Liz’s Weekly Poetry Series: Denis Johnson

by lizard

Denis Johnson is known more for his fiction than his poetry, but I’ve long enjoyed his collection The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly. The title of the book is taken from a bizarre work of art created by James Hampton over 14 years. Check it out.

For this week’s poetry series, I’ve selected a short poem from Johnson’s collection. Enjoy!

*

VESPERS

The towels rot and disgust me on this damp
peninsula where they invented mist
and drug abuse and taught the light to fade,
where my top-quality and rock-bottom heart
cries because I’ll never get to kiss
your famous knees again in a room made
vague by throwing a scarf over a lamp.
Things get pretty radical in the dark:
the sailboats on the inlet sail away;
the provinces of actuality
crawl on the sea; the dusk now tenderly
ministers to the fallen parking lots—
the sunset instantaneous on the fenders,
memory and peace…the grip of chaos…

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  1. Big Swede

    Heard any good Hashem Shaabani poems lately?

  1. 1 152 Poetry Posts to Celebrate April, National Poetry Month | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Denis Johnson […]




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