J.J. Campbell

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the dark angel

here comes the dark angel
telling me love isn’t worth
the fight anymore

beaten to a pulp this broken
heart seeks a quiet room and
the shotgun in the corner

i give my old friend a glass
but tell her the shotgun is
only there as a reminder

not the final sentence of life

she wants death

can taste it in her sweat

i give her two ice cubes
and something smooth



remember all the times
your parents let you down
yet you still went on

all the knives in your back
from your friends yet you
still went on

your eyes still have life
in them

you aren’t ready for death

but if you stay here long
enough your soul will beg
you for a release



but the confidence never came

she was the most beautiful
woman on earth

you were in over your head

the first kiss was magic
and shockingly, she made
you a man

but the confidence never
came and eventually the
beauty runs out

you remember a homeless
guy told you once you haven’t
lived until your heart is broken
and they tell you when the
alimony is due

trace the scar along your face
where you learned you aren’t
the quickest ducker anymore

remember how you didn’t want
to press charges and how she
called you a pussy and slept
with your best friend

now remember every scar
has a story and only you
get to tell it

broken souls tend to find
each other this time of year

some broken queen will
want to do amazing things
to that scar

if you would only let them


an old glass of something dark and strong

one of those tom waits
saturday nights

longing for some woman
that has forgotten about
you years ago

running your finger
along the edge of an
old glass of something
dark and strong

this is where the broken
souls end up

staring off into the distance

watching all the old dreams
pass you by on the highway

you never thought this was
a possibility

you were going to be rich,
famous, a someone in this

but a wrong turn here and there
and suddenly the cracks become

and you find the sidelines

the margins

scribbling poems with blood
on a park bench

string a few words together
and you’ll suddenly feel
alive again 


anything that brings anyone else joy

here comes the wind
a blinding snow

some young fucker will think
this is the time to impress that
lovely young woman by doing
donuts in the cul-de-sac

a few mailboxes later
and another bottle of jack

yet another redneck love story
in this hole in the world town

and i know it sounds like i’m the
bitter old fuck who hates the holidays,
hates love, hates anything that brings
anyone else joy

not true

i know i’m not young and still
full of cum

but i’m not this rotting evil fuck
that too many people seem to
think i am

i enjoy silence, a tall glass of scotch

charlie parker playing christmas songs
as i watch the lights twinkle as the hours
start to fade

the days of putting on a show have
passed me by

i have learned that is a good thing


that last glass of scotch

four in the morning

trying to come up
with the words to
describe the beauty

the breathtaking nature

of that last glass of scotch

before all your energy
escapes the room

they tell me my drinking
will kill me

i always respond with good
someone should have the
balls to take the first shot

they know this is the
alcohol talking

and i know they are right

the booze won’t kill me
any faster than fast food
or pollution will

hell, they might just be
conspiring behind my backā€¦



J.J. Campbell (1976 - ?) was raised by wolves yet managed to graduate high school with honors. He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Synchronized Chaos, The Beatnik Cowboy, The Rye Whiskey Review, Yellow Mama, and Terror House Magazine. You can find him most days on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights. (https://evildelights.blogspot.com)