Tight and other poems by Meg Johnson

I was not a child
of product

I would tie myself up
in string. Each tug
a prayer to be rescued
from the midwest.

I also wanted to be
a villain, but no one
knew this.

Shy children have the most
potential for danger.

I wanted a strapless top.
I wanted a new name.
A click in the dark.

A voice said, Barter
yourself. You were born
in a hallway. A stillborn
with a pulse. Exhaling,
the wrong place.

Donald Trump, 75% off

Press on Donald Trump’s stomach
and it plays My Sharona.

When I was a little kid I thought
My Sharona was one word.
Possibly Italian for boner.

It was the era of Wayne & Garth
saying Schwing!

My Sharona isn’t Italian for boner,
but the meaning of the song
still isn’t great. Donald Trump can relate
to the song though because he loves
cruising for younger chicks.

If you lick Donald Trump’s face
it is supposed to taste like an orange.
It smells like an orange, but tastes
like fried macaroni and cheese
left out at an aquatic center for
four days. The spoiled fried mac
and cheese is there to judge you
in your bikini. At least until
the raccoons eat it. The raccoons
are happy so there are some
happy creatures. God says
this meets the quota.

This New Normal

Blacking out
is curating
your memories!
They say someday
we’ll pay money
for time outside.
There will be a fee
to see the sun.

Wherever you go,
it smells like everything
is burning. Bells would ring
after every murder until
the last church was burned
down. The closest hospital
is three states away.

When your cell phone is on
fire, you try baking soda.
Your allotment of water is all
used up. The snow falls watery
and grey from the sky. No one
makes snowmen anymore.

You live in a house with fifteen
people. Being crowded doesn’t
make anyone spatially aware.
The basement is full of bottles
of wine and first aid kits.
Everyone goes to city hall
every morning to see if
there is any work to be done.
Most days you get sent home.

The TV news anchor reports
government says, Be patient.
You no longer have access
to newspapers or the internet.
A housemate says, Don’t think
about the way things are
because you’ll go crazy. Then he
starts masturbating in front of you
and five others.

For years, stray dogs
and cats have followed
you as you walk home.
As you fish for your keys,
they lean against the door
hoping to be let in. Now
stray children follow you home.

Blacking out is curating
your memories. You have to
control something.


About the author: Meg Johnson is the author of the full length poetry collection Inappropriate Sleepover (The National Poetry Review Press, 2014). Her second book, The Crimes of Clara Turlington, won the 2015 Vignette Collection Award and was recently published by Vine Leaves Press. Meg’s poems have appeared in Hobart, Nashville Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, The Puritan, Sugar House Review, Verse Daily, and others. Her nonfiction has appeared in BUST, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project, and Bustle. She received her MFA in creative writing from the NEOMFA Program and is the editor of Dressing Room Poetry Journal. Visit her at: www.megjohnson.org

Watch Meg perform her poetry here – https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5e88qi?playlist=x4u9xd

1 Comment on Tight and other poems by Meg Johnson

  1. Alexander Green // January 24, 2017 at 19:54 //

    Awesome poems I read them twice..


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