Synchronized Chaos January 2019: Connection

Happy New Year! Welcome to January’s issue of Synchronized Chaos. Our theme is Connection – how we connect with each other, with ourselves, and with the larger world, or not.

Ryan Flanagan’s poetic speakers encounter and notice bits of the physical world: entrails, sweat, earwax. His humor stays grounded in, and stems from, reality. While less humorous this time around, Mahbub also grounds his experiences of the intangible (romance, social disintegration) in terms of physical images. Acts of selfishness sully the bright green of the Bangladeshi flag, while the passion of a friendly soccer game played on green grass enhances our experience of romantic love and interpersonal connection.

Along with connecting to the sensations and objects in our personal worlds, we can identify with pieces of the broader social culture and relate that to our own lives as a kind of language for our experiences. Michael Robinson’s sensual and tragic essay describes his admiration for Sylvia Plath as a fellow writer and as a human being, at a time when he has a tenuous grasp on reality. Along these lines, Gabriela Carolus shares a proud tribute to Michelle Obama that conveys both the author’s and the subject’s self-respect.

Chimezie Ihekuna speculates on the different socio-economic classes within human society and what it takes to belong to one group or another. While Carolus, Robinson, and Mahbub take bits of the larger social world and incorporate that into their personal thoughts, Ihekuna starts with the large scale society and explores where individuals might fit. 

Several contributors share the experience of glimpsing bits of other lives and other cultures, or imagining them as an exercise in creative empathy. In a second piece, Michael Robinson, who grew up in the inner city, writes of the death of a farmer and the impact that has on the man’s family. Melanie Browne’s pieces describe international exchanges, often on a small scale between Uber drivers and passengers, or in someone’s mind when they learn about or think of someone who lives elsewhere. Norman Olson also contributes an imagistic travel memoir, where what stands out is not the big moments where he sees national landmarks or world-famous art, but the vignettes where they encounter inauthentic Chinese food and passengers twerking on a Caribbean cruise.

Some writing here reflects moving in and out of connection. D.S. Maolalai’s poetry explores how and when a couple flows in and out of balance and relationship with each other, and Gabriela Carolus’s second piece reflects on forms of news coverage of poverty that inadvertently alienate and dehumanize the world’s poor. Abigail George’s poetic essay explores the complex relationship she had with her mother and how it has informed her future romantic relationships. Elizabeth Hughes’ monthly Book Periscope column illustrates the tension between relationship and alienation with two titles: Emory C. Vaughn’s Life by the Drop, a narrative about the rising drug problem in the American South and the resulting violence, and then Ann W. Phillips’ The Lady of Esterbrooke, about a happy couple’s love for each other and for the land and the animals where they live.

J.J. Campbell’s poetic speaker brings up the concept of robots taking over human tasks in a set of poems where he seems to be isolated watching the world go by from afar. He seems to feel a tenuous connection to the universe, as he senses that he will be replaced someday, even if not yet. He is caring for his mother, though, so perhaps he has found some form of human bond.

We hope you will find something with which to connect here in these submissions. Please reach out to a writer and leave a comment on their piece – you have the chance to make someone’s day! 


Poetry from D.S. Maolalai

We’ll talk later.


we get up

to alarm clocks

like children clawing the duvet,

but we have no children

to make waking

any better

than it is,

and we don’t talk

as the coffee boils

and the microwave

heats our oatmeal.

I wait for you

to be done in the shower

so I can get in myself,

shaking cold

in boxershorts,

sitting on the bedspread



no need

for conversation

in winter

early on – we’ll talk later

when we get warm

and have something

to talk about. right now

just cups of coffee

and feeling the carpet

for my watch

and work id. making sure

I have a phone in my pocket

and that you

have enough change

for the train.


outside the window

dark sits

like a wolf

waiting to devour

and sometimes mist

comes down from the rooftops

and tears around us

like toilet paper


to our shoes.

at the train

I kiss you quickly

and watch

as you run

away. empires

have fallen

with more attention

shown them. the bottoms

of your shoes

flash white

against grey dawn

and frozen leaf-puddles.


On form rejection letters.


and what?

as if I

were some statue,

standing still

to be shot in the dark?

me, here, drunk,

manic at the midnight computer,

looking (I imagine)

like a picture

of what poets think

modern poetry



who have never appeared

in Kenyon

or Granta –

am I to be slapped

and put outside

like a cat? – in the sea

are creatures

who live forever;

some clone themselves indefinitely,

others never die at all. ants

are small

unchanged scurrying things

scattering like coffee beans

dropped on a tile floor – why

should it be me bent over

when I receive

another form letter

with my titles

copied in




Bright green.


