was born in New York City on May 18th, 1930, son of a jazz drummer and a concert harpist and grandson of a concert singer.
He was educated in New York, Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia, attended Howard University in 1947, where he has now returned as a teaching assistant in the Department of English. During the years between 1947 and 1957 he was a florist, a reporter for a now defunct weekly, a policeman in Ohio and a member of the United States Air Force. With the latter he served in Japan and Korea and survived the crash of a C-54 which killed thirty-one, in September 1950.
Percy Johnston says he has 'shunned the music world vocationally'. However, a poetry pamphlet published by him in 1960 is entitled: CONCERTO FOR GIRL AND CONVERTIBLE. He is the publisher of DASEIN, a quarterly journal of the arts, featuring the Howard Poets who consider him their leader.
Acknowledgment is made to the author for permission to reprint the poem.
CONCERTO FOR GIRL AND CONVERTIBLE
Beer is bitter but better than
Vapour. My Vapour is cooled. My beer is foamed
American Falls from Ontario's side.
Eyes are heavily pressed by
Jazz with worn-out marketplace
Yell hucksters while ticking
Tocking crescendos drown out orchestrated swing.
One hundred thousand contrapuntal
Discords plead for patronage and favour, although
Transcendental quanta of shadows
Mock perceptious with curling histrionics,
I'm bored by this sublime!
Invectives multitoned and mound shaped
Evanesce my psyche, fester