I am a has-been, and I am for the weak and the masculine, the women, the groups who made new names just so they could fit in, and I can talk about sex and not blush, just like them, and sound smart and stand tall and move to Sweden with Cameron, and I don’t need to be ashamed of being another English grad who learned nothing about Milton (John)… because, fuck, I’m a Canadian and read Acorn (Milton, also), and I just saw that Book Bazaar has for $1700 the first book by Layton (Irving), and there’s a moment in time coming up or in the past when I will see my cock and think “I can be human,” and that might mean eating meat or breaking up or searching “Feminism” on TheGoodMenProject.com, and I can shave or not shave and still appreciate Dylan (Bob) and Personism, which is, as we both know, that ethical philosophy Wikipedia says was typified by Seeger (Pete, not spelled like Seger, Bob) but I best know of via O’Hara (Frank)… or was it him… but, anyway, he’s someone I tell my lover to read, because, though Frank was gay, his love poems are just fucking brilliant, and if my lover is nude and descending a staircase I won’t be able to stop myself from thinking about that New York poet (?)… well, and Duchamp (Marcel, born Henri-Robert-Marcel), but maybe after a minute, because, unless my back is sore or I’m tired, the first thing I want to do when I see breasts is… something with my hands, and there’s not enough to do with my hands, and I still want to stitch books and talk about rhyme and the necessity of political poetry, those things that kept fuelling the Modernists (Canadian), but there’s not enough money in my bank account to pay for that Scott (F.R.) book printed by Contact Press in 1957, but I’m still in, if you’re still in?
Setting straight the ‘Shwa,
driving through, reading Wah and
haibun for the view
by Chris Johnson
produced for The Factory Reading Series,
Ottawa, January 9, 2015
above/ground press broadside #331
Chris Johnson is a has-been. He used to be an editor at In/Words Magazine & Press. He used to be a student at Carleton University. His poetry has previously appeared on bywords.ca, The Steel Chisel, The Peter F. Yacht Club and in a few nice little zines.