Past Resident

Yvette Johnson

I write with the intent to keep the reader tied to a goal of apprehension, never quite 

allowing for it, always pulling her toward a simple, indirect end. This gesture is to commit the 

reader to finding her own guide, perhaps using her imagination and thoughts, where sometimes 

I nod toward psychological studies. A lot of what I consider in the practice of writing poetry 

and stories is how to mine language for expressing liminal ranges. I like to condense the 

literary experience by writing tightly, elongating an image for a hypnogogic effect. In this 

somnolent world, the literary impulse is geared toward a smaller, explosive experience. I also 

like to write imagery that does not require a mental picture, but rather an experiential, 

existential force. The methodology of this is to formulate images that move the reader through 

hallowed literary rooms where she can feel more than see. I like a character that is available to 

discomfort and shame. I want there to be space in my work for less than desirable feelings, ones 

we detest and deter. Characters suffer. Worlds collapse. The best laid plans are buried alive.