Three Poems | by Matthew Johnson

Big Apple Blues

Consider me
Like a heartbreak, or a montage,
As you pass me by, and refuse to see me
In the market streets, or on the subway.

I’m new here,
And New York is killing me too;
There’s not a soul willing to call my name,
Or to even accidentally stub my toe on.

I’ll still be here though,
Even if no one notices,
I’ve just hidden underneath a manhole plate,
And live with the sewer rats.




Summer Stoop Talks

At the end of a melting August afternoon,
I lounge on the stoop with my brothers,
Just as the dusk swaps a dusty sun for a moon,
And the rhythms of the day had passed us,
Like a season, or a montage.

I feel like a gone-away sailor at these times,
Talking crude jokes and inflatable plans
While praying for excitement
And eye contact tomorrow;
God laughs all the while.




Time Machine Blues

I don’t want to go in a time machine,
‘Cause I’m scared….

And I’ll tell ya,
I’m not scared of riding bucking broncos
With Western desperados,
Or unsheathing Lancelot swords
In the courts of Camelot and King Arthur,
And I’d adore writing poems to Mona Lisa,
And giving her my heart,

But I’m afraid of arriving to a place
Where I’m servin’ massa as dere houseboy,
Or pickin’ cotton, in chains. No suh!






Matthew Johnson is currently working on his first book of poetry. A sports reporter who has written for the USA Today College, his writing has appeared in The Coraddi, Obsidian Magazine, The Yellow Chair Review, Jerry Jazz Musician, Sick Lit Magazine, The Roanoke Review and elsewhere. He has poetry forthcoming in the The Stray Branch. You can find him on Twitter at


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