Joel F. Johnson
I'm a businessman and chronic English major who began writing poetry about ten years ago. Sometimes, I find myself switching back and forth between a spreadsheet and an unfinished poem. My first book of poems, Where Inches Seem Miles, was published by Antrim House at the end of 2013. In 2014, Kirkus Reviews selected it as one of the best books of the year in the Indie category. I've benefited from workshops at the Concord Poetry Center and from the journals which have published my work, including Rattle, Blackbird, and Salamander. My website, joelfjohnson.com, includes a few videos where I've attempted to combine a reading with appropriate images.
His chest is dimpled and tender from all those bullets,
his feet too swollen to fit his red boots.
When the old nurse comes for his massage,
he closes his eyes so not to see the dust mites
in her hair. Remembers Kansas,
twelve years old, flying over the green and yellow fields,
or coming home under a half moon, the spikes of corn
like bristles on a brush.
The nurse finishes,
helps him into his pjs, rolls him out
to an ornamental pond. He can see
colors we can’t — a violet moss edges
the underside of oak bark, rust colored carp
pull lavender wakes.
He can hear mewing underground,
kit fox cubs in a burrow across the pond.
Superman has never seen his own blood,
can’t remember his mother’s face, still grieves
for Lois. He’s anxious
for the mother fox to come home,
hears his name spoken once
light years away. Kal-El.
©2016 Joel Johnson
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