Poetry from J.J. Campbell

Middle aged white man with a beard standing in a bedroom with posters on the walls
J.J. Campbell


seeking ghosts

i sometimes think

of my life as trying

to play jazz in a

world of strip clubs

and heavy metal

i’m a neon light

weaving through

broken glass and

burnt spoons

an old man on a

porch seeking ghosts

that may or may not

have ever existed

the lonesome howl

of a saxophone in

the rain

frank always had a

way of making me

stop and ponder just

how deep did i want

the pool to be

it’s a birthday

spent in a cemetery

but it’s not the

tombstone i was

hoping for


another excuse to get depressed

i come from a long

line of radicals

irreverent assholes

hell bent on drinking

away the pain

let’s go fuck like

the fish in the indian


let’s go dance naked

on the north pole

let’s go march through

the streets of los angeles

chanting for a better

tomorrow that doesn’t


another birthday

another excuse to get


another night spent



the never-ending chaos of the world

it’s every night

alone in bed trying

to sleep through the

pain of life, death,

old bones and the

never-ending chaos

of the world

there’s a part of

you that longs for

death more than

the other part is

willing to take

three steps into

the great wide

open and live

a little

there’s no room

for broken souls

any longer

they are being

replaced by robots

and dogs that need


there’s no gold

at the end of any


not even a little

fucker dressed

in green


ever dreamed about dunking

i remember being the

only white kid on my

basketball team and

we were at a summer

camp as a team

and one of my black

teammates noticed i

was the only white

kid that wasn’t in

the free throw finals

he asked why was that

i said you guys never

allow me to get in the


i have to stand out here

and shoot threes all game

let’s have a three-point

contest and see who the

fuck wins that

i then asked why there

weren’t any black guys

in the free throw finals

he didn’t answer

instead he asked me

if i ever dreamed

about dunking

i said no

have you ever dreamed

about being automatic

from thirty-four feet

he laughed and asked

have you

i chuckled and said

i don’t have to dream


i’m good from wherever

i am in the gym

he dared me to shoot

from where i was

forty feet from the


i took two dribbles

and let it fly

i banked it in because

i could


take secrets to the grave

the spanish princess

and i trade war stories

of childhoods torn apart

way too soon

and i know each confession

is a test of my loyalty

but she knows i take secrets

to the grave if asked to

but she also knows i am

capable of burning bridges

and completely erasing a

soul from my memory

with a snap of the fingers

her eyes are smoldering

and she wishes to smother

me with her breasts

i laugh and curse all

the miles between us

one day, before the

tumors take us all

we will meet

lock lips

and come back up

for air a few days


J.J. Campbell (1976 – ?) is trapped in suburbia, plotting his escape. He’s been widely published over the years, most recently at Horror Sleaze Trash, The Beatnik Cowboy, The Asylum Floor, Misfit Magazine and Disturb the Universe Magazine. You can find him most days on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights. (https://evildelights.blogspot.com)

6 thoughts on “Poetry from J.J. Campbell

  1. J.J.
    The good old days of basketball! I like to remember too.

  2. I dreamed of dunking but the best I could do, once upon a long time ago, was touch the rim. I used to shoot set shots from half court of cokes though. Averaged about fifty per cents. Might explain all my prosthetic teeth now. Great batch jj

    • thanks Alan, best i could ever do was get the net but i did have one practice in 8th grade where i drained 8 straight 3 pointers on a kid that would go on to play division 1 basketball at Hofstra.

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