by Robert K. Johnson. Selected poems. Ibbetson Street Press. Doug & Dianne Holder, 25 School Street, Somerville, MA 02143. ISBN: 0-9724601-3-6
Book Review by Michael Basinski
It is a measure and badge and I have taken to adding them. And now to the poems in Latest News, a fine selection by a talent who is aware of madness and the mad and perhaps realizing that we all go there or are near enough to fallllll. Fall In. Fell In. And I think his catching the sight of this entity called MADness shapes the work and gives it, the poems their pleasure and edge ’ that nose that wins the race for one pony and condemns the rest to the dust bin of tired poem history. It is an adventure to enter the finely tuned engine craft of Johnson’s work. Each work is a custom made motorcycle! Take The Letter, one that resides now as a barbed fishhook in the side of my heart’s eye. THE LETTER. Barely are your eyes open/ when you receive a letter/ you know it is urgent… …. … it takes you / till noon to figure out// its alphabet… … … and you look forward to reading/ more of the letter the next day./ But your eyes stay shut. WOW! Feel that cadence! It is fun to type his lines but then this poem ’ this letter. These letters in front of your eyes! Read Johnson (and there is an interview with him in issue 22 of Posey ’ see review above!) See?