You treat me like soiled underwear.
I work my way through.
I gave up jitterbug dancing, that cha-cha-chá,
all my eccentric moves, theatric acting, poetry slams.
I seek refuge away old films, nightmares
you jumping from my raspberry Geo Chevy Tracker
repeat your stunt from my black 2002 S-10 Chevy truck, Schaumburg, IL.
I toss tarnished photographs out windows of hell
seek new selfies, myself.
I’m a rock-in-roll Jesus, a damn good poetry man,
talent alone is not enough storage space to strip
you away from my skin, distant myself from your
ridicule, those harsh words you can’t take back
once they are out like Gorilla Glue, as Carl Sandburg spoke about.
I’m no John Lennon want to be;
body sculptured David Garrett, German violin masterpiece,
nor Ace Hardware, Midwest, CEO.
All I want to be respected in heart of my bright sun,
engaging these shadows endorsing these gray spots in my life.
Send me away from these drum beats that break me in half,
jungle thunder jolts dislodging my heart
popping my earlobes over the years,
scream out goodbye.
No more stepping on me cockroach style,
swatting me, a captured fly.
Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada, Vietnam era. Today he is a poet in Itasca, DuPage County, Illinois, published in 2,013 small press magazines in 40 countries; 221 YouTube poetry videos. He has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015, 1 Best of the Net 2016, 2 Best of the Net 2017, 2 Best of the Net 2018.