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.
Five prime Negroes free of small pox, comprising one family
to be put up first separately then as a single lot.
The male, perfectly black, is of a Gold Coast stock
prized for its even temper and tolerance for hard labor.
Bears a brand on his right cheek, the letters O.L.E.
Understands every aspect of horses and blacksmithing,
some masonry and carpentry. To be sold for no fault of his own.
The wench a well-made bright mulattress, about thirty years of age,
much marked with scars or welts on her thighs and calves.
Knows cooking, sewing, ironing, washing, nursing and field labor.
Two girls and one boy, the oldest a girl of thirteen or fourteen
of yellowish complexion, good with a needle, also bearing the brand O.L.E.
©2017 Joel Johnson
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