Artwork © Eric N. Peterson


Johnson and Johnsoned

The collective Johnson and Johnson legions
swung down from their low hanging stars
over the far off land of Pharmacopia
swam eagerly across the abyss
knocked down the door of physicality
screaming into my own most naked and vulnerable shoulder
with the crash of a wave breaking upon
humanity’s inbred guilt
I and the millions
I and the untold multitudes, but also unasked
We were Johnson and simultaneously Johnsoned
I and the unwrung washload
I and the spillage of the seething biomass
We were rescued from our piteous self-destructiveness
We were preserved in our pristine piles
of meat-draped bones and pulsing fluids
And the Johnsons marched on
in search of other lands to be saved from themselves
both the lands saved and the legions saved
yes, from each other and from each self
the heroes waving their swords of medicinal fluency
Join us! – their rousing cry
Join us or perish!


John Bari is a poet, musician, composer, and universal sufi from Richmond, Virginia. When not socially distancing for the pandemic, he is lead singer in the Richmond Indigenous Gourd Orchestra, with 4 CD’s in print. Although a lifelong poet, he has had poems published only twice previously, usually preferring instead to keep them to himself.

Eric N. Peterson is from Atlanta, Ga. He’s been drawing cartoons all his life. He leans towards the absurd, imaginative, and the surreal, as that’s where all the flavor is.