Thinking of Dennis Johnson – a poem

Reblogging on the 5th anniversary of the passing of publisher Dennis Johnson … a poem I wrote when I was living in his Calgary condo, looking after the place and all his books at the request of his estate. Hard to believe it’s already been 5 years.

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Thinking of Dennis Johnson

I stand at the living room window
Looking out on your kingdom
Seeing for you, now that you don’t,
And wondering what you thought
Of this house and your life in it,
Conducting business at this table
Clinching deals through email
Berating some poor schmuck by phone one minute
Reassuring your mother the next,
Like any good son.

You have not haunted me yet
Not been a Marley to my Scrooge
(Role reversal there, many would say)
But as Aritha suggested,
I may now be haunting you
By taking your place
Reading your books
Caretaking what you left behind
Your words still echoing in my memory
Sell more books!
Write this down!
No, this is what you need to do!
The exclamation points all yours.
How clearly I remember the words
Although the memory of your voice is fading.

Not realizing it really was the last…

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