Poetry from J.J. Campbell

just the right amount of alcohol

sometimes when i
have had just the
right amount of

i can picture myself
on my grandmother’s
bathroom floor

my cousin putting
her nipple in my
mouth and telling
me to suck on it

fast forward a quarter
century plus a few
years and there’s a
knock on the door

there’s the same
cousin with two
magazines sent to
the wrong house

the same smile that
makes my skin crawl

as i lock the door back

i realize i was never
meant to be anything
more than a broken

i trusted that the years
would change all this

time is the knife firmly
planted in my back

one of these days i’ll
stop enjoying the pain

cremated and flushed

it gets better

and so the aliens
were chasing me
around as a child

i could never make
it back to the house

i was the only one
to die in this dream

the rest of my family
lived on like i never

i first had this dream
when i was eight years

i should have never
talked myself out
of climbing that tree
with a rope

i want to be able
to say to someone
that it gets better

that’s a lie for the
purposes of television

it gets better if you
allow it to

not everyone is
blessed with such
all the previous lifetimes

all the beautiful

i sit back and think
about all the previous
lifetimes and what
could have been

they are all married
and i’m just a friend
of a friend

or the brother of
someone close

none of the beautiful
ones ever thought of
me as the one they
couldn’t miss out on

hell, neither did the
other ones either

it’s that moment you
look in the mirror
and understand
the truth

if losers are the glue
of the world

you’re staring at the
biggest one you can
think of
perhaps destiny is only a dancer

there was the night
at the pool hall
where you told
me you loved me
just so i would
leave you alone

that reminded me
of what my father
would do

i’ve been stuck
my entire fucking
life trying to get
unlovable fuckers
to realize how
much i do care

i am a
of insanity
in motion

perhaps destiny
is only a dancer
at the living room

i’m sure the prices
haven’t got any
better in the past
twenty years
in the newspaper

another impending
disaster churns off
in the ocean and
i’m wondering when
would be the right
time to kill myself
and not have it buried
where no one would
see it in the newspaper

there are no down
months any longer
for this end of the
world biblical type

maybe i’ll get lucky
enough to find the
end of the line on
a day where no one
decides to shoot up
a school or kill an
innocent black person

i’m laughing
at the thought
as well