Jodi Johnson

Jodi Johnson was born in Ireland and currently lives in the United States. His poems have appeared in magazines and journals such as The Nation and Prelude.


Tonight low wine in the dangerous love / for which wormwood is the name of the star /
and all of which I know / assembles better off in sleep: peccadillos, allée

light of unrushed amber vignette / on the last of the sherbet ranges
tonight when low love corrects itself / through the only sectors of instinct

so such pedigreed / and at the moment all interdepends, pitch and reign-seeker, love
corrode and soak and nest / for love’s as clear as this: as clear as lesser calamint

mentuccia that gives a white indexing to the north / the self-cloning calamites that huck
instead black from calamus of the sweet flag / violet-scented for the floor

abortive in water as all names fluctuate / as Sopater is more Paul than Peter, / being Sosipater
as much as Sopater / and also in final messages lost and unread / not that I discern them,

disburse them / as the dosana is correlative of a withdrawing sense / one’s mind in the white
esker from esicri or escir / or ora from os to ossa / as white as the familiars

lost to the suffix -aster / as white as one predicated failing / upon the cotidal lines
tiding under the wave and patient in blanching / instead when on the night sprit I feel

my spirit is up in love / in that huff and jade of it / as I dark-adapt cowries to porcellana
to pitch distrust against this mistruth: / in your dream the running hearse

for the pears that bear but perish in colour in sequence / becoming the calcar to firing
to frit in sequence / from the kiblah in the direction of the Kaaba and the Kaaba’s

cardinals whitening its own meteorite / for the pre-bloom disbudded with the thumb
for as uniform as one’s wedding-white / as for the drowning ghosts in Trasimene / white

as Raphael of the Beginnings / white so north / the loon was it or the goldeneye / nevertheless all
when the implications just afloat in one’s précis / as when one thing is taken to allure

rather than a differentiated alluring / always aligned with rest / night: in opium, its methyl derivative /
the plenum, astral, to take fire-notches in the florilegium / as love said it best / in bisecting

itself in jest / for the heart that must unbraid and terminate / and it’s so that the soft ramify
in themselves merely at the ullage / discrepancy from the radialed, umbelled out

alla prima and allantica, short from the atout / signed in aeternum, the coulisse meeting its counterclaim
the fair day meeting in fair a night of ermine / the allantoin meeting what I know of you

the breath as the stereochemical that polarises its opposite / in light the low-perching the accentor
dunnock’s range / accentor in the strain against the ever-simplex / as one’s voice translocates

disaffiliates / as the black francolin diminishes and refreshes / in purposeful error in Martial
that the francolin is immetrical but good in the eating / joins the delicacy of lamb to choliamb

in a coapting so figured / the engrailing a circle of coapting on the lira / suggesting the radial
wind rose in an immoderacy / in the neti neti that tensions and negatives the heart pinwheeled

and lately feeling / as concealed as the nest of the tailorbird / or the horse we call a shyer-horse / the
extraordinary ray refracting greyblue as the stormworld prion petrel conceals herself

himself, itself / by distance and in a sky-soughing colour / soughing in greyer and the bluer
ocean dilatancy from this day / seen so often in sagenite / needing merely eyes not an exegete

the world the shattered seed head of the emmer / the oystering taproot of the salsify / ghost-
elided referents, night-reiterations, / that seeing they may see and not believe /

as Cassandra in being disbelieved / in that ruining curse / running the real slower than the sloven /
or the billet-doux before it can cloud into comprehension / all of this here for you

so I can make / to love you in the love less / novice than novitiate / like the occult,
trick kiss of the clove hitch that holds its parallel back / coram Deo in the coastwinnow

as if the vow re-ribbons like the daemon winnows in sweetest linden-sweet / just as salvia
on the ascent / seines the mind off Li Galli to its adjunct tourmaline / and if as the quail

socketed go fallow / concocting, disavowing God where in love / the only fiat’s to liquidate
what is all this to you / the unromantic life of dominion / breeze-pollinated artemisia

in the dado-running deep sun / cold as the breaker off Vistula / elides to the false solar
amber of my thinking / in bed with you softly amarantos in my voice loiters

blue itself in the forever / all love that goes steady-state in the austere / when Catherine
reshatters the wheel / as one who in suffering self-sutlers for the faith / in the plume-blow

that’s credo and credo / and what you feel in love is the percussing and percussing of silk as the
oil delegates and provisions / from Christ of the minor unmakers

to the self’s lead rainwater head.