Thursday, October 25, 2018


The flapping tongue
who stands at the front of the room
before all the Emerson roving eyes
trembles through articulation
being careful not to salivate.


I’m sorry to make
you cry when I told
that joke about 

It seems so silly now,
like most things do.

Other words I have forgotten

(like pessimism when I
was defensive, riddles
that drove my audience crazy,
the sly comments I would make
to not-so-deftly avoid insult)

but I remember the lovely
smile that became tears.

That day, we shuffled on our
way, but seven years later
I have to reconsider.  I have 
to wonder what ever became
of the girl who was on the other
side of that jab.


I'm still a comic book guy,
even in my late thirties.  It
started when I was barely
an embyro, I'm sure.

I used to fill empty pages
of notebooks with squares,
then infuse those spaces
with badly drawn characters.

Since adulthood, it's still
about filling spaces.  Figuring
out the right images to 
include.  I wanted to be a
superhero.  I'm something else,
I think.

No costume here, but I still
read about those who are
brave enough to put them on.

Friday, October 19, 2018

a damn duck

a slight
can be
on these

a damn

the days
when you
could get
high enough
to actually
such a
the third of june

this stranger said i look
like her father did nearly
twenty years ago

this on the 50th anniversary
of andy warhol getting shot

i'm not saying there's a
coincidence but this noose
around my neck is tightening

the stranger is now telling
me a story about her best
friend finding her husband
online and would i be

i haven't had my morning
coffee and it smells like
the morning shit will be
coming soon

the stranger tells me she
loves jesus

i tell her she might want
to read a few of my poems
before she does something
she will regret

the stranger asks what that
could be and i send her a
link to a poem about a boy,
a burning cross, a dead
woman and stained panties

i'm highly doubting that
stranger comes back again
another old woman wearing glitter

another late lunch

another old woman
wearing glitter

sadly, this strip
club has the best

chicken wings

some tight curves

and the occasional
flash of pussy

sometimes you
leave with lipstick
smeared across
your pants

the best fifty dollars
a lonely man can

at least until you
get tested again
an old pair of jeans

i pray to
the aliens

hope there's
still room left
on whatever
ship is taking
us away from
this shithole

my patience
is like an old
pair of jeans

tattered, holes
unwashed and
they fucking

the price of
living i suppose
that could burn through the sun

my nurse has
eyes that could
burn through
the sun

it's raining
today and
this pain is

fuck, i wish
these doors
could lock
a little slice of the world

years ago, i looked in
the mirror and wondered
when i was going to grow
the fuck up and be a man

i still laugh at that

thinking of all my examples
and my stubborn ways

death is easier than change

and now that i'm at a place
where i would love to find
the right woman and carve
out a little slice of the world

all the right women have
already moved on

loneliness is knowing the
rest of the world no longer

i've crept close to that
fucking edge before

these are the days where
i feel inclined to just
fucking jump
J.J. Campbell

Thursday, October 11, 2018

To Kill A Mockingbird (The Haiku)

Chicago murders
Close your eyes and imagine
It’s a school shooting.

Denny E. Marshall


I wake dizzy and immediately feel sick

Before running off to the toilet and realise

Oh shit, I’ve caught something horrible

From somewhere I don’t know as vomit

Explodes from my mouth before realising

That there’s more to come from the other end

And that literally is just more shit

Pushed into a new life on a road leading up from the past; the old people, the old places, the old life that I’m moving on from now

Onwards towards a life where I think it’ll be different; away from the people who hold me down, pushing the knife in my back as I walk away

But this time I made it and survived and now well here comes the really interesting part, how will I adapt and where will it take me

Leading me away from a life of fake friends who only use me to make their own little lives feel a little bit better

To them victory is me attending their party, to show how many friends they’ve got, and then slagging me off behind my back

Telling anyone who’ll listen, oh him, well he’s mad, a guy from my past who got in over his head and now can’t turn around his life from being fucked

Well that ain’t true anymore as I turn my back on the old and move on with the new, the new life, the good life, the life where I hope to stay

A life in which I can dream of not being pushed in the back with a knife telling me that I ain’t one of them anymore.


