Honor Johnson


Honor Johnson is currently working on a series of paintings, "Women in Interiors," and on a neo-Gothic parody of a Romantic novel. She has recent critical articles in Ironwood, HOW(ever), and Soup. Her poem collections include Herbal (The Heyeck Press), and Small As A Resurrection (Lost Roads Press).


At first I was struck because the dark spot in each Juan Gris painting, which opens like a lock or porthole, reminds me of his mouth, and in that way landscape is a portrait. When I think back over something it isn't just a postage stamp. It has its own nips to give. I try to see the cornfields in which I grew up but instead of a ribbon of vision each part opens and fractures emotionally, the kind of thing that makes me want to flinch into my own shoulders. And the break of surface seems to happen at each point, and deeper and deeper. I become very vulnerable, as if there were a story which I can only get my body partway into. The rest is barred, blackened, really never was. As for language, never-was is part of vivacity and rhythm, seizing on new tones and fields, new hallucinations. . . Like the paintings I do in my sleep more a person lying than a place.

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