I’d spent the whole week

trying to convince you

that london

was flying

with wild parrots.


like bright birds

in distant trees,

our time fled

before we could

get close to it. but we got drunk

and went to comedy shows

all the same,

independent theatre

and english

folk music. trying out

markets together

and looking at art. there had been something

to us

but we’d lost it

and ourselves

in our time apart.


3 day

weekend visits

like bringing the dog home from the vet

only underlined our cowardice

at not ending things

all at once.

I put you on the train

in golders,

kissed you

in the monday morning,


as blue rocks.

and I went to the park

to put some time in

before a night shift.


and the trees

were full of parrots then – bright green

and alive,


in couples

against dark




An evening with my girlfriend


and dinner

born out an argument;


I made a joke

about one of her friends

who is in the middle

of another of

her breakdowns,

just as I have

many times before.

but this time

she didn’t laugh

or agree with me

she’s nuts

and the carrots were cut

with a weight like steel pistons

and the stovetop

licked hot

and fast

as an angry dog.


I offered help

and was told

I could just

fuck off

out of it;

watch tv

or go play on my phone,

just get out of her fucking


you fuck.


plates coming down

with a planecrash

and frogs going splat out of cooking pots.

wine spilled

like run from a sewage pipe,

the cutlery

a declaration of war.


it was delicious though,

the potatoes done

just right,

but cleaning up

is something I still have to take care of.



Morning to Wednesday.


the thing is

the whole bay is sheltered. no interesting

formations of rock

brought in

by collisions

with storms. you move along,


halfway between

a straight tideline

and a razor edge

of sea,

balanced on the part

where the sand stays walkable – dry enough

to take your weight

without being so loose

it blows.


a mile ahead

the seagulls

crowd on lobsterpots,

and a little closer

the dog

had found a crab. she jumps in circles,

barking at it, unsure of what to do. the crab

makes progress, doesn’t snap,

just walks slowly

toward the shoreline.

better this

than last time – she found a dying jellyfish

and threw up

in the car

driving home. and the flat sand


could convince you

you can see past her

from morning into



collection forthcoming from Turas Press in 2019. He has been nominated for Best of the Web and twice for the Pushcart Prize.

Travel vignettes from Norman Olson

From Touring with the Chinese to Twerking with the Caribbeans –how we roll

by:  Norman J. Olson


back in the beginning of October (2016), our two Chinese friends came to spend some time with us in Maplewood, Minnesota,…  we did some local site seeing, driving to Taylors Falls, for example to walk along the St. Croix river and see the beginning of the fall colors…  we walked around Beaver Lake (across the street from our house) and spent time visiting and working on the yard, cutting brush, and getting ready for winter…  it was very interesting to learn that most of what we consider Chinese food was said by them to be very Americanized with added salt and materials that were prepared differently than they would be in China…  anyway, we traveled with them to California, flying to LAX on October 11 and renting a car…  we drove across the desert from Los Angeles to Las Vegas…

since they like to travel cheaply as we do, we made great traveling companions…  we stayed at Circus Circus Hotel in Las Vegas for three nights…  our friends are younger than us by a lot and they enjoyed going out in the evening and sleeping in while we did our usual Las Vegas activities with Mary spending some time in the casino and me finding a quiet corner to sit and draw or read…  we saw the sites including walking on the strip and finding an authentic Chinese drink stand on the strip and seeing the seedy street performers downtown…

then we spent a whole day driving to Three Rivers, California where we spent two nights in a nice lodge a few miles from the entrance to Sequoia National Park…  we spent the next day driving up the mountain and walking among the giant Sequoia trees…  Mary and I had been to Sequoia Park last spring but it was really cool to see the amazing giant trees amid the colored foliage of the brush and small trees of autumn, without the snow…  I asked one of the rangers about the drought and he said that while the drought and a beetle infestation was killing a lot of the pine trees, the sequoia trees should be okay unless the drought lasts longer than another 25 years…  as in their long lives, these trees had experienced many climate fluctuations…

the drive up and down the mountain to 7000 feet where the big trees grow is very spectacular with switchbacks, hairpin turns and long vistas looking out across the valley to the jagged soaring snow peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains…

