October 22-28, 2001: Michael Burch and Don Campbell

week of October 22-28, 2001

Michael Burch
Don Campbell

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Michael Burch

Bio (auto)

Michael R Burch is the poetry editor of The HyperTexts and is a moderator on Rigorous Analysis, one of the top interactive poetry forums on the Internet He was nominated for the 1999 Pushcart Prize by The Aurorean, and his work has appeared in over 60 publications, including Poetry Magazine, ByLine, Unlikely Stories, Light Quarterly, Black Bear Review, The Lyric, Poet Lore, Lonzie’s Fried Chicken, Icon, Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Journal and Writer’s Gazette.

The following work is Copyright © 2001, and owned by Michael Burch and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


There, in that sunny arbor,
in the aureate light
filtering through the waxy leaves
of a stunted banana tree,

I felt the sudden monsoon
of your wrath,
the clattery implosions
and copper-bright bursts

of the bottoms of pots and pans I saw your swollen goddess’s belly
wobble and heave
in pregnant indignation,

turned tail, and ran.


I am besieged with kindnesses;
sometimes I laugh,
delighted for a moment,
then resume
the more seemly occupation of my craft
I do not taste the candies;
the perfume
of roses is uplifted in a draft
that vanishes
into the ceiling’s fans

that spin like old propellers
till the room
is full of ghosts
and bits of yarn;
the task

is not to knit,
but not to end too soon.


This poem is dedicated to Harvey Stanbrough, who was nominated for the 1999
Pulitzer Prize and has written passionately and eloquently about the horror
and absurdity of war in “Lessons for a Barren Population “

No, I will never know
what you saw or what you felt,
thrust into the maw of Eternity,

watching the mortars nightly
greedily making their rounds,
hearing the soft damp hiss

of men’s souls like helium escaping
their collapsing torn bodies,
or lying alone, feeling the great roar

of your own heart But I know:
there is a bitter knowledge

of death I have not achieved,
and in thankful ignorance,
and especially for my son

and for all who benefit so easily
at so unthinkable a price,
I thank you.

Flight 93

I held the switch in rigid fingers, asked why did if feel so cold, so purposeless,
inordinate in weight, beyond my grasp?

Vibrations of huge engines thrummed my arms
as, glistening with sweat, I nudged the switch
to OFF I heard the klaxon’s shrill alarms

like vulture’s shriekings Earthward, in a stall we floated earthward wings outstretched, aghast
like Icarus as through the void we fell
till nothing was so beautiful, so blue,
so vivid as that moment And I held
an image of your face, and dreamed I flew

into your arms The earth rushed up I knew
such comfort, in that moment, loving you.


She has belief
without understanding
and in her crutchwork shack
she is
much like us
tamping the bread
into edible forms,
regarding her children
at play
with something akin to relief
ignoring the towers ablaze
in the distance
because they are not revelations
but things of glass,
easily shattered
and if you were to ask her,
she might say:
sometimes God visits his wrath
upon an impious nation
for its leaders’ sins,

and we might agree:
seeing her mutilations.

Don Campbell

Bio (auto)

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell submits to you his favorite self-composed poems featuring titles that start with the letters “E” and “F ”  Fast and easy But life is not usually like that, of course Don’s been working for 17 years teaching poetry in schools Yes, and that same guy called “Kingfisher” has been hosting poetry readings for a mere five years Why, a scant two years ago, Campbell won a Poetry In The Windows award If this keeps up

The following work is Copyright © 2001, and owned by Don Campbell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Edgar Winter Again

This time
unlike when I was
a teenager

I have a real
on the bed
downing Pina Colada
while “We All Had A Real Good Time”
comes out of the portable

my wife’s fingers
drum on
my ass

El Nino

As a bald baby I was moved
near a reservoir to a tract house
with a garage door branded Z Z

My Grecian Formula haired father turned on
the TV and the Trix rabbit jumped
onto a box on our formica dining table

I admired Dad’s mahogany console stereo
oozing music for modern lovers
Tijuana Brass Whipped Cream

And Other Delights
a vinyl sheriff’s star
stuck on the front door pane

Shouted re-elect Peter Pitchess
as my auburn-coiffed mom opened
her favorite tome

Jane Dixon’s astrology pulled
from the woodgrain-
laminated-particleboard bookcase

I grew in evolving Polaroid pictures
smiling beside a “tree”
assembled for Christmas

Hugging my Strange Change
plastic creature maker
never thinking for a moment

I’d turn into a poet

Entering the John Muir Wilderness

Oh, see the sun
reflect on that lake Looks like the front of
the Coors beer can
Yeah, and how the snow
nestles the rocks
on the side of that mountain Just like a Yes album cover
Hey, a strip of toilet paper
trailing out of that log
I found a broken coffee cup!

Then, seeing the sun disappear
behind the jagged horizon,
the Angelenos stop in their Reeboks,
look up at the ascending trail,
and wheeze, “We better turn back “

Five Hours

Kyla and I
are together
almost everyday
after school

We’re always hungry
to bike
to Ralphs
for a kid’s meal

She can only eat
half a sandwich
so I get the other
with her unwanted

sometimes raisins
she even shares
cookies while doing homework

We finish
straddle our bikes
back home

We want to see
The Simpsons episodes
and whatever’s inbetween

It’s our ritual
waiting for Mami
(mi amor)
to make high heel steps

Key in the door
and then

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