Ranney Campbell

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Each Deviation

I’ve never felt for another woman
what I feel for you

arms wrapped around
me, his hard-on
just a chubby

Don’t Try That Tusk of Narwhal on Me

I know that’s just an overgrown
whale canine
not a unicorn horn
not a hiking buddy
whose sweat I cannot resist the smell of

backcountry man who knows what is required
and how to carry, bone and tall and understands
that we is the only status that matters

to spoon my cooking in, to spoon his in me
finds that just so
acoustic trio scheduled to play an afternoon
neighborhood bar in L.A., wakes me
with a throaty
come share Greek pizza on the boardwalk with me

        whom I never cease to stagger, simpatico,
evolving as I wait patiently and patiently
waiting for me while we climb into higher

                                                        and higher
under pine trees

whose protection leaves me in the enchantment
of willing submission

my best friend, my favorite person

  who thinks.    the same.    of me.

one day, could, from behind a boulder
in the Angeles Forest, milk-white
flecked flamingo, diamond and lime
with an aura you can just feel is silver
- - been on enough dusty bay horses
once a slick gunmetal dun with striped legs
even a red roan five-gaited Egyptian stallion
with a no-shit strawberry blonde spiraled mane

     so what         over it

conjure me up some for-real
bliss-on-tap stuff-of-myth magic, but please,
don’t swing a twisted fang dripping seaweed
and tell me
it’s a legend

Do Not Say You Want That for Me

for Steven Arons

intentional infliction of pain
is not the secret of poetry
just lazy

                 your disappeared
teachers misguided you
they each wanted you
to be as wretched as themselves

your professor, advising you to write your life
into trifle
and his wife, inviting you to be her tub-side voyeur

offered the sameness of their desolation
rationalization that this is just the way life is
its pieces, pittances, simply scored solace points

those just don’t know
how could they see
from under limestone

gathered angels await your art
without condition

baby, it’s never too late.

you are breathing


Ranney Campbell received an MFA in fiction from the University of Missouri at St. Louis and her poetry has been published by or is forthcoming in Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Hummingbird: Magazine of the Short Poem, Eastern Iowa Review, and others. Her chapbook, Pimp, is published by Arroyo Seco Press.