It dropped today and with it came a lot of wailing and a bit of anger

Section 21, notice to evict, the time to get out is February 6th

With nowhere to go and no money to spend I began looking

For a place to call my home, one that feels like it’ll be never-ending search for those

Who can’t afford to be gentrified and sent out of town

With no transport how am I to get to work in this place

As work pays not enough, part-time minimum-wage and

Where bus-pass costs a fortune but if you’ve got a smart-phone

You can use that to get a cheaper fare, it’s all so back to front

But thinks its ahead of the game when all its going to do is kill

Kill the poor, kill the old, don’t know about the internet

Then how can you be living, go away die please just kill yourself

I plead and beg to various agents, landlords, council workers

And they all nod in agreement that it is a terrible thing that is happening

But alas market forces mean I’m very soon to be homeless.

So now I sit, staring from the window out to sea, joint in ashtray

Laptop working and wonder where and how long will it take me

To be priced out the next place I go to, maybe Hastings and the creeping

Gentrification that is due to kick in early 2020s...


Saturday afternoon and all I want is sleep

As my body succumbs to its inevitable exhaustion

Caused by the last few days of living

There have been things to do

And places to be/ people to see

As well as work and all the simple

Non-pleasures that brings

But now alone, all I want is to sleep

And here it comes easy as at last

I sleep in peace

And it feels

Feels so damn good and

Relaxes me

To the point where I just

Lay there

Snug in my bed, happy at last

To be alone again

As sleep has been lost over the last

Year during which

I lost some over a woman

Who couldn’t get enough

And a neighbour that had all the wrong

Connections as I

Subsequently discovered but now that

Has all gone

I can sleep whenever I want

Even ignore phone calls

As right here is everything I need

On most nights

With the typer and all my distractions

Ready to keep me

Entertained as I relax at last

Before getting

Another early night as the sleep

Is finally caught up on


I’ve written five new poems in the two months until now

And it’s growing apparent that my brain has been muddled

Next door remains but now, right now, I don’t really care

Just over two hundred hours until I escape this dreadful den

His activities have made me question just about everything

From the state of my own mind, convinced with the nagging thought

“Shit, maybe I’m just really paranoid?” to the idea that soon

My flat will be broken into or it will all end in a firry disaster

As he did once say “I’ll burn the place to the ground!” and all I

Could worry about was the destruction of vinyl and books

Before the thought of my neighbours and the hope he was just joking

Things got serious when the noxious fumes became a daily habit

And he’d always seem to be up to exclaim on his lad-ish attributes

With stories of ‘dem hooes’ and mass shoplifting at some supermarket

The remnants of which remain in my kitchen, to be drunk soon

At some point in the next two hundred hours whilst I run around

Sorting the shit we all need to move but

Now with this being my fifteenth time it should be pretty easy

As it’s just around the corner, I’ll be walking and can’t wait to get out

To somewhere quieter, somewhere to unwind and let my mind

Spread out, stringing together words that don’t just recite a horror

I wouldn’t want any of you to go through.


My body has been dragged to the edge

The sheer edge of collapse and it’s all down

Down in the basement of my soul to the years

The years, months, days and hours when

I’ve tried to enjoy myself, keeping my mind

Lucid and alive with those magical twins

The wonderful and opulent drink and drugs

All that booze that I’ve drunk since the age of 23

When I was, for the first time, told

‘One more young man and it could be your last’

Which one way or another led to me doing

Doing all those lines, those big fat lines that grew

Fatter the thinner I became until I’d almost

Waisted away and the comedown wouldn’t have been

Doable if it wasn’t for all the grass I got to smoke

But now, mostly, and for the last 16 years its

Always been about that, a ton of grass and as much

Booze as my poor tired bored and mind can handle

After all these years though occasionally my body

My poor old body rebels and leaves me

It leaves me feeling like a run-down old man

With not much time left.

Bradford Middleton

Helpless I do not know if good intentions prevail among the elected, among the appointed, leaving me apprehensive that the fate ...