by Jeph Johnson


Should it give me hope
  or cast me down
            the pit of despair
When seeing that smile
      and long brown hair
      across the table from him?
I know not where they've been.
I only know that they're here
and she blows in his ear
and I try not to stare
yet I seem more aware
for she's all that's in my mind
His magnitude enshrined
by her smile into his eyes
I give up my trying-
Perhaps I should have faith
I mean, they're only on a date
or maybe, God forbid!
she carries his kid
or could it be true love
without the knowledge of
what they're lives have been
my lust becomes a sin.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

circa 1998 

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by Jeph Johnson


Must reason
the conceptual fence
of right and wrong
I've discarded
flailing rationale?
can my opinion
of sanity
the idiocy
I've inherited
from her departure?
My fortitude fails-
trying to describe
the darkness
without light
love and truth
sans falsehood.
Hate prevails
once more
when Eros
rocks untouched,
blamelessly unsullied.
Charity like
carloads of fucked virgins,
murdered in its midst
My bloody mattress shudders
shaking drippings
discharged with her lies
He's changed her name again
She's changed my everything
more and
more an
mor an
did she ever love me?
Why did she twist her knife and leave?
My wounds will never heal.
My groin
has smashed
the sissy-bar of logic
I sing the truth falsetto.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

circa 1999 

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To the Woman Who was my Rival

Better Poems



Now you look to me like a pure
rushing fountain
Adorned only by your own
sweet splashes

In your gentle mood
You claim you do not hate me
You, whom I have suspected of
     collusion in the crimes
     against my childhood;
     thefts by the owners of the
     sunshine (guarded always
     against the storm by
     the warmest sweaters)

I, so bewildered by the storm,
     standing on the ground becoming
     mud, making a friend of the
     cold wind and kisses of the wet
Unable, as they say, to come in
out of the rain.

When you smiled your smile of
     festivals and good news
I felt bereft
And when you frowned
I felt that we were equalized
But when I saw your hurt
I wanted to turn down the
Volume of your pain

And after all this

who are you?

and are you still my enemy?

I am told by reliable sources
that you are kind

Neither of us have the woman we both clung to
But she will never know the
     strength that saw you through

Now I am finally sorry
     that my winter spread to you
     that my heart's needs made you bleed

And I am glad you are putting out new buds

Now you look to me like a pure
rushing fountain
Adorned only by your own
sweet splashes.



Author's Notes/Comments: 

this poem was written to a woman I had been competitive with over the affections of another woman---after much time had passed and I was able to see her for the beautiful soul she was in her own right.

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The Girl for Me?


Some days the world seems so small,

I could own the world, and rule it all.

There's not a problem in the air,

My world spins 'round without a care.

I look around for someone who,

Can share the times that I go through.

I search and hunt the world and see,

That most are taken, there's few for me.

I find the one, I know it's her,

I see the one I'm searching for.

She will be mine, I know it's true,

You say she's yours, she belongs to you.

I'm sure of this, I'll have her near.

But, you may give me trouble, I fear.

If I can't have her, that's the end.

You can have her, I'm done, my friend.

I quit this all, this race, this fight.

I quit so I can sleep at night.

This girl has caused me endless pain,

My attempts at winning her were vain.

You've won, you're king, you get the best.

You've picked the one out of the rest,

The one I chose at my first sight.

The one who shone out like a light.

I've searched the world, and come to find,

There are women with beauty, grace, and mind.

But none will ever hurt me like you,

No other girl will ever get through,

The barrier I've always held over my heart.

None will ever have the power to break it apart.

I've discovered from all the pain I've gone through,

That there's not a person, another like you.

And I have found also, this one simple fact,

"Rely not on people, but God as your pact."

For He will not move, He'll never back down,

He'll always be willing to invert your frown.

"In reality, our decency is taking a plunge,

'In God We Trust' is an American pun."

But, I've found the truth in those four simple words,

Our friends and our family may cause us some hurts.

But, God, through it all will keep our heads straight.

So when I am worried about my "future," my "fate"

I'll lean to my Father, the one who gives life,

For He made my body, He can give me a wife.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

"But I want to know what love is now!"
- Terra  Final Fantasy 6

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I don't own you,

can't even claim you.

Then why do I get so mad,

to see you with her?

She isn't pretty,

isn't even nice.

But she is everywhere,

the one on the corner,

the one in the deli.

I'm just a friend it seems,

yet I love you with everything.

Are you flirting with her,

or am I imagining?

I love you so much,

can't you see?

Do you see the look in my eye,

when she comes around?

I wish you were mine,

then I could hate her without guilt.

Someday I might tell you how I feel.

Till then keep all the her's at bay.

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When the Walls Break Down

When the walls break down

I’m the last pillar standing

I’m your long lost friend

The most understanding

If you need to rant

If you need to rave

I’ll be there when the walls break down

When the walls break down

And you need to escape

I’ll give you a ride

I’ll be your umbrella

As you take me for granted

As you raved and you ranted

I’ve dug myself a shallow grave

I can’t escape you

I’m too enthralled

And when I speak up

My face turns to shame

I’ve been your crying shoulder

I’ve seen your laughing place

And the walls fell down

Sealing my broken cave

The walls broke down

The walls caved in

I held them for you

As you held on for him

And now as I weep

In my corner in pain

Wondering why

You won’t shield me from rain

Author's Notes/Comments: 

When it all goes wrong again....

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The Gap

There's a gap where none existed before

and now things are different

You're different with me around him

You used to just be you

It's always him now and I'm losing you everyday

I want to go back to the way things were

Not this cause I can't stand it that he is more to you than I am

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Dirty Bathwater

Edge of the tub


you don't seem to notice me

Something else fills your head

I'm pushed out

without realizing it

then I do

I cry all over again

I want to be near him all the time

for a lack of better options

he might get stuck with the same

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You have it all, yet you are never satisfied.

Always wanting more than what you have.

You are only grateful when things go your way, but when things don't look so good, you whine to me as though I have advice.

I can't advise you when I don't have what's troubling you.

You are so lucky, yet you complain.

Want to make you see that if I had what you had, you'd never hear a peep out of me.

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