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 fingers, he says, slip on plastic,
the note not right. His fingers, he feels,
need the texture of ivory, what he calls veins,
though there are no veins. How the keys stay cool
and warm, pliant and firm, responsive to his touch.
He believes what was once living
has tone, a tone he can feel without hearing,
a sense he has, if the piece is complex,
of a note beneath the range —
feet sinking round in the sand,
the canvas of their ears cooled by rain,
of female and male, drinking.
©2016 Joel Johnson
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