Posted by: tsopr | May 11, 2010

Luke Johnson, American Poet

Luke Johnson is an American poet born in Cayucos, CA. He is a graduate from Cal-Poly with a degree in African-American studies and is the author of ‘Tubas in the Belly of Our Souls,’ his first book of poetry which evokes delicate and urgent images of apocalyptic yet optimistic times, where the mundane becomes the extraordinary, and our human experiences are magnified in heartfelt bursts of revelation. Johnson is currently working on his second publication. He lives with his wife, Ciara, and their lovely felines, Lily and Louie in Pismo Beach, California.

                                Featured Poetry of Luke Johnson

A Naked Poem

The Man can play his fiddle.
his wife pretending not to notice,
while he dines with gypsy, heretics, and God.

He insists upon knowing levels of Utopia.
its made of a carnation moon,
the ice cream is butter pecan and both sexes.

The cat is his “loosy-goosy” prophet.
she bites the pope in the lip,
her nails sliding down Wall Streets pretentious back.

Maybe we should arrest the White House.
watch Pelosi and Bush make love,
under sheets made of bi-partisan fabric.

The “W” in waiting is better turned upside down.
the M stands for miracle,
but nothing of the sort seems to happen.

A TV. Blurs the white wall with light.
i squint to see it better,
the world naked in static.

Crazy Parade

They live in the oval offices,
feeding the people paradigms
of soap and buckets of paint.

Death is their luminary foe,
she calls war witch craft
and life a partially clad whore.

Recitals lead verb into adjective,
for resuscitation of the norm.

Bombs are the fashion forward,
like beedy eyed breast
mangled inside a tight bikini.

Playing cards upon ground zero,
mangled bodies in the wet dirt
insist we play them too.

Church bells ringing a dead march,
ghost play kick the can
and turn into shadows.

Fragmented Skies

The storm splintered frameworks of trees,
cloaked in tangerine light –
glowed! glowed! glowed!
becoming live miraculous

prisms. Swallow coiled themselves
feverishly, their song becoming the melody

of moments,
                   passing through clouds;
the heart of earth turning to shadows
cloaked! cloaked! cloaked!

flower bulbs, rioting mice
the phallic balloons of naked ladies,
gossiping squirrel, squabbling bee, insidious crow.


the marching advance of lightening
Fra          gments
        the bruised skyline,
        the family meal,

whispering spring winds becoming!
live violins, tambourine, cello, and drum
beats! beats! beats!

hands pressing hard against glass.
children swimming in wonder,


late evening, laughter inverted to whisper,
breath became the dance of anxious


bundled inside
a brick house.


i used to drink naive orange juice in the back parlor
next to you, while you sprinkled dandelion nativity
scenes—the fortress of your rose peddles lining my
future dreams like a life path for those less followed

we ate
and allowedlovetobeasitshould,
a giant indemnified by its spices

while you sprinkled the grass full of leafy clover
your hair used to sparkle like sunday school
scenes-Jesus dancing a love trot next to
the idealism of him, a dual glass mirror; perplexed

we ate
and allowedlovetobeasitshould,
a giant indemnified by its spices

so where do you go then? go toward the sun
when you die? do you lose your luster in the
ornate marble staircases that are my visionary
scenes? huh? this static-electric is the remedy
for lovetobeagiant

our America

democratic flight lifts Zeus from his chamber,
to dangle theology of
metal scrapping war mistresses
alighted by the cause
war won

and so that is why it never made sense anyway,
to me
to bang on this word smith latter
and work…..

the fallow grounds of America
gorged with saintly ghost.

perhaps we’d ought to spindle our treasure
in cocoons made from mars bars
of caramel flavored like crack
blunts smoked surely(?)


lets ride the eagles wings,
under the other pretenses—
defined by the makers more
clever world of

and watch the crumbs come to us,
like flaking esoteric light,
as we play tubas
in the belly of our souls.


Voices light like a paper-leaf,
A rich, indomitable gold!
Lustered braids of outer spheres;
Pickled mute speech tongueing
its way through persistence.

Darkened corridors alight
accents of the drawling footsteps,
Encircling subliminal rooms–
The foray of earthen vessels
hung ornamental disguise.

The sea scratches brown sediment,
Its choice remix, a concrete slap–
The belly of un-interpretable hand gestures,
signaling silent communication,
as a boom-box lent to the inner world!

A world ear-less, slighted in joy,
Like plastic war ships bombarding a room.
The smells of the cafe curl through the air,
Steam omits figural transparent ghost,
with laughter from a small corner.


mr. Dow, line chasing rat.
mating flies determining intermixing.
the breading foray of pink elephants and the candor jackass.
verbal cosmetics, illusionary straw blankets.
acidic brain wave, matted wet.
“a”(a is to be) sun betrothed itself to winter.
star gazing teens becoming diatribe love gypsies.
surfing upon black and white static chains.
bobble headed black fro.
the cat talking like a slurring frog.
livelihood short breasted and belittled into being.
memories transcribed upon the bearded shadow.
the short in short, one eyed wet crevice.
politico potatoes buttered by Christyna.
drenching fog souring July 4th, two thou’ whenever.
mirrors engrossed with faces.

The Tutor


The gray-green path lit itself under the hedge-way of silken skies,
alighted by the tangerine cogent of hymnal heartbeats
of my grandmothers breath slowing beneath the hand of history;
Her sounds of amnesia are like English leather and cinnamon
when she evaporated into thin air under World War 2,
collecting coyote sculptures left by the violinist angst.

It rained both clay and magic, I walked.


It burned like hot gasoline—the furious red rusted over,
into the pale white light covering lime-green tractors
attracted to the lovers night fade and tragic hymnals–
sexual dissatisfied circus trapeze.
Under the shawl of utopia, next to base like oil rigs,
the electric trumpet sound ascends into un-be-known-
bruised purple cyclone eyes and ruby bougainvillea
littered upon the crimson brick walk way.

Into lion and lamb, I bow.

Turtle Humped

I & we–
distant between two shores
in sea of light
in dawn of love-tail,
co-exist together between a turtle
and the trapeze glance we
in line
with whimper
with whisper
in the inter collision of breath;
the light clasping its hands
humped in the dark.

The World of Mice

We scamper through convenient stores,
counting our steps one, two, three, four…

Eat local ice cream parlor political junk,
stored between our balmy upper lips.

The world is less daunting at night;
children can cross Los Angeles highways.

I can watch the world spin,
half drunk eating toy babies and I.Q.

Our forefathers can detail limbo,
metaphysical full of mice, jackass, and elephant.

The sea whispers a life Mantra:
should of paid the Man, Man, Man.

Copyright © 2010 Luke Johnson


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