Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sofisticated White Trash by JJ Campbell

J.J. Campbell’s latest collection, Sofisticated White Trash, is published by Interior Noise Press and is filled with the raucous, the indiscreet, and the kinds of poems that live up to its title. This book is not for the faint-of-heart, Campbell writes the nitty gritty sides of life and tackles a wide range of topics from being the weird guy at the supermarket to sex to the feelings of being down and out. Below are some sample poems:

a day in the life

it was one of those rare occasions
that i actually left my cage

you know
for a few odds and ends
some rays of sunshine
a breath of fresh air
or whatever fucking reason
people go out these days

and it was as soon as i
entered the store that i realized
why i don’t leave my cage
very often anymore.

the purses were held a bit
closer to the chest
children stared and then ran
back to inattentive parents
the quick double glances
followed by hushed voices
“did you see that fucking guy?!”

it felt like my adolescence
all over again
the weirdo, the outcast
the misunderstood non-conformist
the echoes of counselors and parents
“we just don’t see why you don’t
want to fit in”

as this mini-movie was
playing in my head
i put some milk in my cart
a woman strolled past me
that smelled rather nice

instead of playing it cool
and saying “excuse me, what’s that
lovely perfume you’re wearing?”
i sniffed rather loudly
trying to get all of the scent
out of the air

she stopped, looked back at me
gave me that what the fuck
are you doing look

i smiled and she looked away
she walked quickly to
the other end of the store

i began laughing to myself
thought the world was getting
back to normal

i proceeded to the checkout lane
stared off into the distance
watched the people come and go
wondered if one of them
could possibly carrying
a loaded gun

i suppose at the time
the wonder was actually a wish

to my disappointment
i made it out of there alive
minus the money for my items
and the time it took to
weave my path through
the creatures

the wanna be trendy teenagers
the anorexic mothers
the soon to be gay stock boys
and of course, the old women

the old women who make me,
out of the feat that i truly am
a violent motherfucker deep within,
yearn for the comfort of my cage
the very second
i step out of it.

This poem reminds me of any time any of us have felt socially awkward or unkempt in a public space. This poem takes it to a darker extreme, the poet wishing he hadn’t made it out alive after noticing others’ reactions to him. In one sense it is humorous, in another it is dark and tragic.

from my empty bed

someone once told me
if i learned how to dance
i would always have
a woman by my side

and as i write this
from my empty bed

i realize that was one
piece of advice i should
have actually listened to

I like this poem because I love to dance and it’s hard to find men who do. Therefore, listen to the above, all you males in the population out there. Learn how to dance. This is one of those poems I just wanted to share because I like it’s message.

If you enjoyed this sample, you may purchase a copy of J.J. Campbell’s Sofisticated White Trash for $15.00 from Interior Noise Press. *Make sure you get your 25% discount by typing in “MMARCA7Z” so please follow the link below:

Thanks always for reading, please drop in again next week…