the next day, we drove back up to the big trees and across Sequoia Park to Kings Canyon National Park…  in Kings Canyon, we found the second largest of all the Sequoia Trees, the General Grant tree…  in a lovely grove of enormous trees…  it was raining lightly and we could see ribbons of mist going through the branches of the trees a hundred and fifty feet up…  and the old trees seemed to be loving the rain…  I felt like I could almost hear them purr, there was such a feeling of calm among the ancient trees in the misty rain…

we then drove down to the Central Valley and stopped at a fruit stand…  driving through groves of citrus and other trees and vegetable fields…  we stayed a night in a nice cheap hotel in Fresno and found a Chinese restaurant that was not very authentic, but we all agreed that it was good…  the next morning after eating waffles at the hotel’s free breakfast, we left for Yosemite…  we spent two nights in a kind of rustic hotel just outside of Yosemite…  we drove into the valley and saw all of the amazing sites of Yosemite, El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, Half Dome and the other enormous granite cliffs and peaks which make Yosemite such a scenic wonder…  we parked and walked on the paths back into the woods for a closer look at Bridalveil Falls which is an enormously high waterfall with sprays and mists of water coming down to make a small creek…  Yosemite valley is flat and easy to tour by car and with a bit of walking in the woods makes a very nice day for tourists like us…  the next day, we drove back through the valley and then up to Glacier Point where you look down from a three thousand foot granite cliff over the Yosemite valley and out across the surrounding mountains…  it is an enormous and spectacular view…

the next morning, we drove across the Central Valley to Carmel by the Sea just south of Monterrey on the California Pacific coast…  Carmel is maybe the prettiest town in the USA with small but expensive homes going up the hill from a lovely beach…  there is an area of expensive shops and restaurants and we found good Chinese food…  we stayed there two nights…  we drove into Monterey one day and had a wonderful seafood lunch at a fancy restaurant looking out on the bay were we saw a whale arching through the water and had a great meal…  then back at Carmel, we sat in the shade of one of the weird old trees on the beach until the sun dipped into the ocean beyond the foamy surf…  then walking through that lovely town in the warm evening breeze…  it was very nice…

we then drove down the coast through the Big Sur region with its massive cliffs tapering down to the crashing waves of the Pacific…  there were lots of places to stop and take photos and I wandered if the vista had somehow faded from being so often photographed???!!  then after a night in a nice hotel in Lompoc, we drove on past Oxnard, where my brother was during his time in the Navy and across the Los Angeles Megopolis to Riverside where our oldest daughter and her family live…  the next day, when our daughter and her family went to work and school, we drove into Los Angeles to do some site seeing…  we drove through Beverly Hills and Bell Aire, looking at the massive estates of the very rich and wound up on Hollywood Boulevard, just looking around before going back to Riverside…

this was the week before Halloween, and our Chinese friends had to move on, so we said a sad goodbye to them at the Bus station in Riverside…  they were wonderful traveling companions and in spite of our difference in age, we had a terrific time driving around California and Nevada site seeing with them and I hope that like us they enjoyed some of the enormous beauty of this amazing part of the planet…

after a few days watching our grandbaby and a weekend getting ready for Halloween, we had a great Halloween with our grandkids…  then Halloween night, we drove into LA and dropped the car off to catch the red eye back to MSP…  that week we arrived in Maplewood Tuesday morning, spent a few days with our other equally wonderful grandkids in Duluth, Minnesota came home on Friday, had breakfast with our son and his wife on Sunday and on Tuesday, November 8, we got on a flight to Miami…

we spent the night of the 8th in a cheap hotel by the airport and after a few hours sitting by the pool enjoying a truly lovely evening, warm with that light spicy breeze that you only find in Miami, we retired to our room to watch the election returns…  yikes!!!!

