Janssen lives in Keizer, Oregon, with, he says, “a wife who likes him and a cat who loathes him.” Periodical credits include Penumbra, Slant, Cirque Journal, Off the Coast, and Poetry Salzburg. Janssen also coordinates the annual Salem Poetry Festival and was a 2020 nominee for Oregon Poet Laureate.
Poems by this Poet
Fire dies and goes to fire heaven
Water goes to water
And ice to its former self.
Money dies and goes to fire heaven
Love goes to the generous
And misers go to money heaven.
And I am the burnt husk. Had I been generous I would not be here in the embers. Had I reached out, I would not burn.
Fate goes to fate
Lonelinesses are for those alone.
Even in crowded rooms they are apart
Or wishing to be.
And I am here with no hands. I cannot hold you, I can grab, claw, wrench, all the things men typically do, but never hold.
Existence goes to existence
And death to death.
Existence dies and goes to death heaven,
Death dies and becomes existence.
I realize now that I never said goodbye, or even considered never returning. It is my fault and though I lose, you must pay.
Words go to words
And that is all they really are.
They float there and there
But fall flat at the feet of real things.
And I never felt that you cared. I am sorry for that, and if I have to talk about death to talk about you, I'll do it. And if I have to talk about fate to talk about you, I'll do it. And if I have to talk about salt water to talk about you, I'll do it. Just so I use the words that, in the end, fall as I do.