Marci Johnson

 

“Pompeii” 1990 C-Print Richard Ross.
A dead turkey wearing a wig.
                                          Lost:
one child, 4 years old, have you seen … ?
A man in an electric chair
                                        on a screen.
Pink piece of chewed gum inside
Vito Acconci’s “People’s Wall,” 1985,
painted wood, fabric, steel, and mirrors.
2” wood screw goes here
                                            and here.
“Air Routes of the World (Day)” 2001.
A room of tapestries, every one hand-spun.
One gold revolving door
                                   leading to another
golden door, locked. Photographer’s
titles: “Eastern Europe,” “Ljubjana,” “Man-Made
Catastrophes,” “Container Architecture.” The man
in the electric chair is humming and humming.
A man, in the lobby, on a cell phone is smiling.
The guard, in a hallway:
           PUT AWAY ALL YOUR PENS!
PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH the “Commemorative Head,”
19th century, wood and brass sheeting.
That guy in the corner, is he sleeping?
“Altar of the Hand,” 17th century, bronze.
PLEASE, WILL YOU PLEASE PUT AWAY ALL YOUR PENS.

Altar of the Hand, Commemorative Head,
my head in the glass, my hand.

 

Marci Rae Johnson is a professor of English and the Poetry Editor for The Cresset. Her poems appear in The Collagist, Quiddity, Hobart, Redivider, Redactions, The Valparaiso Poetry Review, The Louisville Review, and 32 Poems, among others. Her first collection of poetry, The Eyes the Window, won the Powder Horn Prize and was published by Sage Hill Press in 2013, and her second full length collection, Basic Disaster Supplies Kit, was released by Steel Toe Books in early 2016. Her chapbook, A Dictionary of Theories, won the Friends of Poetry chapbook contest for Michigan authors in 2014 and was published by Celery City Chapbooks.

Ars Poetica at the Speed Art Museum
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