J. H. Johns–SIX POEMS

I’M NOT TELLING

I’m not telling,

you’ll have to forgo,

answers for those things,

you both want to know.

Do I know?

Ho-Ho-Ho!

I’m not telling!

You’ll never know!

I’m not telling!

I’m not telling!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

I’m not telling!

You’ll never know!

NEVER-NEVER LAND

Doctor Mickey

and

Nurse Minnie

will treat you;

Donald

and

his nephews

will take care of you;

Pluto

will entertain you,

and

when you look in the mirror

you’ll probably see-

Goofy;

or,

maybe you’ll see

Dopey,

but,

you definitely won’t see,

Happy;

so,

everyone’s there,

waiting for you

at the

Never-Never Land Hospital…

PILGRIMS, PILGRIMS

Pilgrims,

Pilgrims,

from whence dost thou come?

“From Brooklyn,

from Queens-

we’ve come to become;”

Pilgrims,

Pilgrims,

what gifts do ye bring forth?

“I bringest smoke,” said one,

and

“I bringest mirrors,” the other did retort.

Pilgrims,

Pilgrims

what claims do ye make?

“I am alone- they want me,”

and

“…my birthright I will forsake!”

Pilgrims,

Pilgrims,

what hopes might you desire?

[Well,

this set the Pilgrims

to thinking- then, finally,

they said-]

“…to aspire to be a better liar,” saith one,

and

“..blue blood to acquire!” saith the other.

THE PLYMOUTH DREAM-LIKE FAÇADE

Secluded-

but not private-

pricey,

but not gated,

the Plymouth Dream-Like Façade;

neat,

clean

and

well-kept

for the near-dead

and

the brain-dead;

everyone

on the same continuum,

everyone

waiting to die;

the young,

the old,

the active,

the sedentary;

just waiting

in a place

that has everything

except

a mortuary

and a

crematorium-

the Plymouth Dream-Like Façade…

THE RACE TO INCAPACITY

You know,

you know,

it’s going to be

one or the other-

if not both;

stunts;

fuck-ups;

stupidity;

impatience;

impropriety;

lack of forethought;

indulgence;

self-pity;

anger;

resentment-

any or all

of the above-

they’re in a race

to incapacity,

to freeing themselves

from each other…

MISTER CLEAN

All right,

all right-

I’ll admit it,

That as a little kid,

he made me feel

uncomfortable.

I’m trying

to put my finger

on one particular thing,

but, maybe,

it was everything!

I mean,

I know that he smiles a lot,

but is that a bit of contempt

behind that smile?

His eyes are really big-

maybe too big-

freaky big-

watching me all the time.

So, where did he get those eyebrows

and how come they’re so white-

is he really that old?

How about the earring?

How long has he been wearing it?

Since 1958?

He wears a white T-shirt

over a body that looks like

he’s on steroids or HGH!

So,

for me,

he was never Mister Clean-

he was Mister Scary!

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