Wednesday, September 2, 2015

a poem by J.J. Campbell

a need to know the truth

standing tall in the valley of guilt

your hands still around my neck
fearing that i'm going to be better than you

i still remember looking in your eyes and
telling you i would kill you if you ever
hit mom again

i could see your fear and i believe you could
see that i wasn't bluffing

after you slammed the door
mom said i should never talk to my father that way

i told her i guess i should just let him beat the shit out of you

in hindsight, i should have said

when the fuck has that man every acted like my father

and then to try to stomach all these strangers at your
funeral talk about how kind and generous you were

the love you had for god and family

i was laughing on the inside

just telling myself the old man finally found a bunch
of fucking fools that didn't have a need to know
the truth

carrying your casket out of the hearse was a treat

and as tempted as i was to spit on the fucking
casket or burn the damn flag the air force gave
your stepdaughter

i didn't

i'm pretty sure i will get to see you soon
enough and then you will get my fucking
two cents

J.J. Campbell has given up the farm life and is trapped in suburbia.  He's been widely published over the years, most notably at Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Dead Snakes, The Camel Saloon and Horror Sleaze Trash.  His most recent collection, Sofisticated White Trash (Interior Noise Press), is available wherever you happen to buy books these days.  You can find J.J. most days bitching about things only he cares about on his highly entertaining blog, evil delights. (

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