Allan Johnston


The way you got out is the way in

or in case you never got there

a key is hidden under the rug

by the trap door where the

alligators live


or perhaps you came here looking for love

or invention or some social proof

of the need for these dangling objects

that break the force fields of respective trends.


Note the momentary correlation

of life with experience.  Are you amused

by the wealth of death displayed

in the terminal dances of mouseketeers?


Locus hic transit gloria mundi

(among other signs that Latin is lost)

might serve to point us back to each other

out of reach of the key, where the doorbell gets answered.



[This poem was first published in Weber Studies]





Copy of johnston.gifAllan Johnston lives in Chicago and teaches writing and literature at Columbia College and Depaul University.  He has one book of poems out, Tasks of Survival (Mellen, 1995) and a chapbook forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.  His works have appeared in over sixty journals, including Poetry, Poetry East, Rhino, Weber Studies, and previously in Tipton Poetry Journal.  Among other awards he received a finalist fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council and a Pushcart Prize nomination.