Time is distance
Today we pause for a baby
Waiting for Wesley
Last night Tanya cried
tears of fatigue and anticipation
made me stare at the lamp
I tried to wash dishes
pretend that the coffee stain I scoured
gave me control
Wesley’s named after grandfathers
“That’s a Jewish tradition–but the
relatives have to be dead?
Time is distance
Winner Best Letter Press and Book Design Book Award Bumbershoot Book Fair, Seattle. This is a book about crossings–the multiple ways of crossing in and out of many worlds, the worlds Doug Johnson lives in. Sometimes known as Cienfuegos, One Hundred Fires, Johnson’s artistic talents mirror his multi-ethnic background. Poet, musician, teacher, scholar, Johnson builds houses while listening to all of the voices coming in and out of the many rooms. Part of his work is to connect the appropriate genre for the right voice. Time is distance is the recurring image that holds these many worlds together.
Handmade / Handsewn $10.00
Signed. 200 copies
FOURTEEN LINES & THREE STRIKES: SONNETS
Jim, there’s a line only a batter
Sees when he stays in the box too long
Knowing Satchel Paige will throw
90 at your temple without a helmet
All for the chance to drip one off Cy Young’s
Blood curdling low and inside to clutch
Bunt to first. Dugout can
See it coming and judges the two
Going at it. Yells, Play’s to you short!
from YELLOW DRY WALL HOWLS
SONNET 56 052606 6:49 A.M. P.S.T.
COME ON UMP , asks for Justice in this sonnet. Johnson inherits cultural traditions from African-American, Chicano, Irish roots. He plays the slowest gospel I’ve heard, sitting right beside Hank Jones with the fragile hands. These sonnets surround themselves inside a baseball field and haven’t sounded this fast since Ted Berrigan left us. Johnson asks me, Why can’t people keep up? I say, Keep writing and play like Hank Jones . Anger is acknowledged in the epigraph from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 65: How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea/ Whose action is no stronger than a flower? This is the playing field going in. These poems contain echoes of August Williams in Fences. Readers who listen to music will hear the voices in the locker room and the slow hands on the piano keyboard. –Jim Bodeen
Handmade / Handsewn $15.00
Each Cover Original Illustration by poet in an envelope
210 signed and numbered copies.