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Featured Poet: Chris Johann

I first met Chris Johann within the improbably narrow band of tolerable people within my sphere of Harford County, Maryland. A musician and mutual friend of my first love, Chris blew my mind with the invisible, psychedelic, spirit goggles that seemed to color his perception of the everyday. Notably, he waxed nostalgic for the old days of his incarceration, a time in his life when he was able to devote his mind almost entirely to writing poetry and reading spiritual texts. The resulting craft emanates poems like “labyrinth”, which both should be heard and cannot be read without intuiting the timbre and rhythm of his unique voice.


nothing ever comes so fluently,

except for silence and what I see.

comprehension through mention in seconds

tends to ease tension to my content

and vents out what seems intervening violence.

when on the verge of dreaming

and what’s gleaming through to find some meaning

Is what surges this thirst that first hurts

to destroy the worst thoughts,

and employs what just ought

to be some kind of shine

for the voids in the spotless mind.

then you find that time has no length

and the strength that you've craved

paved its way into an illusion

that shortly holds off confusion

to say that everything is safe.

breathing ceases when you think you’re drowning

then becomes easy, and then you're sounding off

that nothing can touch you, nothing can cut you,

nothing can cut through this feeling that's such due.

much to your surprise you opened your eyes and realized

you dreamed all lies and your spirits are downsized.

but clearly you remembered what rendered and took place

so you could save face and come back to this bliss another day.

upon your wake your eyelids are feeling lazy, body still is hazy

and you're drifting to a phase where the mysteries of the mind go crazy,

and you slip back to the maze of amazing plays

to the labyrinth, where nothing ever stays the same,

and the last synthetic land you thought had died

still survives within the flow of the grain, from the ripples, from the rain

art and poem copyright Chris Johann, 2022

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