Michael Lee Johnson

Leonard Cohen My Friend (V2)

By Michael Lee Johnson


Death is a bitch and a whore

comes with hat on or off,

Jewish, Christian or lover years ago called Nancy.

Death is a passport, a left behind baggage note.

My leverage sinks, I see you pass human.

These my fears, your fright, being broke, old-royalties stole Suzanne.

Now branches, extended limbs, point outward nowhere-

doors Montreal collapse tomb, dance with me,

end perfume love, a few dead flowers.

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois.  Mr. Johnson published in more than 1032 publications, his poems have appeared in 37 countries, he edits, publishes 10 different poetry sites.  Michael Lee Johnson, Itasca, IL, nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards for poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/and 2 Best of the Net 2017.  He also has 161 poetry videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videosHe is the editor-in-chief of the anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1530456762 and editor-in-chief of a second poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses which is available here:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1545352089Michael is also editor-in-chief of Warriors with Wings, a smaller anthology due for release in early summer 2018.


Michael Estabrook


by Michael Estabrook


As you get older

after sleeping 8 hours

you do not wake up bright and bushy

but instead

stiff, sore, stuffy and groggy

but what to do about it?

Googling tells me get up, hydrate

take a kickboxing class

and I laugh and laugh.

Brief Bio Michael Estabrook:

Michael Estabrook has been publishing his poetry in the small press since the 1980s. Hopefully with each passing decade the poems have become more succinct and precise, clear and relatable, more appealing and “universal.” He has published over 20 collections, the latest being Bouncy House, edited by Larry Fagin (Green Zone Editions, 2014).

Kevin A. Amante

The legend of the villagers, the island and the boy who never came back

by Kevin A. Amante


he marches towards the ocean,

underneath the damp cloak

feet sinking in the wet sand—

his face a trace of contoured courage.

he neither knows how to swim

nor how to be a fish

but still he plunges into

the gurgling waves caressing his legs

with its numbing acid cooking him

concealed by the cold.

and yet—

and yet he still goes on—

Poseidon’s hands clutching his belly,

tickling his sun-burned skin,

and mermaid’s song enchanting him.

villagers always forebode, in shivering undertone:

What monster lurks underneath

not a soul dared to peek!

in this soil where it could not haunt

all should plant their feet.”

and yet—

and yet he goes further—

his sight now blurry and cool,

bubbles from his nose like kids excited to play,

salt (of water and tears altogether) cuddling his tongue.

the boy never comes back.

but the villagers always say

that it’s the boy who rises and falls

there in the horizon

with its blood splattered into the water

and it’s one eye peeking at them

one last time.