It's a great day to share the work of someone I find highly talented. It is with high regard I, on the Jimmy Broccoli page and website, share with you the poetry of Johnny Francis Wolf (Wolf Johnny).
Johnny and I have gotten to know each other fairly well over the past several months and, in addition to being a terrific poet, he has become a friend.
Many people who read my poetry find it interesting because I often write about situations and experiences most others have not lived through. With Johnny - although his writing style is different from mine - he writes within the same universe - within the same realities as I do. So, folks that like my writing will likely like Johnny's and vice versa.
Here is Johnny in his own words:
Johnny Francis Wolf is an Autist — an autistic Artist. Designer, Model, Actor, Writer, and Hustler — Yes. That.
Worth a mention — his Acting obelisk — starring in the ill–famed and fated, 2006 indie film, TWO FRONT TEETH. The fact that it is free to watch on YouTube might say an awful lot about its standing with the Academy.
Homeless for the better part of these past 8 years, he surfs friends’ couches, shares the offered bed, relies on the kindness of strangers — paying when can, doing what will, performing odd jobs. (Of late.. Ranch Hand his favorite.)
From New York to LA, Taos and Santa Fe, Mojave Desert, Coast of North Carolina, points South and South East — considers himself blessed.
Johnny’s love of animals, boundless. Current position working on a hacienda in Florida as laborer and horse whisperer has recently come to its seasonal conclusion. Greyhound and the Jersey Shore are drawing him North.
Some of all this Bio is true — most of Wolf’s tales as well. Those illusory are hung on stories told him by dear friends or his own brush with similar, if not exactly the same. ______________
It is with great honor to share the poetry of Johnny Francis Wolf (Wolf Johnny) here. This is his poem "lower east" and I know you'll love it!
The below image on the goes with the poem. ______________
lower east (moment captured)
As if time machines were real and faces took the shape of the decades they belonged —
Looking at his lips, I’d narrow my guess to 1928.
The cigarette was machine-rolled, great for posing but would never smoke — preferring, after that day, to wear it behind an ear, show off it’s minted value. His own hand-rolled were good enough — grubby and stubbed like his fingernails then.
Worried he might need a haircut before, may have muttered his fear out loud. Hearing or sensing the question, the man behind the picture box shook his head.
The other boy in the room was shirtless, leaning on a windowsill, sun pouring in, a puppy between his ankles.
“Take five and maybe him for a walk,” he tossed the bare lad a nickel, turning to the more pouty one, “Come as you are. Wear what you want. Saturday, noon.” He looked in the youth’s eyes and smiled. It was off, his grin. Sad.
Two boys and a dog left together, drumming down the wooden steps.
“What’s it about?” the dogless one asked.
“Dunno, I guess —” as the puppy pulled the other ahead.
He had heard of the man through a friend.
“50 cents for half a day. I could eat for a whole week. And don’t worry, he ain’t like — I mean, I don’t think.”
The morning was rainy, later a mist. The shiny streets reflected his mood, echoed the gloss of his bath last night.
He arrived at a quarter to — almost always late for other events. Afraid to knock too early, he bent his ear against the door, listening for a reason why — a clue someone would shell out 4 bits for an afternoon sitting about naked.
“I publish a quarterly specializing in health,” he heard in muffled tones. “The male form is explored and offered for your edification. A testament
of where we can go as a race, a vessel.”
He had just enough time to jump a foot and a half back — all casual as if just arriving. The man with the bright scarf and white teeth passed him quickly, a thick brown envelope tucked beneath an elegant sleeve, a face now hidden behind an upturned collar.
“Thank you, Sir. Will be back for more,” wafted behind the foppish gent.
The boy and his pout looked around, inspecting the room with queries he could yet define. There were extra lamps, all fully on. Felt odd for a midday, even one with cloudy skies. The large box sat on the same tripod as the time before, but nether in height, near to a low settee. Several pillows lay about the cushions.
After a few uncomfortable clicks of the camera — the stripling in his street clothes, sitting awkwardly, self-posed upon the chaise — the taller man spoke.
“Strip down and relax. Here, have a smoke,” passing him a fancy cigarette.
“If it’s all the same to you, I roll my own,” he attempted a grin — a tricky thing to do when undressing. “I’d like to keep this, though, if alright with you —” he added with sweet inflection, prattling on, excited.
“Quiet. Stop smiling,” the man growled, adjusting the lens. “Stand still for a moment. Turn around. Let me see —”
The lad blushed at what was arising below. He tried to hide his chagrin (and else).
“Happens all the time,” the man’s face appeared above the box, kinder, more interested.
The boy breathed again, somewhat relieved. The older one’s eyes caressing his torso and limbs calmed him further. The youth’s hands fell away.
“Sit. Put your elbows on your knees and look into the camera,” the man implored.
“Tell me something with your eyes.”
Johnny Francis Wolf