Right, Write.

This is something to write about for someone who will read it.
[Chris Johnson's writing journal]

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Ask me, ask me, ask me...

Hearts and Socks

Isn’t this a foot in a puddle,
a hole in the heel of the shoe;

stray hair, isn’t any surface a home?
Bald patch, who picked you?

Aren’t we bare here,
just faces and legs and damp toes;

or just lay it all out on sleeves
and pant legs for the fashion of it.

This isn’t the last storm cloud
or even the last raindrop:

perhaps a speck of skin
showing and shed and living on.

The temptation is to think of … as something we make
Michael Warner

Let me sleep tonight,
headlights tracking left-to-right—
keep track, dry throated

Standing In Front Of Mirrors And Poking Bruises

Laid, being naked is enough
sometimes.
There is tomorrow morning,
and today is dead.

A Poem for the Shards We Picked Up

The falling glass won’t think it’s so lonely
in a short time; the kiss on the cheek, the lipstick stain,

still holds onto a memory of wholeness.
Think you’re cold and think of this:

there were three perfectly fine icecubes that just went to waste!
Promise to be more careful next time; we’re all over the place!

In actuality, this is the equivalent of a big drip;
no biggie, really. We’ll rally. We’ll quench.

This is us together wishing for hydration and hangovers.
This is the moment glass meets floor.

The Interview

You said the first line came together too quickly;
I said your body is the morning and I can sleep in.
You said the coffee drips too slowly;
I said the poem came together in the beginning,

but it really came together in the end.

Soft in the Sunlight

How softly can you caress your own skin
to leave an imprint of yourself on yourself,
to leave a mark you desire?

You stood nude before a painting of yourself,
nude and inhaling as you inhale now, caught
in a breath of a moment, oxygenating.

There is no coffee cold enough to pass up.
There is one breast, warmer in the sunlight,
finding comfort in the morning.

Today is a Day

Sick with sticking with the lyric?
Fragmentation is just the thing for you!

Slink yourself down the stairs, out the door,
and walk under the stars, inspiring screamers.

Those bastards; those brightest lights;
those dead suns light-years away!

They don’t know anything. You’re the pen
of your own poetry; the ink of your own life.

Love it, leave it, ink it, read it—
break the mould with a line break

and watch your problems melt away. 

The Poet With Coffee

raises poem to lips
in the morning
and the morning moans, waking.

Sleep said,
you will spend nights on me;
you will never catch me in words.

The poet with coffee
lights a cigarette,
speaks the Prairies.

Ask the sunlight and
tomato plant,
how do you grow a poet?

Books speak, though spineless;
the lovely
treachery of words.

This night started out so well

and I caved;
here’s a call for the best of the brew:

would you say I’m addicted?
Oh, you heard I’m a dick.

Shoot. The night’s gone tits up
and legs out, hasn’t it:

trapped here, I’ve made my own way out.
You say you want to make out?

The ‘you and me’ here know
we’re out of beer.

Tits out and legs up, I’ve caved
long ago; like, the moment I heard my echo.

My Writing Process (A Blog Tour)

Much too long ago, a very talented writer I know nodded at me in her response to this interview meme with the subtext that I should continue the movement. I was hesitant at first, but I started to feel that I was disrespecting this person who I held so much respect for by not participating in this blog tour, so here is my response to the meme:

What am I working on?

I am currently editing a series of haibun about the city in which I live and a girl that used to live here as well, which will be released by the press that I currently co-edit with two good friends of mine. So, it will essentially be another self-published chapbook of my poems, but I still hope people’ll like it.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Probably more repetition. Other than that, I think I like to rely more on repetition. Another thing is that I like repetition.

Why do I write what I do?

For a while I believed that everyone wrote—either poetry, prose, diary entries, Ocarina Of Time walkthroughs—and I would also write for no other reason than to write. It only has been more recently that I have thought about what I wish to achieve in my writing. Before another writer I knew moved away, we would occasionally have a few beers after Plan 99 readings and talk about what we were trying to do with our poetry. These talks with this writer sparked a recent awareness of the significance of confessional poetry, the significance of individual experience, and the significance of proclaiming this as a relevant form to mould one’s poetry. This isn’t to say that expression of the personal is my only influence; I believe that inspiration is as fluid as sexuality and musical tastes.

How does my writing process work?

I feel that I must apologize, but since this contribution to the blog tour is so late in the game I feel that it is excusable that many of my responses are similar to writers who have come before me. With that said, my writing process sounds very similar to the lovely and talented Marilyn Irwin's writing process: being a graduate student, I am frequently reading or attending lectures and when a word or phrase or idea comes to mind I usually tell myself to finish the chapter I'm reading or at least the page or wait until I get home to write it down. Unfortunately, this often means I forget the idea or phrase or word and start from scratch, but sometimes the poem comes out without a hitch. Sometimes the poem won't even let me wait until I finish the chapter or page or get out of the lecture, and on these occasions I think back to that Bukowski poem and think myself a damn fine poet. Unlike Bukowski, however, I edit things, bring them to friends and peers for criticism, and regularly hum-and-haw over words for days, months, years.

***

So, that’s that. I’ve linked to some very talented writers who I am proud to call my friends, so check out their blogs and their blog tours. For some other talented writers who have contributed to this blog tour, you should click on the following links:
Jeff Blackman
JC Bouchard
JM Francheteau
Ben Ladouceur
As I have said that I’m very late to this game, I have chosen not to nominate any new blogs to continue the blog tour, but if you read this and decide to write about your writing process then please do let me know!

Thanks for reading!
Chris

P.S. If they have already done blog tour entries and I’ve missed them then I will feel very bad, but two very talented poets who you can follow here on Tumblr are Jenna Jarvis and Avonlea Fotheringham

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