anyway, the next morning, we took the shuttle to the cruise pier and boarded a beautiful ship called the Norwegian Pearl…  the ship is decorated with painted vines and flowers along the bow and on the superstructure and is a largish ship holding  when full some 2400 passengers…  (for comparison, about 80 feet longer and twelve feet wider than the titanic…)  this was a cruise that we had booked a couple weeks before because it looked like fun and the price was right…  it was a theme cruise and the theme was Caribbean music and dancing, so there was a line up of djs and artists in those genres…  we are not great dancers, (too old and fat for one thing) but, we love to meet new people from different backgrounds and in general love music, so there we were, two old fat white folks on a ship full of young black people, mostly from the islands…

we had a wonderful cruise…  we both agreed that it was one of the friendliest cruises we had ever been on and hearing the music and watching the young and fit dance and party was fun…  as usual on a cruise, we spent our two sea days on the Promenade deck drawing and reading…  the weather was gorgeous with temps in the low 80s and a light breeze…  the sea was very calm and this huge ship sailed calmly through the small waves as we sat in the shade and breathed the lovely sea air…  the itinerary included, one day at sea, one day at Ocho Rios and a final day at sea…  so four nights and three full days on the ship…  during the day in Jamaica, there was a huge party on the beach put on by the Caribbean music people with free booze and a huge stage with massive speakers and an all day program of djs, artists and Jamaican instrumentalists…  apparently at Caribbean music parties like this, it is the thing to pass out spray bottles of paint and for the participants to squirt each other, so with all the red paint flying, we were all painted and powdered too…  Mary and I found a picnic table in the shade and read our books while the party rocked on…  the water was lovely and I spent a long time doing the back float hearing the base pounding through the water… my old white polo shirt splotched with red dye is my souvenir…

on the beach as elsewhere, the people were all very friendly and kind to us and the few other oldsters around and we even got a few demonstrations of what we called “the booty dance”…  which seems to involve a species of twerking that sometimes becomes pretty graphically sexual…  at the beach party, this very muscular white guy was on stage with an enormously fat black woman and they were doing the booty dance so energetically, that he wound up holding her up with her legs around his back while they simulated sexual intercourse until they finally tumbled to the stage with the guy flopping on top of this very large woman to the enormous applause and cheering of the audience…

on the way back to the ship, a Jamaican woman talked us into letting her and her friend braid one small braid into my short beard and three into Mary’s equally short hair in exchange for a damp $20 bill…

back in Miami Sunday November 13, 2016…   it took a bit of doing and about twelve hours in the Miami airport to get a flight home, but we were back in Maplewood about 1 a.m. Monday morning, tired and ready to spend some time at home…  the cruise was a lot of fun and the people were so beautiful and kind to us…  it was an altogether amazing experience and I got three nice drawings…  it is still fairly warm in Minnesota with highs in the 40s and low 50s so I had better take advantage of the nice weather to get the rest of my leaves mulched as it is supposed to show on Friday…


by:  Norman J. Olson

from gigantic trees

laughing softly in misty

California rain

to gnarled cliff edge pines

of Big Sur, trees

follow each other through

the gray

tangles of my brain…

this planet carrying its trees around the sun is my home for now

the palm tree in my daughter’s yard…

the cedar tree in my son’s yard…

the lilac in my other daughter’s yard…

i sometimes think that love looks


like trees…  with branches like ink drawings,

tangled and complex

now it is time to mulch the

leaves from my own maple and oak

trees…  i thank “whatever gods

may be” for my luck

and for my trees….

my dad loved trees…  may he rest in


Elizabeth Hughes’ Book Periscope

Life by the Drop by Emory C. Vaughn
Life By the Drop by Emory C. Vaughn is a collection of short-story like chapters where the author relates how drugs are taking over Georgia through farmers and others. He tells of the violence the drug industry can produce. He emphasizes that not only do drug gangs commit violence against each other and those caught in the crossfire when they illegally import drugs into this country, but also fund acts of political terrorism. He describes how the drug trade leads to all kinds of crimes and how people ruin their lives through the drug industry. This is a quick read and would be a perfect gift for you or someone you know.
The Lady of Esterbrooke by Ann W. Phillips
The Lady of Esterbrooke by Ann W. Phillips is a delightful Christian romance. Some people think that a Christian romance book would not by any good since there is no sex or other things in it. This is simply untrue. This novel is delightful, romantic and can show that romance and dating can be done without going all the way or having dirty talk. This novel keeps you interested and is perfect to curl up with a cup of cocoa and a warm blanket on the cold winter nights. It is about Marla and her father who live on a plantation in South Carolina. Her father runs the plantation. Marla takes care of the animals along with holding an office position. The Bridwells own the plantation and have a son, Lance. Lance and Marla fall in love and this book follows them through their first meeting, dating and marriage and through their Christ filled life. This is a perfect example for young people to know that it is possible to save yourself, man or woman, until the wedding night. It is a wonderful story and had me laughing and crying throughout the book. This would make an absolutely perfect gift for Christmas or anytime just to say thank you to someone special to you. I very highly recommend it and will definitely read it again and again.

