"Before We Died" and "The Margins of Society"

Before We Died

the pictures came out
there was anger in the air
drivers sped a little faster
to get to their rectangular hideouts
hits to internet movies increased
but I think this has all caused me
to finally to see what pornography really is

now when I get naked with someone
I wonder where are the hoods the wires
the dogs the digital cameras
to keep us from revealing
how ashamed we are to be just skin
in the kingdom made by something
other than man what was the creator

thinking is this why we're here
to hope to someday transcend
to something beyond this sphere
is it something to look forward to
something nonmaterial something
I cannot see something that won't
remind me of what beasts we are

will my spirit inside finally come out
party because of the release finally
coming and no fluid will be involved
and I will be happy to have moved
beyond body into something ethereal
incapable of exercising any control
over the creatures that remain chained

for a while to the damned globe of
learning what is really important
that religion and politics were all
just exercises in preparation for
the true existence the one that
follows this short test this brief hell
that teaches us words for thoughts

and what a shame it would be
if all locutions were here
to simply become dust or
possibly that is the intention
that this experiment does not
leave this planet maybe there is
a wisdom to this limited breathing



The Margins of Society

start the poem
in the restroom
of the recently
rebuilt Ralphs

there find
Rest Assured
toilet seat covers
doubling as tissue

and decorating
a few small brown
but very clean
drainage tiles

walk out
the television
camera-ed sliding
glass doors

and lean on
the glittering
faux stone wall
so So. Pasadena

see strewn paper
Rave magazine
one page doodled
by a bus waiter

PUTAS over a picture
of Katia and Marielle
Labeque--Royce Hall
duo pianists

next to the freshly
planted flower bed
three empty
Minute Maid

fruit punch
juice bar wrappers
now sculpture for
an ant's delight

then an Oscar
Mayer / 7-11
Fresh From The Grill
box beside tiny white

planter flowers accompanied
by a carefully retopped
Premium POPOV Vodka
Unbreakable Bottle

pointing to plants
that look like
weeping hair
over rocky dirt

free of the market
loose and torn
Twix and M&M
wrappers in the lot

strips of computer
papers and cigarette
butts across from
the loading dock

Milky Way
Big Gulp
and I nervously
peel my

Cara Cara
and throw

the peels into
the stone-wrapped
chained metal
trash can

where I can't help
but notice a pile
of men's shirts and
pants lie dumped



Don Kingfisher Campbell

Don Kingfisher Campbell, MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, has taught Writers Seminar at Occidental College Upward Bound for 33 years, been a coach and judge for Poetry Out Loud, a performing poet/teacher for Red Hen Press Youth Writing Workshops, Los Angeles Area Coordinator and Board Member of California Poets In The Schools, poetry editor of the Angel City Review, publisher of Spectrum and the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, leader of the Emerging Urban Poets writing and Deep Critique workshops, organizer of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival, and host of the Saturday Afternoon Poetry reading series in Pasadena, California. See http://dkc1031.blogspot.com.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 21:21