"Paradise Aloft"

by Jeph Johnson


feeling as though
a thirty-minute show
might rub out months of defeat
into my world came
a party girl named
Natasha so slim and petite
it was nothing like love
but her hovering above me
made my depression obsolete
in a red-light whack shack
most would say lacks tact
yet it's distinctly unique and notorious
she proceeded with caution
then with passion Natasha
danced for me majestically glorious
first awkward and soft
then upwards and aloft
she positioned her heavenly charms
and gently my hand
caressed like a man
with paradise snug in his arms

Author's Notes/Comments: 


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"On the Stage Where Everything Happens"

by Jeph Johnson


with a meow
like a feline pantomime
she climbs into the arena
on the stage where everything happens
she's bare
but not uncovered
next her curtains fall
revealing all
revealing all
but everything
from the stage where everything happens
she stares and I'm discovered
underneath lace
a strobe-paced
smiling face
I can't embrace
giggles to
the rolling beat
of this girl
my jaw drops
thinking out loud
of how
her moves
entrap me
in this world
of ultra love
and pseudo-adoration
smoke and alcohol
and ad-lib masturbation
she journeys to my table
with choreographed esteem
yet I am unable
to explain this dream
without a label
without Kathleen

Author's Notes/Comments: 

for Kat, circa 2000 

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"Compassionate Libido"

by Jeph Johnson


Her vision fashions rainbows
I have yet to dream,
but when I close my eyes
a darker side's revealed.

Her description (even though
it's best she's never seen
in most of what I write)
provides graceful ordeals.

A "compassionate libido."
(she knows what I mean
and all the truth's I've lied)
tears I've cried she feels.

My wisdom's inapropos
to her seasoning.
I want this poem to epitomize
(besides her face) ideals,

but this isn't how it goes
building self-esteem.
She sent me home to rationalize,
deciding just how she'll

condition and control,
after all my themes
convert the life I fantasize
into a dream that's real

Author's Notes/Comments: 

for Lacey, circa 2001 

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"Table Twelve"

by Jeph Johnson


table twelve,
I'm at the rack,
another night alone
I miss my baby,
so I go back,
back to writing poems
poems that weep
sometimes don't rhyme
but by tapping my feet,
I'm at least keeping time
and right around the corner
from these complicated dreams
hides a simplistic memory
that's better than it seems
for it displays the contrast;
vivid in my mind
images from a more contented time
unlike the shadows
in front of me now
parading naked,
cold and distant,
hard to disavow
she's getting older,
but her memory's aging slow
so hard to hold and so hard to let go
once again
I'm at the stage
sitting by myself
desperate to act my age,
I sit at table twelve
spitting out dollars like an ATM,
pretending I'm someone else
bombastically shouting "carpe diem"
while begging her memory for help
but cries can't travel back in time,
so the tranquil calm remains
buried far beneath my prime,
overwhelmed with pain
I now rely on lurid dreams
to redefine perfection;
try to replace
the view that seems
lost with her recollection

Author's Notes/Comments: 

circa 2000 

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"Dance of Desire"

by Jeph Johnson


to feel love,
I touch desire
and dance
into the night
rings around
my raging reason
into her candlelight-
where dance steps
from an unknown waltz
shuffle through my mind,
casting beyond
the doubt
a shadow
that passion
seems to blind.
I boldly lead her through
this masquerade
like I belong
only to find I'm dancing
to her seductive siren song
that pulls me down,
beneath the waves
that wash my reputation,
the ebb and flow
mocks the current
whirlpool of frustration
and mimics her enchantment
and patterns every twirl,
desire spins away
like every other dancing girl

Author's Notes/Comments: 

for Desire, 2001 

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"Lacey, Beyond"

by Jeph Johnson


Lacey happy beyond pleasure
Lacey content without ease
Beyond reason or wit I treasure
Her vision to model my dreams
Lacey tender beyond soft
Graceful compassion beyond kind
Wonderful glory beyond awe
Majesty beyond sublime
Some, they come for gratification
I come for new resilience
She hands me satisfaction
On a pillow of mercy and brilliance

Author's Notes/Comments: 

circa 2000 


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by Jeph Johnson 

I rejoice in the arms

Of a girl I don't know

Without even catching

A glimpse of her show 


Her eyes allured

A magical "come-hither" look

So I opened up

More of my checkbook 


And I called her "gorgeous,"

And she called me "sweet,”

Uncommon traits

To both of us meet.  

In private closed doors,

A four-minute dance

I don't even care

If she takes off her pants 


I just want her tender

Feminine touch,

Why does it matter

To everyone so much?


Is it pathetic

To fulfill a desire

That everyone else

Seems to acquire?


Perhaps I should continue

Yielding to sin

Or try to fall in love

All over again? 


But until then I relish

This improved condition

That's risen from the ashes

Of my past failed ambitions


No one who is sound

Seems to understand

How this encounter

Makes me a new man


Giving me power,

At the very least,

To feel like someone

Whose heart is at ease


And though it is called

A "wicked indiscretion"

Her warm tender touch

Heals my depression

Author's Notes/Comments: 

for Ashley, 1999

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"Something More Extreme"

by Jeph Johnson


after work
               he returns
for the
          fantasy girl
his dreams
                won't provide
in this
         alternative world
in the back
at the rack
                                every night
she strips
                              his mind
               his thoughts
fall away
              as she gets
him to stay
at this bar
                                down the street
from the
                          all-night cafe
he takes
                          from her dance
and puts
                          into words
the rhythmic
                                      life of irony
that now rings
                                            too absurd
he can't see
                                      past her
laser beam
                                  and he can't
see through
                                      this shadow
of his dreams
                                            he looks
to her
                to fulfill
more extreme

Author's Notes/Comments: 

circa 2001 

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"Colorado Morning"

by Jeph Johnson


Light beams through Dawn
   with a golden array
Tainting my innocence
   making my day
A morning extravagance
   she cannot display 

Light beams through Dawn
   Her work is my play
A bright buxom blonde
   shows me the way
Moving with elegance
   along the runway
Beauty, intelligence
   colors the grey 

The light beams through Dawn
   Her work is my play

Author's Notes/Comments: 

for Aspen, circa 2001 

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