To write about the poems of Denis Johnson, I’m inspired to quote Richard Howard on James Dickey on Randall Jarrell (skipping Emerson, who also gets cited in there somewhere) on the “yearning to transcend, by the flights and frauds of . . .
It took a long time to fall, or else it took less than a second. The drop was thirty feet; gravity was acting on me at thirty-two feet per second squared. I can’t do the math but it’s obvious that . . .
The rusty stain on the pillow, the rumble of pain
in his knee, impromptus of a dream in which
he hacked his way out again and again, the dawn
fading up from the green-blue-green of the silver birch,
a flourish . . .