Monday, November 14, 2016

J.H. Johns


There's a thief amongst us
and we know who it is,
it was really quite simple
'cause he told us who he was;

he lived there
or stayed there
or slept there
until it got too good,
like the penitent sinner
he lied to us
just as the Bible
showed us
he would;

break bread,
break plates,
be charming
seal his fate;

there's a thief amongst us
and we knew who it would be,
it was only a matter of time
before he would end up guilty.

Paul Churchill Mann reads "There's a Thief Amongst Us":

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J.H. confesses: "Be it by way of a commandment for the faithful or an 'understanding' among the like-minded, the act of thievery undermines the social order. This poem is the product of both an understanding and an intent to call a thief—any thief of any property—front and center so as to unmask both themselves and their doing for all to see what they clearly know."

J.H. JOHNS "grew up and came of age" while living in East Tennessee and Middle Georgia. Specifically, the two places "responsible" for the writer that he has become are Knoxville, Tennessee and Milledgeville, Georgia. Since then, he has moved on to Chicago—for a brief stint—and New York City—for a significantly longer stay. Currently, he is "holed up" in a small town where when he is not writing, he tends to his "nature preserve" and his "back forty."  His goal is to surround his house with all sorts of vegetation so as to obscure it from the gaze of the "locals."  He is assisted in this task by his coonhound buddy and companion, Roma.

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