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Preview — The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly by Denis Johnson
The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly: Poems Collected and New
A little back story: My wife and I have very different literary tastes. When we moved in together and intermingled our books there was hardly any overlap; a Faulkner or two, maybe a Henry James, an anomalous Italo Calvino. She also had a small collection of poetry (Sharon Olds, Franz Wright, Anne Sexton), as opposed to my quite large collection of more experimental stuff, ...more
But as a lover of Denis Johnson these poems are beauty, isolation, sadness and transcending thought in poem form and I loved every word. Johnson is a master of finding these themes in everyday situations whether it's working a night shift as a construction worker or waking up next to the ...more
I don’t know why it hit me so profoundly. Perhaps because the words he used convey accurately and profoundly life’s necessities, with its glorious hardships and its serenely beautiful miracles.
Life encapsulates all of these experiences from birth to the grave.
It’s the cyclical nature of being.
Ignoring the brevity of everyone’s lives is to miss the point of life.
I’m grateful he took pen to paper. His thoughts, ideas and his visions ...more
Denis Johnson is best known for his fiction, especially the story collection Jesus' Son. I think his poetic urges find better expression there, to be quite honest. As with Bukowski, the poems are largely formless sprawl, spurning capital letters, let alone lines that scan, images that blaze, or stanzas demanding to be memorised. ...more
I'm not sure you you can read into this, but my copy was signed and dedicated by Denis Johnson to a woman named Susan. That I have this book can only mean ...more
From the award-winning poet and novelist — a must-have collection of his four previous books of poetry plus a selection of new, unpublished work.
Offers the best selections from the author's previous works--including Inner Weather, The Man Among the Seals, The Incognito Lounge, and The Veil, in a collection that also features twelve original works.
an excerpt from, "In Praise of Distances"
Twelve Poems, 1975
The dust is almost motionless
in this narrowness, this stillness,
yet how unlike a coffin
it is, sometimes letting a live one in,
and the air,
though paused, impends not a thing,
the silence isn't sinister,
and in fact not much goes on
at the Ariel Book Shop today,
no one weeps in the back
room full of books, old books, no one
is tearing the books to shreds, in fact
I am merely sitting here
talking to no one, no one being here,
and I am blameless,
I am grateful for the job,
I am fond of the books and touch them,
I am grateful that King St. goes down
to the river, and that the rain
is lovely, the afternoon green.
If the soft falling away of the afternoon
is all there is, it is nearly
let me hear the beautiful clear voice
of a woman in song passing
toward silence, and then
that will be all for me
at five o'clock
I will walk
down to see the untended
sailing yachts of the Potomac
bobbing hopelessly in another silence,
the small silence that gets to be a long
one when the past stops talking
to you because it is dead,
and still you listen,
hearing just the tiny
agonies of old boats
on a cloudy day, in cloudy water.
Talk to it. Men are talking to it
by Cape Charles, for them it's the same
silence with fishing lines in their hands.
We are all looking at the river bearing the wreckage
so far away. We wonder how
the river ever came to be so
grey, and think that once there were
some very big doings on this river,
and now that is all over.”