Michael Lee Johnson lived ten 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, DuPage County, Illinois. Mr. Johnson is published in more than 2033 new publications. His poems have appeared in 42 countries; he edits and publishes ten poetry sites. He is the administrator of six Facebook poetry groups; he has several new poetry chapbooks coming out soon. He has over 536 published poems to date. Michael Lee Johnson is an internationally published poet 42 countries, nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards and 5 Best of the Net nominations.
Poets Out of Service (V6)
Like a full-service gas station or postal service workers displaced, racing to Staples retail for employment against the rules of labor, poets are out of business nowadays, you know. Who carries a loose change in their pockets? Who tosses loose coins in their car ashtray anymore? iPhones, smartphones, life is a video camera ready to shoot, destroy, and expose. No one reads poets anymore. No one thumbs through the yellow pages anymore. Who has sex in the back seat of their car anymore, just naked shots passed around online? Streetwalkers, bleach blonde whores, cosmetic plastic altered faces in the neon night; they don’t bother to pick pennies or quarters off the streets anymore. The days of surprise candy bags for a nickel pennies lying on the countertop for Tar Babies, Strawberry Licorice Laces (2 for a penny), Wax Lips, Pixie Sticks, Good & Plenty are no more. Everyone is a dead-end player; he dies with time. Monster technology destroys crump fragments of culture. Old age is a passive slut; engaging old age conversations idle to a whisper and sleep alone. Matchbox, hand-rolled cigarettes, serrated, slimmed down, and gone. Time is a broken stopwatch gone by. Life is a defunct full-service gas station. Poets are out of business nowadays.
Deep in my Couch (V2)
Deep in my couch of magnetic dust, I am a bearded old man. I pull out my last bundle of memories beneath my pillow for review. What is left, old man, cry solo in the dark. Here is a small treasure chest of crude diamonds, a glimpse of white gold, charcoal, fingers dipped in black tar. I am a temple of worship with trinket dreams, a tea kettle whistling ex-lovers boiling inside. At dawn, shove them under, let me work. We are all passengers traveling on that train of the past— senses, sins, errors, or omissions deep in that couch.
Nightlife Jungle Beat, Bar Next Door (V2)
Like all thing’s life changes, its melodies fragment. It breaks pieces apart, then they drift, then shatter. The singers of songs love bars, naked bodies, consistencies, and inconsistencies that makes it burn all turn outright at night. They like to drum repeat rhythms and sounds. Poets like to retreat to dens of pleasure just like these. Sing poets sing off-key free verse notes down by the bridge, near the river as far as their voices will carry them away. It is the nature of difference, indifference a vocabulary of us confused, minds between insanity and genius. The hermit asks for a public forum in shyness, while treading to the bar next door for a shot of tequila no money, no life.