Posts Tagged ‘Michael Lee Johnson’


Memories of Winnipeg

And Crazy Eight Bar

By Michael Lee Johnson


I’m drunk, isolated,

and horny,

I stumble into The Crazy Eight

Bar and it wasn’t my lucky charmed night.

Flirting with Indian women, delusional

with my white ass superiority,

I’m doing card tricks,

and end up getting my guts

and rib cage kicked out.

I’m circled by Métis Indians

no facial war paint

no Indian war bonnets,

but they fooled me.


I’m down eating floor dirt,

and the kicks keep coming-

thick needle toe boots, cowboy style, fast and heavy.

I crawl to my car half dead barely breathing,

collapsed lungs, head on the steering wheel

I somehow how find the hospital.

Spitting blood and Apple Jack wine,

my tan suite is ruined,

I pissed my white pants yellow-

worst of all I deserved it.

So I learn, when in a strange town

find a place where the color of your face fits,

And don’t cheat at cards.





Native I Am, Cocopa

By Michael Lee Johnson


I am mother proud

of the greatest

events that fade before me.

I dig earthworms

and farm dirt

from my fingertips

and grab native

Baja & Southwestern


soil & desert sand

wedged between my

spaced teeth.

My numbers or few or is it only me

a useless decay, dentures

lost in desert sand?

I gain no respect.

I once drank a Budweiser beer

out of the keg in

St. Louis, Missouri

just to make sure I was

born on north American soil.

In my heart digs many memories

and 41 relatives left in 1937.

I see praise & prayers

from native Gods.

I am Cocopa of Yuman family

and extent into the mouth

of many Colorado rivers and mountains.

Mist is my memories.

I survive on corn, melons,

pumpkins and mesquite beans-

add a few grass seeds, a hint of red wine,

burial roots of history faded on






A Patch of Green
By Michael Lee Johnson

A four way traffic stop,
a patch of green turf
squared-off in the median,
where a blackbird pecks
for a worm box-lunch,
goes unnoticed,
rush hour traffic
another day.

Old Farms and City Malls
By Michael Lee Johnson

Wal-Mart stores popping up like rabbits
from sunken holes in the suburbs;
concrete buildings, used old large spaces,
solid hard concrete floors
unemployment babies suckling’s on the application line.
Bagel babies, Subway, Stables, Home Depot,
Ace Hardware, Century 21 babies, they are all the same.
They have capacious concrete buildings, concrete slabs,
very hard wood or cement floors
they dance in the night with no love but security guards.
I see no doves, pigeons around Butler International golf course.
Oakbrook, old farms, turned from dust to economic villages,
pour out remaining farms into terraces with neon lights.
Southeastern pines, old wood, of your young youth have gone by
to stained brick, stale drywall, stiff old cedar and dust.
I see no sparrow, no bushes or birches, just cinders and dust.
I want to find some sweetheart tonight, nothing here
in the vacant mall lots but night,
cinder and dust.
Wal-Mart stores popping up like rabbits.

I Work My Mind like Planet Earth
By Michael Lee Johnson

I work my mind
inward into a corner of knots.
Depressed beneath brain bone
I work my words, they overwork me.
Fear is the spirit alone, away from God.
Hospital warriors shake pink pills, rattle bottles of empty dreams.

I walk my ward down the daily highway;
I work the roadmap of spirit,
weed out false religions.
Only one God for so many Twelve Steps programs.
I wrap myself around support groups,
look for dependency within their problems.
I publish my poems, life works,
concerns on floor five.
I edit my redemption, escape from the laundry room;
run around in circles like planet earth,
looking for my therapist
to seal my comfort.