Spring 2015, Volume 18

Poetry by Meg Johnson

Cast Off

Queen of the cast off
you reign over the only two
people ever seen on the fire
escape. First, the man smoking.
Then, the woman crying.

You reign over forgotten stuffed
animals, swollen ankles, torn dollar
bills, people called stupid Americans.

You are the gentlest parole officer
for the dogs with no faces.

Royal of grease, of alley way break
ups. Of oblivious children and careless
fathers. Of fake IDs and awkward
voicemails. The lonely people
pretending to look at their phones.

You thought monarchy would be
something different than this broken
block. You thought wrong.

American Artist

I thought doing a naked Mexican Hat Dance would be great…except I wasn’t totally naked because I had a hat…and people were confused about why I didn’t have clothes on… And, as someone pointed out, I’m actually Czech, so what business do I have doing a Mexican Hat Dance?

Don’t they get it? I’m trying to push the boundaries of art. I’m going for the unexpected. I’m trying to recreate modern society. Didn’t they read the program notes?

Is that what they want? An artless society? Because let me tell you, in Europe people appreciate the symbolism of a naked Mexican Hat Dance.




Meg Johnson is the author of the full length poetry collection
Inappropriate Sleepover (The National Poetry Review Press, 2014) which was recently a NewPages Editor's Pick. Her poems have appeared in Hobart, Nashville Review, The Puritan, Sugar House Review, Verse Daily, and others. Meg started dancing at a young age and worked professionally in the performing arts for many years. She is the editor of Dressing Room Poetry Journal and recently received her MFA in creative writing from the NEOMFA Program. She is working on her second full length collection which has been a finalist in book contests. Meg is currently a lecturer at Iowa State University. Her website is: megjohnson.org and she blogs at: megjohnsonmegjohnson.blogspot.com