of Our, Horus-Hi Road Glyphics, Green Panda Anthologies The Next, Forage, Your Impossible Voice, and Peacock Review. He lives in Alameda, California.
To Wet a Line
If I were a goldfish, you would like me better.
An oval orange tummy, translucent tangerine limbs,
gossamer tail tickling the panes of a circular abode
and open mouthed adulation outlined in O.
A piscine siren singing backup with the bubbler,
a merry mermaid to whirl in spherical twirls
o’er the turrets of a sunken castle.
Every night, I unbraid carrot-colored locks
and watch reruns of old movies, like you.
A repeat of the day before and
a portent of tomorrow.
But, that’s not me.
I’m the wild trout,
Stealth. Select. Strike.
Puncture gelid glacial melt,
a cyan silver stiletto, I
pierce the surface and
scotch hop on the lake top.
Fish as you like but,
you won’t land me.
Dr. Blaise Allen
~ Jocelyn Moore is a salmonid aficionado who cherishes the open spaces, clean waters and mountain-like deposits of snowfall at her Wyoming home. Her poems and writings have been published by Rats Ass Review, Round Robin, WyoPoets, The Avocet, Kaleidoscope, Wyoming Writers Inc., Hydroquest, Writing Women of Zurich, American Planning Association, The Contributor and Pudding Magazine. Next to standing thigh deep in water, her favorite haunt is a 1953 log cabin in the Bridger-Teton Wilderness with her Catahoula-mix pup, Beowulf.
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