Essay from Chimezie Ihekuna

First of all, consider the total number of alphabets that make the words ‘poverty’ and ‘wealth’. No doubt, we have a total of 13 alphabets. Let us picture each alphabet as a layer. In all, we have 13 layers. On the other hand, consider a pyramid. Imagine a 13-layer inscription on the pyramid.

Interpreting the Realionaire’s approach to wealth and poverty y, using the pyramidal concept, we will be viewing the strictly the first, mid and apex layers as the positions of people living in poverty, people living in average conditions and individuals who are said to be the world’s richest respectively.

Again, considering the 13-layer inscription in respect to worth, tantamount to monetary evaluations (dollars, the currency name to be used), the three major inscriptions will be defined. The first-layer inscription refers to people who are living on or less than 1/1000th of a thousand dollars (one dollar) on a daily basis. The mid-layer inscription, the position held by the average person, refers to those who are at the 6.5 mean mark, whose worth is basically in thousands of dollars and are able to afford the necessities and luxuries of life at optimum levels. The apex layer refers to the position held by individuals who are not only at the 13th layer but considered the richest in the 13-layer pyramidal inscription and worth several millions, billions and even trillions of dollars.

In a way, the apex layer is a culmination of the collective efforts of other layers, financially, materially and intelligence wise. The mid-layer is somewhat a ‘stagnation’ between the layers leading to the apex and the layers leading to the first layer. The first layer is the ‘suppression’ or ‘pressure mount’ by other layers.

Interestingly, individuals occupying the apex position attain this feat through over-the-years hardwork, dedication, focus, patience, investment, patience, inheritance gathered and determination on legitimate basis and or an illegitimate exploitation of the resources of their subjects, individually or collectively. The mid-layer position is occupied by those who have over the years scaled through the sub-layers and are apparently stuck at the 6.5 mean mark. The first- layer position is occupied by those who appear to be surmounted by them.

Ironically, there is always a constancy; change in the positions of people occupying the first, apex and mid layers. In other words, the individual occupying the first- layer may scale through the layers to the mid or even the apex layer or decide to stay put, the occupant of the mid-layer may scale higher, remain stagnant or drastically decline towards the first-layer. Also, the apex-occupying position holders can scale through even higher; afford to remain at that position and may go down the ladder of the layers to the mid or to worsen matters, the first layer! To justify these facts, there are historic accounts of individuals whose wealth increased and dropped to below-average standards and even poverty levels. In fact, their successes in terms of monetary worth follow the changes in the positions they occupy in the 13-layer pyramidal structure (precisely, individuals, from humble backgrounds, rising to world’s richest business gurus, people from middle-classed families, rising from, dropping to or being stagnant in the layer they find themselves and the ‘rises’ and ‘falls’ of the apex and first-position holders). However, many of us, irrespective of the layer (level of financial space) we find ourselves, anticipate a rise. How can best take that rise?

The Realionaire’s approach is a come-to-stay recognition which provides individuals with advantages to face-lift their worth by climbing steadily through the ladder, layers of financial space, irrespective of opposing circumstances by placing various levels of self investment; knowledge acquisition, empowerment, focus, determination, inspiration, development of relational skill development and a goal-getting orientation which is equivalent to the recognized monetary values (thousands, millions, billions and even trillions).

Chimezie Ihekuna

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Poetry from Mahbub

When Green Fades


When a wife, Snigdha Sarkar Dipa Kills her husband, Rathis Chandra Vhowmic and plays their adultery or sex game with her lover, Kamrul Islam through out the whole night—

When Beauty, a name of a young girl raped and killed by the rapists and her dead body found in the green field where the national flag symbolizes the color of her with the natural beauty ——-

When a competition goes on the high ways and snatches away one hand of Rajib and after struggling some days in the hospital with life dies on the hospital bed, when the other day Najim Uddin run over by the speedy bus in the same case ——

Not only that

When every day at least ten or fifteen people die in the road accidents —–

When people are yet begging from door to door

When today our daily Newspapers publish fifty suspected drug peddlers killed in the gunfights across the country in the last ten days —–

And MPs are advised to buy expensive mobile sets from the govt. fund —–

And we celebrating and broadcasting to be developed or developing one

And that Stock Market falling down regularly, for this depression of the investors losing all the money bring down in the darkness of the night not to move, not to die, though even many died by themselves. People are groping and rushing under the shade of the banyan tree and their eyes fixed on the green fields that mark the national flag —–when and where the farmers are very busy with their cultivation. We always miss the glory of the color, green.





