Heightened Attention

The Stars Lead South

The bridge is blurry
washed with missteps

Boots splash through
Corona puddles past
dark bodies   glass
best broken

Smoke mutes the neon
Cigarettes whiskey weed
and the buffet   You
can hardly smell the cane

Stumble scuff brush
and bump along
the boulevard
fettered to the trend


Hielo Cold
for Ice

Starry-eyed cat
posted off Koval in
a red carpet room

                              Homie spreads myth
                              on the palette and brushes
                              fire to the forest
                              from his desk’s shore

It was the gray lady
who lit the lanterns
You can see it in her
shade   The sun is burning
some other woods
                                             Things have no borders
                                        Our sight is bounded
Look more—
                              in the cafe
               on the ave
at the gravel
               the soot and shit
                              wasted irises
   and polished glass
                                      spirit me another
                                                acrylic dream
        smoke on a leaf.

Are they floating,
flying or flailing?



I Got You Bruh

Bump that old school
over buzzing clippers

We don’t be on that
gangsta rap   rather

dap em up   put strength
in their shoulder     Gospel

gossip and game     Who knows
where my mans came from

how long he’s converted hunger
to satiation with CDs

The holes in his Chucks are
unrelenting   stretched in

cadence with his stride
Souls aren’t hidden

by gold or grime or
a strong stance


You can’t go to the shop
and not get lined up

An emerging poet from Las Vegas, Frank Johnson braids his hip-hop cultural roots into the landscape of his poetry, which explores the impossibility of defining oneself or one’s location in a place of transience. He seeks to shed light where few look, or look long enough, to uncover useful truths, unremarked beauty and dope life. To learn more about Johnson and his work, follow him on Instagram @frankthepoet.

Vegas Seven