Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Call for Submissions: Puddle leaflet series

Ideally seeking combinations of verse & visual poetry (yes... in whatever form such combinations may occur). Submissions of work resembling simply either ‘linear’ or visual poetry are also welcome!

Printing format: one sheet of 8.5 x 11" paper, one or both sides, black & white.

Please email poetry in the body of message or as .jpg, .doc, .wpd to . Mail to: Griddle Grin, 377, 532 Montreal Road, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1K 4R4

Puddle leaflets published to date have been #1 'two one line poems' & #2 'Moon Potatoes' both by Max Middle & #3 'flatland #21' by derek beaulieu.

For copies of the three leaflets published to date, send an SASE, 8.5 x 11" sized envelope with $1.05 postage (Canadian stamps) & abroad please send $3 in Canadian funds payable to Max Middle, Griddle Grin, 377, 532 Montreal Road, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1K 4R4

Thanks in advance for your submissions -

Excellent wishes,

Max Middle


Blogger Michael said...

Please mention book release in your publication if possible-
interviews, photo, book review available on request

Mr. Michael Lee Johnson lives in Itasca, IL. after spending 10 years in Edmonton, Alberta Canada during the Vietnam War era. He is a freelance writer, and poet. He has been published in USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, Turkey, Fuji, Nigeria Africa, India, United Kingdom, Thailand, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Michael Lee Johnson is a member of Poets & Writers, Inc and Directory of American Poets & Fictions Writers: He is a member of The Illinois Authors Directory. Illinois Center for the Book:
He has published 145 poems in 2007 to date. He is the author of: The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom. The book is also listed at, & Barnes & Noble. Visit his website at: He is now the publisher, editor of Poetic Legacy: Poetic Legacy is now open for submissions.

Michael Lee Johnson
PO Box 486
Itasca, IL 60143
Ph/Fax (630) 467-1332/30

Mindful, Mindless, October Date

Mindful of my lover
running late, as common
as tying your shoestrings;
I’m battered as an armadillos shell;
I put my bands around my emotional body
armor native to myself and walk like a stud
in darkness.
Everything in October has a shade of orange you know--
a hint of witch and goblin.
In the leaves between my naked feet
and toes, as I pace my walk in the parking lot,
I count them--
I count them color chart fragments and bites:
oranges, reds, still mostly greens.
Barefooted the time of the tear, the year-fragmented.

I am male battered in a relationship
tested without my testosterone
no sexual rectification or recharging
of my batteries needed.

I lie limp.
Native to myself--
mindless of my lover running late.

Then she arrives.


Forked in Itasca

I am so frustrated
I want to chew
the dandruff
out of the internet hair implant
and dislodge it,
for a lost love affair I never cared
about and hardly knew.
Don’t tell me about my sentence structure,
I am human in these simple words.
I swear to you I curse.
Then the ram of my affair falls short
frustrating my approach to the world
at my fingertips.
No Yellow Pages here my love.
The dial up of my local connection
is wretched, stuck unincorporated
in the land I approved to live in,
monopolized by Comcast the
robbers of the poor and the humbled.
All I hear is the rambling of the railroad tracks.
I grow numb in my deafness faint with my hearing.
Did I ask for your opinion?
I am a frustrated foreign camper
in my own community.
Of a village I don’t live in,
but I love this local village I lie about.
I am estranged.
I tie knots in contradictions
when I travel light and far,
visit home I long for a journey
past where I have never been.
Is this the reason I am lost
forked in between
the poet I think I am
and the working man
my bills dictate?


Jesus Walks

Jesus lives
in a tent
not a temple
coated with blue
velvet sugar
He dances in freedom
of His salvation
with the night and all
days bearing down with sun.
He has billions of ears
hanging from His head
dangling by seashores
listening to incoming prayers.
Sometimes busy hours drive Him
near crazy with buzzing sounds.
He walks near desert bushes
and hears wind tunnels
pushed by pine stinging nettles.
Here in His sacred voice
a whisper and
Pentecostal mind-
confused by hints of
Catholicism and prayers to Mary-
He heals himself in sacred
ponds tossing holy water
over himself--
touching nothing but
humanity He recoils
and finishes his desert
walk somewhat alone.


I’m a Riverboat Boy:
Poem on Halsted Street

As sure as church bells
Sunday morning, ringing
on Halsted and State Street,
these memories will
be soon forgotten.
I stumble in my life with these words
like broken sentences.
I hear and denounce myself in the distance,
mumbling chatter off my lips.
Fragments and chips.
Swearing at the parts of me I can’t see;
walking away rapidly from the spiritual thoughts of you.
I am disjointed, separated from my Christian belief.
I feel like I’m at the bottom of sinner’s hill
playing with my fiddle, flat fisted and busted.
So you sing in the gospel choir; sang in Holland,
sang in Belgium, from top to bottom,
the maps, continents, atlas are all yours.
I detach myself from these love affairs
drive straight, swiftly,
to Hollywood Casino Aurora.
Fragments and chips.
I guess we gamble in different casinos,
in different corners of God’s world,
you with church bingo; and I’m a riverboat boy.
No matter how spiritual I’m once a week,
I can’t take you where my poems don’t follow me.
Church poems don’t cry.


Hanging Together in Minnesota

Two thousand men on death row
in the state of Texas. I’ve never
been here, still I’m worrying
myself to death.

Webs of worry travel fast,
scan over my memory bank
back and forth like a copy machine.

I refuse to get out of my bed
I’m covered with burnt dream ashes
held in custody my cobwebbed anxiety
sheets waiting for the on looking armed
system of justice to take me away.

Their loud speakers keep screaming channeled
commands through vibrating my eardrums;
their messages keep cross-firing against my own desires.

There must be a warrant out for my arrest.

I will not listen period. I will shut out the sounds period.
Insanity echoes with stressed sounds.

It’s Sunday morning, prayer time, I swear I will block out
the church bells ringing on Franklin Avenue, ringing
at St. Paul’s Baptist Church.

Religion confuses me like poetry or prose.

I curse I will hang where Christ used to dangle;
wooden cross-post in a Roman Catholic hole,
or was it protestant reformation?

I’m the thief, not the Savior.

I don’t want to die in my worry, my words, stranger in this world alone.
I want to resurrect the dream before the wounds came, and placed me in exile.

Long before the sounds of cell phones came ringing.
There must be a warrant out for my arrest.
Mixed in war, thunder, and sentence fragment.


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