Thursday, October 18, 2018

An Old Soul Begging To Escape By J.J. Campbell

The demons like to laugh at me
when I feel lonely on a Friday

this is no different than high school

when I was in a house of a
couple hundred strangers
and I was in my room alone

listening to muddy waters

sneaking sips from a bottle of gin

there was an old soul begging
to escape

that ancient soul is dying now

I feel it in every tear that runs
down the face

every ache and pain

every lost desire on a dark highway

I once left home with thirty
seven cents and a cigarette

thirty fucking years later
I don't have much more

perhaps a few books and
a few more scars

find a spot well off the road

leave the car and walk a few
more miles

paradise is one empty shell away

About J.J. Campbell:

J.J. Campbell (1976 - ?) was raised by wolves yet still managed to graduate high school with honors. He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Dodging The Rain, Synchronized Chaos, Horror Sleaze Trash, Fourth & Sycamore and The Beatnik Cowboy. His most recent chapbook, the taste of blood on christmas morning, was published by Analog Submission Press. You can find him most days waxing poetic on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights. (


  1. JJ!; do you really feel this way? I mean, in some mindsets, its cool to be negative all the way to the very end, & Im getting that here, that thats your style & individual "Culture', & not necessarily REAL!... It is too consistent! Human Nature & Emotions is are NOT like that, but changeable, whimsical, IE, unless one has a mental condition like clinical depression! And IF so, then this is just a Walk through the Mind of a Bipolar Disorder, Depression Person, and it gets Old... You KNOW that I like your Poetry, You Style(NOT ALL the time though...)/// But you talk about the "Old Soul" during College... What about the Young Soul? Id be muh more concerned about Him, with all his Youth, and Ideals, and Hope,and Zeal, and Promise, and Plans! What about him and all the Wealth of Youth? Wouldnt it be much harder on him to have to go through the Loneliness, and Disillusionment, and Despair; who wouldnt agonize for this Young Soul "begging to escape" at this Age who should by all Rights be enjoying Life and thirty "fucking" years later is "dying now", a Young Soul who has never got the Chance to Live is Dying... At least the Old Soul has some years behind him and has lived somewhat, so in the juxtaposition between the Old and the New, though they occupy the same body at the same time, the Young Soul is worse off and Much more piteable I would think... And WHAT is meant by "Paradise is "one empty shell away"? Suicide? Shell being a cartridge for a gun? But if it has been THIRTY years & your situation has never gotten better, and you have never during all that time killed yourself, then I would hardly be concerned that you would NOW, Suddenly, after all these years suffering the same very painful UNchanging fate, end Life... That is HIGHLY HIGHLY Improbable, and I am a Suicide Prevention Counselor.... SO these are my objections to the poem... That if leaves out two essential concerns: 1) The young Freshman who also is in that tortured Body along with the "Old Soul" Suffering the Same Things as he; and 2) The Suicide is not at all valid so does not give the poem credence and negates the "BANG" at the end of the poem, which 85% of authors like...

  2. JJ:
    Why arent U even REPLYING to my comment anymore? I it takes time & effort & energy & THOUGHT-POWER to write them U know; I dont just COME UP with them! I have to STOP! my life, read your poem, feel it out, think about it for a while, and then feel what I wanna say... I mean, U dont even say thanks or that U have received them so I dont even know that U are even reading them nor getting them! Damn Man!!!..... Well, if UR gonna be so selfish like THAT, then I am just gonna stop giving U critiques!... If it is that U think that U R being published Here & here so UR So High & Mighty now so U DONT HAVE to bother with little old DUMB-ASS ME, then TO HELL with you!... I try to read your poem whenever & wherever I see them, & I always give them a thought at the moment & if I cant then< I go back & give them a critique at a later date because theyre cyclic-they always come around again!... By the way; I am having a very hard time posting; the last time, they wanted me to add to Google + Profile, and after I did ALAL of that!, the comment STILL did not appear on the Page under the poem so I dont know wwhere it was nor what happened, but the paaaaaaage ATE my comment, & things got complicated 7 SCAY Man... It was like Halloween... It would NOT regurgitate my Shit! I tellya!... - Deborah


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