JJ Campbell, Behind The Purple Mountain

behind a purple mountain

chase the thunder

the dying light fading
behind a purple mountain

seek out a woman that
will give you mercy
and better credit

put two tabs under your
tongue if you’d like to
see the sun bleed into
a warm field of clover
and beautiful corpses
of fallen gods

the old lion eventually
has to give ground or
it will end up on some
rich guy’s wall

a woman once told me
i was a beautiful man

i gave her a twenty and
told her to get her eyes
checked

instead she bought some
weed and a happy meal

if i was smart, i would
have married that one

instead

i’m busy chasing shadows
while waiting for snow
on the first day of spring

had it coming for years

sometimes the shadows catch
up with you and beat the shit
out of you

you can tell yourself that you
deserved it

that you had it coming for years

but that doesn’t smooth over
the scars

the deep haunting pain within
that never ceases to exist

sometimes it’s a noose

sometimes it’s a gun, a bottle
of booze and a note written
in blood

you know, because that looks
like you really mean this shit

when all of us ever wanted
was someone to say hello,
how can i help you

instead we are supposed
to pull ourselves up by the
bootstraps when we don’t
even own fucking shoes

my shadow beat me bloody
today

we shared a bottle of vodka
afterwards and we have come
to an understanding of sorts

it’s more complicated
than it appears

you think love is something genuine

she likes to lick
your scars with
the same tongue
she uses on other
men

you hate yourself
just enough that
you think love is
something genuine

get lost in the neon
of two-dollar drink
night at the latest
club that will be
closing soon

desperation is in
the air and you’re
fucking oblivious
to all the pain you
leave in your wake

i once had a woman
blow me a kiss before
i watched her load a
shotgun and decide
if she was going to
shoot me or herself

i wake up each
morning not
feeling as lucky
as you think i
should

when to look death in the eye and laugh

it’s that feeling
you get like you
are drifting

like when the drugs
hit the bloodstream
or the alcohol clouds
the brain just in the
right spot

it’s learning how
to ride those waves

how to know
when to hold
back

and when to look
death in the eye
and laugh

i look at these scars
and smile at all the
experience

sometimes the
blood is life
leaving

and sometimes
it is a gift to the
only love that
never fucked
you over

and one of these
days

you’ll get up the
courage to ask her
what her name is

talk of fathers that never loved

your lonely eyes
and my poetic
dreams

what could possibly
go wrong in this
scenario

a couple drinks

some small talk

a long discussion
about kerouac
being overrated

wild hand gestures

talk of fathers that
never loved

and just how gay
do you have to be
to be famous in
california

now we’re on to
shots and both of
us dreaming of
dylan thomas

and needing another
bar to close down

those lonely eyes
are now dark and
sunken

may we never rise
again

J.J. Campbell (1976-?) is old enough to know better. He’s been widely published over the years, most recently at In Between Hangovers, Rusty Truck, Synchronized Chaos, Mad Swirl, and Horror Sleaze Trash. You can find him most days on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights. http://evildelights.blogspot.com

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