by Brian Johnson

ISBN: 0-9656161-9-3
Saddle-stitched, $5.00
Publication Date: Summer 2000.
5.5 x 8.5 inches, 24 pages
(ISSN: 1527-9579, Volume 1, Number 3)

Individuals: Order directly from Small Press Distribution,
1-800-869-7553 ; or

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Self-Portrait, by Brian Johnson, is the third in Quale Press’s edition key satch(el) quarterly series of chapbooks of prose poetry. The 20 prose poems of Self-Portrait comprise a tour of a psyche that is alternately hopeful, despairing, restless, nostalgic and grandiose. The portrait that emerges is a combination of autobiography and literary invention. Personal memories mingle with fables, prayers, pastoral lyrics and movie stills to reveal a self with many pasts and many guises. Ranging from childhood fantasies of terrestrial and sexual exploration to adult recognitions of failure, Self-Portrait bears witness to one person’s search for clarity and fulfillment.

“The narrator of one of Johnson’s poems announces, ‘I pray that I continue to love the resemblance of things.’ Indeed, Johnson’s debut collection celebrates his reverence for people and for objects, and for how they mimic each other. He has created a ‘self,’ both personal and universal, that bows before a real world which is constantly verging into a mythological one.”
— Peter Johnson

From Self-Portrait...

With Red Gravy & White Gown

It appeals to my native tongue: not the plate, but the Hieronymussian gravy.

If I return to my fairytale — about old, deep-seated fears — the forest, the windmill — the massacre of innocents — I engage in all of it: eating, drinking, dancing, jumping, making love at a gallop...

And the frog, the frog never leaves my pail.

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