I Remember the 1970 Knicks

After seeing the New York Knicks in the news this week:

David Fizdale fired: Knicks fire coach after 4–18 start – Sports Illustrated. I decided to write this poem:

I Remember the 1970 Knicks

it was May eighth, nineteen seventy
our little black and white television
blankly stared at my brother and i
we sat we turned staring at each other

Okay, I’ll turn it on”, i said, i stand up
i take three steps, turn on the power
i return to my seat, we stare hopefully
will it turn on this time? please turn on

we named our television ‘sometimey”
sometimes it would power up and work
unfortunately, most times it would not
and tonight was special; it had to work

it was game seven NBA championship
the Los Angeles Lakers were playing
against the New York Knickerbockers
Madison Square Garden in the city

to our surprise, wonder and glee
our little black and white TV was on
and we were on— I adjusted the hanger
a clothes hanger subbed for our antenna

my brother pulled for the Knicks
i was a Lakers fan, loved Wilt and West
my brother loved Reed, who was injured
haha, my team was destined to win

the speakers on my little tube vibrated
i was in shock at sound from the crowd
pre game Madison Square Garden rocked
my brother smiled, i waxed concerned

suddenly, out of the tunnel Reed appears
dressed to play, the cheers the crowd
my television speakers cry and dance
my brother grins, my forehead creases

tip off, Knicks ball, a hobbling Reed scores
the crowd is insane my brother jumps up
i sit, I feel sweat forming beneath my Afro
have the Lakers and i just lost our nerve

Reed leaves but he was quite symbolic
at that point i meet a man named Frazier
a few feet past half court he posts
he aims at the basket, he scores

he scores the same way over and over again i stand and scream stop him
no one in the garden hears me I’m angry
my brother, falling to the floor, is laughing

game over, Frazier thirty six points
injured Reed, most valuable player
my brother is happy, i look at him
i smiled then and i smile now as

i wish for better days for the Knicks again

#sports #knicks #jerrytjohnsonpoet

My Writing Projects

My Writing Projects

Part I – My First Poetry Submission

I started writing for public consumption in the summer of 1992. I submitted my first set of poems to Catalyst Magazine at the end of August and at the end of September I received an acceptance letter for one of the poems (title: “I Be A Bad Dude”).

Receiving an acceptance letter on my very first poetry submission was a fabulous experience for me. I was high on cloud nine and was ready to write some more. I received a small grant for writing from my home state of South Carolina and I was sure that I was on my way to a big writing career.

However…

Things changed at the day job. I worked in computer operations at a regional head office of a Fortune 500 company. I ran batch jobs, backups, restores, downloaded and uploaded data to hundreds of machines, ran tons of reports and troubleshot problems.

Writing was just one of my part time jobs. “Wait, you had a full time job, wrote part time and had another part time gig also?”, you say. Yes. In addition to the day job and writing I also worked in a microfiche production shop on weekends. My calendar was full.

As I said before, things changed at the day job. A Corporate I/T Manager from corporate headquarters visited my site one week. He checked out how efficient I was in meeting my production quotas but he also checked out my writing.

“What’s that laying on the table over there?”, he asked.

End of Part I – stay tuned for Part II – What Was That Laying On the Table?

#jerrytjohnsonpoet_writingprojects

Charlotte to New York – Part III

Charlotte to New York – Part III

travel log for a travel blog

The voice of the conductor booms over our train’s intercom. “Attention passengers! This is a sold out train. Please remove all bags, coats, hats and luggage from the empty seat next to you so that passengers coming onboard can have a seat. I repeat this is a sold out train, this is a sold out train!”

We are in Selma, North Carolina, population less than seven thousand, which hosts the “Selma Railroad Day” festival annually. The festival celebrates the railroad heritage of Selma, NC, including parades, music, vendors and food. Though as a young man I had negative experiences with the Klan in towns near to Selma I focus on the positive about this place. The red caboose that sits outside of the train station adds a little artistry to the place.

By the way, the seat next to me is totally empty. My luggage is stowed in the overhead. A little elderly lady approaches.

“Is that seat free?”, she asks.

I reply, “Yes, it is. Can I help you with your bags?”

“Thank you, would you?”

“My pleasure.”

All bags stowed, both of us seated, she asks: “Where are you traveling to?”

“New York; and you?”

“Baltimore”, she replies…and a warm conversation begins.

#travellogforatravelblog

#travelblog jtjohnpoet.com

Charlotte to New York Part II

Charlotte to New York – Part II

travel log for a travel blog

I must be careful. This egg, sausage and cheese muffin is fresh out of the microwave hot! My train, The Carolinian, has a dining car. The Carolinian runs from New York Penn Station to Charlotte, North Carolina and it returns. It is a day train, therefore you get to see many sights along the way.

We just stopped in High Point, North Carolina. High Point is known for making furniture. Sometimes it is referred to as the “Home Furnishings Capital of the World”. (Wikipedia)

My headphones are still on. Bono is singing “A Beautiful Day” and it is a beautiful day. The sun is spreading light across a cloudless sky. There is a haziness filtering the sunshine but that is of no consequence, the sun is in charge this day. My train moves down the track, Bono croons away, my sandwich is cooled off, Bon Appétit to me!

Charlotte to New York

Charlotte to New York

travel log for a travel blog

The sun, just risen, hovers just above the horizon. It beams. It’s glow is a stunning gold which commands the darkness to leave us be as we start our day. Black, sleek headphones cover my ears. Stanley is playing bass, “Lopsy Lu”—the recorded version. I pat my feet as I type on my phone with my thumbs.

I’m on a train traveling from Charlotte, North Carolina to New York City. We left the station five minutes ago and now we sit still as we wait for the freight train to pass us by. Down south freight trains have the right of way.

Once we start moving again, we will have 14 hours of riding ahead of us. I plan to to share a few moments of this ride with you on this blog. So, stay tuned and hopefully, enjoy.

Break Time

The last 3 months – April, May, June- have been filled with poetry events I curated, events wherein I featured. I finished 4 poems and submitted them to Rattle, Narrative and Cincinnati Review. One of the pieces was over 90 lines long. Now it is time for a break. I will spend time reading, taking care of some personal business and tending to my veggie garden. I will be offline for a while but you will see me at literary venues from time to time.

Though I’m On Break

Though I’m On Break

Though I’m on break, I still write. It is what I enjoy doing. I love spilling my ink, my emotions, my convictions, what I see, what I hear and what I feel on a page. Right now I’m working on two long pieces. I normally don’t write epics but this is my mood right now. While one is happy in its nature the other comes with the warning “brace yourself for a rough ride”. I am looking for publishers who don’t mind publishing looking longer pieces.