Poetry by J. H. Johns




                Now playing,

                the story of your life-


                brought to you in

                black and white-

                (truly a film noir)-


                but only in your head,

                only for you to see;


                it’s your memory,

                it’s your secret;


                your joys,

                your pains-


                it’s playing right now

                and will continue-




                until you die…




                I had forgotten


                teenage angst;



                one Saturday,

                I went looking for it;


                I started

                where I used to keep everything-

                under the bed-

                and then

                in my dresser drawers-

                but it wasn’t there;


                 I went 

                to the basement

                and then the garage-

                still nothing;


                “…in the backseat of the car…”

                I told myself,

                but it was empty; 



                I took a ride

                past the old houses,





                no one was there-


                there was no one to ask;


                I stopped for cigarettes,





                but nobody asked for I.D.-


                “…how about that…”

                I quipped on the way out;



                I gave up

                and returned home

                to the emptiness of the house,

                to the silence

                that began to hurt my ears;



                I turned on the television,

                lit up


                had a beer-



                on occasion-

                looked over at the condoms,


                just piling up…




                I got crap from the check-out girl-

                Lori- at the liquor store the other day,


                and as she was spewing,

                I knew that she didn’t know

                that I was a writer

                and that in “my world”-

                I could have her “killed”-


                so, here I- and here you-

                go, Lori,

                this is for you-


                              “For Lori”


                “It was a sunny,

                hot and humid day;

                Lori was feeling faint

                from a night of debauchery,

                and, so,

                she asked her supervisor

                if she could take a break;


                Lori went out front,

                toward the four-lane boulevard,

                to have a smoke;


                she lit up,

                took a long and deep drag,

                felt light-headed,

                fell into the path 

                of the Number 3 Metro Bus-


                and was killed instantly!”



                How about that, Lori?!

                This is what you get

                for giving a writer shit

                at the check-out!


                You are now “dead!”










J. H. Johns “grew up and came of age” while living in East Tennessee and Middle Georgia. Specifically, the two places “responsible” for the writer that he has become are Knoxville, Tennessee and Milledgeville, Georgia. 
Since then, he has moved to Chicago- for a brief stint- and New York City- for a significantly longer stay. Currently, he is “holed up” in a small town in upstate New York where when he is not writing, he tends to his “nature preserve” and his “back forty.” His goal is to surround his house with all sorts of vegetation so as to obscure it from the gaze of the “locals.” He is assisted in this task by his coonhound buddy and companion, Roma.