The State of Things
12:11 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Poems Of Teachers And Tigers

Alloy book cover
Credit boomerangbooks.com
A conversation with professor and poet Larry Johnson

    

Inspiration for poetry can strike anywhere, even at the Carolina Tiger Rescue in Pittsboro. A visit there sparked one of the poems in "Alloy" (2014, WordTech Communications), the latest book from Larry Johnson. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with poet Larry Johnson, an English professor at Wake Tech Community College

This poem from "Alloy" is about the teacher who inspired Larry to become a poet. 

Remembering Jim Whitehead

"The sad parabola of morning sex"-
a line you spoke one time in workshop, which
I've kept for 43 years so now perhaps
this is the time to unveil it, all too late.
"Poem found under a rock," "six images
in search of a metaphor"-these just more of your wit,
and titles I've lusted to use but never found
poems to match until today. The first
time we met I said, remembering that picture
on your slim volume ("which was taken at
a hippie wedding"), "Hey, you've got a mustache."
"Yes, and I am acutely aware of its presence."
Those words I remembered through mustaches come and gone,
always aware of your presence through weeds, sweat, books,
like the force of nature you always wanted to be, 
driving me mad as hell, then letting me
accept it all-just dust on a gravel road.

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