Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sing it, Frank!

Antique Engraving, The Seasons
—Anonymous Photos
—Poems by Michael Johnson, Itasca, IL


Sing it Frank
I'm busy at physical therapy
struggling with back spasms
looking out this window, these clouds
this rain, slice this thunder,
listening to your songs over again
on the Muzak for this 6th week in a row,
peddling this mechanical bike,
might as well be a mechanical bull
with a heat pad on my spinal cord.
I'm deep inside your larynx 10 minutes
3 times a week tickling it back and forth,
jousting and reviewing those playgrounds
of all your illicit affairs.  With a few shots of vodka
peddling these wheels with intensified pressure
I can appreciate Lana Turner, Judy Garland,
Lauren Bacall, even Marilyn Monroe.
"This is my kind of town Chicago is,
my kind of town Chicago is."


I am Northern maple syrup Northern Quebec
tap those nails and buckets into my bark let me scream like a bitch in pain
dreams out of exile to South Caroline, Georgia old-time hash
half dozen eggs mixed fried together red spuds, cheap coon meat.
I am as simple as Ding Dong School
TV show Miss Frances 1952,
intelligent as Einstein IQ 162, good test
both mixed in a corn bag with wheat, wild rice, touch of honey.
Talk to Lindy now, talk to me ex-lover
come on to me once again in a dream
like you used to do live,
ice picks in hand, brown sugar in a side bowl
everything sweet until the cops came by.


I'm no Leonard Cohen
smarter than Rod McKuen.
I can't talk you into anything
until you get that damn car
fixed, the brakes, duct tape
the muffler sounds with gorilla glue,
hubby gone your business grows,
your children leave,
that house sold
karate those kids intramural
for me to get lucky
with you, a rabbit’s foot
and your open compliance.


Breaking news this just in,
1:15 PM December 15, 2013,
I found out labeling theory
has a personality.
It has impact of its own.
I love today because I
found out I have a mental illness.
Formally, diagnosed,
now I am special.
Shrink, Dr. Pennypecker, knows me well.
We visit 15 minutes every 3 months.
I have known him for 9 months.
Simple sentences just make more sense.
Simple sentences make me feel more secure.
After 9 months he says, "I've sort of figured
you out, you are a manic depressive, stage 2 hypo-mania."
I ask my shrink, “Can I cast my vote?"
In this PM news, I gave him permission.
Life is a pilgrimage of pills.
I cast out my net to catch myself,
save myself.
Life is a pilgrimage of prayers.
Note:  it could end here.
He does not know the difference
between manias, versus six shots of vodka.
I suffer from a B-12 deficiency.
I need extra thiamine symptoms psychosis.
I place my lid down on forsaken table,
foreskin, I forgive.
A dead shrink, middle of the road.
I crack my knuckles,
pass sleep two next night.
Creativity flows fragmented.
I kick gravesites up then down.

Today’s LittleNip:


Give me booze or give me Jesus
If we listened to the bottom of the vodka bottle,
or finished the last chapter book of Revelation,
the spirits toss in the cards, the chips—
pray for a gambler.
Listen to summer sun, birds that chirp,
these are the beginnings and where it ends.
Maya calendar.


Our thanks to Michael Johnson for helping us celebrate the Winter Solstice, which took place at 2:44am this morning. (See Michael visits us now and then, having been featured in the Kitchen Jan. 7, 2015. He is the author of
The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom and several chapbooks of poetry. He has been published in more than 915 small press magazines in 27 countries, and he edits 10 poetry sites. His own website is and he has many poetry videos on YouTube at Visit his Facebook Poetry Group and join He is also the editor/publisher of anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow A second poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses, is due for a January 2017 release.


 Vintage Tattoo
Celebrate poetry—
and don’t let those Ravens of Time get away from you…

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