My  Sleeping Cat



O my cat, why are you sleeping

In the morning sun and shade on my roof?

The sun is going to be so hot but

You don’t have the sense of cold or hot

Deep in sleep as though you never slept

You make me think the days when

I was in depth of sleep like you

Having no attention for timetable

After waking from bed

I felt so fresh to the eyes and heart

I am sure you enlightened your eyes for love and care

And it is for the whole night you guarded your surroundings

And did your job burning the eyes as the lover’s red sparking those

O my loving cat, you are my love mate, love is sleep like

Show me the path to go ahead

With the passionate eyes throughout the whole night

Love is peace; love is sleep lying side by side.




In Chain


When I see your face

I can imagine a light

When I reach your home

I can think for rest

When I see the marks on your wrist

I can think for devotion

A sanctuary where I want to be regular to serve

When you make a journey

I can think of the life you led

I always try to struggle with me

To travel from this to that new

But I see myself always in chain

Not to move in the open sky, on the land or water

Always in chain.





I raised my head towards the sky

The sky is so high

Then kept my eyes down to the ground

Where only grass and soil lay vast

To the horizon – the mixing point

The ground and the sky

I found another sign of joy

There goes long and high

A thin branch of a tree

Separated from others seem to dance in the breeze

The leaves spreading a light

A glow to my eyes

Souring higher and surrounding the earth

A shelter to have a rest for joy

I am the branch separated from others

Make my songs and play on my tune

Just at the time the heart to dance

I find myself hidden to the bush

Only birds cry. 



Football, Another Name of Heart


The heart is like a football

You play with

Again the football is like a sun

You burned with

Look before you kick

Don’t try to maze the eyes

You can shoot the ball to the goal post

A source of joy for the audience

A joy for the love I wish you desire

I must be the one of your shooting point target

You play with me

The world will appear then

The new sunny morning with the new dewy scented rose

We both open the door

You, I and the new born one

I like to stick to for ever and for ever

Take a great attention before the kick

Take care dear or get lost.


Chapainawabganj, Bangladesh



Poetry from J.J. Campbell



J.J. Campbell (1976 – ?) is old enough to know where the bodies are buried. He’s been widely published over the years, most recently at Alien Buddha Zine, Academy Of The Heart And Mind, Under the Bleachers, Horror Sleaze Trash and The Daily Dope Fiend. His most recent chapbook, the taste of blood on christmas morning, was published by Analog Submission Press. You can find him most days on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights. (
another crazy woman
another day
another problem
another crazy woman
another chance for pleasure
another dance with pure fucking evil
another laugh
another set of differences to be set aside
another dream
another look at smoldering eyes
another lick of the lips
another reason to let go
another excuse why you can’t
another glimpse of the sun turning to black
a suicide saturday
another saturday night alone
i got an email from my mother
32 things you’ll find in every
grandmother’s home
i hit reply
all i remember is my cousin
forcing her nipple into my
mouth when i was four at
my grandmother’s home
i haven’t got another email
another bottle of bourbon
another slow, sad song
there’s a voice in the back
of my head that constantly
says no one will miss me
when i’m dead
i laugh
knowing the fucker is right
i grab a pen and paper
one of these nights it will
be for the purpose i am
currently trying to avoid
the robots
the robots have taken
over the factories
the robots are now
taking over the
bedrooms and
everything related
to love
when the robots learn
how to write good
i’ll truly be fucked
the most wonderful time of the year
bomb scare
starts off the
news at noon
the holidays
are truly here
an old man will
die from running
a generator indoors
and surely a christmas
tree will burn down
a house
fear and nutmeg
and a damn fruitcake
that no one is willing
to even think to eat
to call out in pain
another sunset alone
on the back porch
watching the kids
a few doors down
enjoy their youth
all my friends
have moved away
and are busy with
their families
another holiday
weekend where
i sit in my room
and listen for my
mother to call out
in pain
soon, the alcohol
will take over
the evening and
there will be a
final attempt at
something called
i’m used to going
to bed disappointed
J.J. Campbell 
51 Urban Ln.
Brookville, OH 45309-9277