Monday, July 1, 2019




I don’t wear my pocket watch anymore

it reminds me of my age, 73, soon more,

outdated gadget, time hanging where

moving parts below don’t belong nor work anymore.

I don’t like to think about endings.

Age is a Cracker Jack box with no face, modern speed dial,

no toy inside, when it stops, no salute, just pops.

Lesson:  "What young men want to do all night takes older men all night to do."


Night is drifters,

sugar rats, street walkers, pickpockets, pimps,

insects, Lake Michigan perch,

neon signs blinking half the bulbs

burned out.

@ Heart Attack Greasy Grill

I was a little boy,

tad hillbilly son,

patterned then in

present tense,

hardly old enough

tall enough to work

nor notice if I had pubic hair-

large or small endowment

growing up self-conscious

about short comings

narrow chest.

Just a teen aged nighttime boy

looking 4 a part-time hook up-

little girl play, with a five-card stud.

Preacher daddy raised me,

back-seat Christian boy

low on faith high on doobie

rolled cigarettes.

I took my 1st job, pancake flipper

@ Heart Attack–Greasy Grill, 24-7

pocket coins 4 tips, a few greasy dollars,

pancake short stack, secret menu was that

boss’s daughter, blood on hands,

my bun busted now stale, stained, & baked.

Eliminate lines unessential:

waitress injected me some spice

old time recipe.


I warned you darts with advice

strong words tripping over emotions

like an imbecile-

so you think you’re Leonard Cohen

loving some naked Nancy in a cluttered

matchbox apartment overlooking

European culture simulated,

above some obscure narrow

Montreal street?

For your information,

straight poetics from insanities Almanac,

Leonard Cohen died years ago

in a twisted pickle poem he

entitled “Narcissism.”

Do you and your welfare lover

desire to be the 2nd generation,

deceased, unnoticed, unheard of,

unwarranted for failure artists

inside this thin, onion-skinned wall

dingy with your dreams?

I warned you darts with advice,

tapering off with your impotence.


MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON lived 10 years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.  Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois.  Mr. Johnson published in more than 1072 new publications, his poems have appeared in 38 countries, he edits, publishes 10 poetry sites.  Michael Lee Johnson, has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/2 Best of the Net 2017, Editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze:  editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses Editor-in-chief Warriors with Wings:  the Best in Contemporary Poetry,

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