Love Poems for the Millennium
by Peter Johnson

ISBN: 0-9656161-2-6
Saddle-stitched, $5.00
Publication Date: 1998.
5.5 x 8.5 inches, 36 pages

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"A Poet’s Atlas," by Russell Edson, as preface to Love Poems for the Millennium:

Love Poems for the Millennium is not a Cook’s tour. But before we close this chapbook, we have visited many of the great cities of the world, as well as lesser sites. It all begins in the first poem called “Home.” And, as in all good journeys, we come full circle, backtracking and zigzagging our way to the last poem, also called “Home.”

It may be only coincidental that the cities and places titling these poems find their namesakes in travel brochures. But maybe not. Reality is a strange place, and in constant drift, like the very continents of this planet. Sometimes it is only coincidence that brings together the lost edges, so that chance becomes coincidence, and coincidence becomes fate.

Love Poems for the Millennium is a poet’s atlas. And as coincidence would have it, it happens to be exactly the right tour guide. For these are love poems — comic, sexual, and endlessly inventive; poems of appreciation and discovery; poems that prove there is such a thing as the American prose poem.”

For those who think the turn of the century finds innovative poetry dwelling too often on the abstract and the a-human, here is Peter Johnson's Love Poems for the Millennium, a poetry of hundred-year-old dustballs and silk kimonos. For poetry, as geography, is a miniaturist's art. And though Peter Johnson's sensational tour of cities includes Fiesole, Cannes, and Chichen Itza, we find ourselves lingering in the volatile region of the human heart wedded to a lively mind recomposing the material world.
—Maxine Chernoff

What really elevates these language-rich love poems is that they do not slow down; brimming with energy these playful gems race toward their own delight rather than making sure we get it.
—Eric Lorberer, Rain Taxi

From Love Poems for the Millennium...


Nighttime. I’m hitched to a machine, nursing a noun, tapping a verb on its shoulder, apposing appositives. Moments earlier, I was cruising the Internet, taping, then dancing to, national anthems of my favorite countries. “We never go anywhere,” I complained, maneuvering colored tacks around my wall-sized atlas. My vertebra had cracked; that’s what happened. Then it healed, now just an incredible longing for travel. This morning, tiny children hung upside down from damp branches of our dogwood tree, whispering baby, baby, baby. A premonition? A warning? Sure feels like a baby’s brewing, someone to keep company with our tow-headed boy asleep in his prince-sized bed. Burnt popcorn! Pigeons shitting on the patio! Insatiability of tomato worms! This is “home.” But also our Treasure Island bedsheets, with an ancient map of someone’s tropical paradise. It looks like a board game. “Gigi, I beg you to come closer.” And your response? “Don’t call me that.” It’s a childhood nickname, but one that stuck . . . Bedtime, all bashfulness banished. Quiet, save the croaking of a few insomniac crickets and the roar of a Harley. Tonight we’ll tumble down Love’s dark hole, a trail of responsibilities, like breadcrumbs, behind us. “Set the bed for vibrate,” I whisper, wondering who’ll make the first move.

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