I want to praise Kent Johnson and I also want die a little,too.
Those things aren't related. Just the opposite, really.
The moment I begin writing this poem
the words begin filing my insides and causing a lot
of internal disturbance, making me lonely and scared
and whiny. I can't even write a good blues song.
That should be easy but I'm too dumb and unable.
Kent Johnson is much, much smarter than me.
I can set mouse traps but I'm always afraid I'll
snap my fingers. My wife just screamed and I went upstairs to
put a still squirming mouse in a plastic bag and then went
outside and beat it on the concrete. I have
little feelings about this. I'm not happy about it, but
I'm not noticeably shaken either. Some of Kent's
poems shake me in a good or frightening way. I think of him
and imagine a gentleman.
I keep a saddish secret in my un-tited breast. Thus,
as when my ribcage is opened as is a refrigerator
the light that pops on has a defeated, burpy glow.
If Kent Johnson were to make a well-mannered sandwich now,
placing the mustard colored mustard on his cold, slick,
turkey meat, he may make a orderly, layered meal
that would be worthy of his grief. And his is a grief
that poets make meals of because us fuckers
must eat something. Having to say all this is evidence of
my terrible judgement. Not because of anything involving
Kent, but just that I have to live with myself.
I can imagine this: my hands are Georgian turtles, my thighs
are stupid logs, and my knees, my little knees, people, are little,
lead cannonballs. All of this is very, very scary. Not because
it's violent or gonna fucking stick you with a knife or something,
but because I have an imagination.
That's always the trouble. All this articulation is going to have its
day to dance of my goofy forehead. My poor, goofy forehead.
Labels: in praise of Kent Johnson