Doubtless, Denis Johnson is an extraordinary writer of fiction: his stories and novels are terrifying, delightful, hilarious, and bleak. But it remains, even in the prose, the quality of the language, the strange otherworldly perceptions he distills to image and figure, that drives the work. JESUS' SON is a great work, as is ANGELS. The other novels and stories would be enough to give him a reputation as a first rate writer. But the poems! That's where he started, and if you want to see how he got where fiction has taken him, go to the poems. It's not like any other poetry. He's a kind of dark, dwarf Rilke, a kind of misbegotten, doesn't-want-to-be-bad-but-can't-help-it Neruda. Denis Johnson is not the sort of poet the Academy of American Poets will celebrate, and that says far more about the Academy than about Johnson. What I wish? Another collection of poems. Soon.