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  • Tokyo Poetry Journal

The Irresistible Pull of Moonlight: Joy Waller Interviews Jeffrey Johnson

Meeting Jeffrey Johnson on the street in Setagaya on a sunny afternoon in October, you’d be forgiven for assuming he’s a moderately normal, well-adjusted man. He sports a neatly trimmed goatee and is dressed in the quietly suave manner befitting a professor of literature at Sophia University: well-fitted jeans, a black T-shirt, spotless white sneakers. We actually talk about the weather for the first couple minutes, I kid you not (my fault; I was totally the instigator of this).



But soon we have ascended the sketchy, graffiti-splattered elevator to a rooftop café called A-Bridge, settled in with our drinks, and I ask him about growing up in the pseudo-slums of Minnesota on West 7th Street. Jeffrey turns those dancing green eyes my way and confesses, “We used to steal stuff from the junkyard and get chased by Dobermans.” Instantly the air in the room changes and I know exciting things are going to happen during this conversation. He goes on to explain that he and his hoodlum friends didn’t want to get caught with too much hot cash so they’d spend the take as quickly as possible on “frivolous shit”. Like what? “Like riding around in taxi cabs.” And just like that, I have a new hero.


To read the full interview, go to Joy Waller's blog.


You can purchase Jeffrey Johnson's new book of poems “Conjurers Dream of Voyage” here.

Book launch party: 11.20.2021 2 pm @ J’z Bar (details here).