I just wanted to also give a shout out to my buddy Johnny No Bueno who wrote a book of poetry, We Were Warriors. I’m not sure how many of my readers are into poetry, but if you are, this is the book you should buy. Filled with brutal honesty and punch to the gut lines, We Were Warriors is a autobiographical collection of poems of someone who is looking at the rest of the world between skyscrapers, from alleyways and blood on his hands.
I thought I knew Johnny, but after reading this book a few times, I had misjudged him. While I related with most of the poems, other poems I had to put down and take a breather to collect myself before reading the next line. What I’m saying is, this is powerful stuff and shouldn’t be read lightly.
My favorite poem is Wind between Skyscrapers. Being a Portland native too, I related to the loneliness and the love for a place rather than the people. Another great poem is Gin where Johnny says, gin was the only thing that loved me/ the way I wanted to be loved/ brutally tender/ and without prompting.
He explores tweakers, criminals, loneliness, his father’s murder, drug addiction, growing up, violence and maybe never finding redemption. He puts you into the outcasts seat and lets you know you wouldn’t last a fucking minute. He has seen things and have done things that you don’t even imagine while driving your Subaru and listening to NPR.
Read this book. This ain’t some Bukowski bullshit, this is real