James W Johnson - Contemporary Artist jameswjohnson.com Recent ART About James W Johnson Contact James W Johnson


The Library

In his corner,
only the odd moments pick up the books.
Sometimes, he did not trust himself
to arrange the shelves,
to choose the right books.
Instead he might choose a gathering
of other people.

He could not talk to other people
without being properly introduced.
Guiding, almost knowing
the laws of attraction
inevitably departmentalizing,
this library of laboratories.

That uncomfortable feeling was made
to be broken 
with a wide variety of possibilities
sooner or later...

which type of story
which period, which subject
would appeal to him
deeply, exhaustedly,
along any lines
the shelves were full.

It did not matter 
that they lived centuries apart,
writing had that common touch.
Truths unbased but long established.
Indeed, were they really truths?
Truths as old as the world itself?
Or simply truths with sometime properties.

Every man has lived.
Every man has recognized
that searching hearts paint with ancient imagery,
expressing instinctively, reaching,
issuing challenges from below.
A kinship with the world
immersed in lonliness.

When fate rains heavy blows
on everyone confronted with the same problem,
it becomes richness of thinking.
Disquieting questions seeking,
but finding? Answers?
Or row upon row of books.

Unhappy life... non-energy... 
that does not waken him.
He reads of full freedom
and the implementation thereof,
practically smoothing a matter of course.
Under contemplation: 
	... surmising little recourse but strength outside itself,
	evenly directed by a well disciplined mind,
	having experienced something within,
	re-establishing the shorter, more direct way,
	intimate ground, without previous knowledge,
	can result in spiritual wrestlings
	where assurance will not suffice.

Tools would not find the way.
Great things are done when men jostle in the streets.
Insignificant, hurly-burly notions die
watching the catharsis truly mount
to the man of something,
something in stature and stability.

He needed love.
He needed the bearers of strange burdens.
He watched them come through 
the portals of the books.
The burden would be lightened.

Sympathy cheered Sorrow,
complimenting the compelling need.
Another's troubles, 
not just exciting tokens of anguish and pain,
but type-faced Cupids, stirring
the loins of his mind.

Topics of conversation sat in her lap.
while he launched discretions,
unmistakeably true,
gracefully tangling,
dissiduously eating.

The mistress referred to
in this new doctrine
advocated the re-proportion of all things
in a flowing way, 
inordinate to pleasure,
inordinate to emotion.
Outgrow the years, 
0utgrow the willingness
to disrecognize the relevant.
What kindly philosopher caught his eye,
plucked it, planted it?
It takes root.
It takes a man capable
of self-renewal,
of pertpetually reviving change within him,
Various modes vibrate his fibers,
new interests in and of itself.

The book closed with a caress.
He begins to glimpse the facts.
A marble figures its way,
waiting for release.
A slow painstaking created effort
deliberatly and desperately pushing.
Pushing, pushing and pushing
through out of his mind
It's too far ahead!
It diminishes the present.
She would not ask that much,
even of him.

Victory might be just one more adjustment
perhaps beyond the realm of imprisonment.
Freedom follows that realm,
bringing books, bringing people
together, inside 
the silence of these four walls.
The seclusion of deep thought,
appropriate attitudes rise
emotionally telling many figures
"Come", then often did.

The leatherbound Goddess blinked,
her unblinking gaze 
impassably imperturbable,
un-understood fully.
Invariably, he jumped
at her feet,
starting to wash them
with deliberate strokes
of a rusty tongue,
hasty licks,
in such a foolish way.

Her head laughed,
a short chuckle
as certain pages burned
before his very eyes.

Why on Earth
do I clutter my mind
with that now?
Please put out the lights
all the way!
All the way..


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