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Wayman Barnes 7.29.04
A Conversation with Don “Kingfisher” Campbell

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell is everywhere. He has been teaching poetry to kids and adults for nearly twenty years. He publishes a quarterly anthology showcasing many of the San Gabriel Valley's finest poets. He runs a poetry website or two. Hosts a weekly reading that is quickly approaching the nine-year mark. He has won many writing awards and been published everywhere (including windows). And has been known to dive head first into a cold lake to catch fish.

Do yourself a favor and Google the man. Read his poems, buy his books, and support his causes. And when you are in Pasadena, check out:

Monday Night Poetry
Featured & Open Readings
every 2nd & 4th Monday night of the month
from 8:00 to 9:30pm
on 999 E. Washington Blvd. in Pasadena

Since it has often been said, mostly by the two of us, that we look like doppelgangers, that, naturally, had to be the first question ...

Wayman Barnes: Does it bother you that we look so much alike?

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell: Only that you're the younger, better-looking one.

Wayman Barnes: Have you ever been to Kingfisher, Oklahoma?

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell: No. But I used to play basketball at Barnes Park.

Wayman Barnes: The Chamber of Commerce of Kingfisher, Oklahoma states on its Website that “Kingfisher has always been an exciting place,” and that Kingfisher is the “Buckle of the Wheat Belt.” Are these two statements compatible?

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell: Buckles are usually shiny. I know mine is.

Wayman Barnes: When did you start writing poetry?

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell: Age 17. A great way to melt girls.

Wayman Barnes: Do you think your poetry reflects the person you are or the person you want to be?

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell: I try to be truthful, unless I can improve the poem by lying.

Wayman Barnes: What is WORDprocess?

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell: Was. Now dubbed POETRYpeople. It's the website where I publish student and teacher poems from the workshops I perform in schools and libraries.

Wayman Barnes: sensitivePOETRY?

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell: The website where I disseminate poetry info to the universe. Kinda kinky.

Wayman Barnes: San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly?

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell: The non-profit publication I produce to raise $100 for a deserving poet...uh...every three months.

Wayman Barnes: Monday Night Poetry?

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell: The place where I can get a regular poetry fix without leaving The Other Valley.

Wayman Barnes: It was called Thursday Night Poetry for a month or so wasn't it? Was that confusing for the people showing up on Monday Night?

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell: It worked to shake off the undesirables.

Wayman Barnes: Eight years is a very, very long time to keep a poetry reading going. Any advice for beginning hosts?

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell: Keep your intros brief and exhibit a tolerant mind.

Wayman Barnes: Who is taller, you or Jack Bowman?

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell: Jack's got that rock'n'roll hair.

Wayman Barnes: Which of your poems would you put in a time capsule?

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell: September 12, 2009. Just to try to outlive the poem.

Wayman Barnes: Do you write better in the morning, afternoon, or at night?

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell: Shucks, don't matter.

Wayman Barnes: How many poems have you written?

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell: Pretty near 300.

Wayman Barnes: Have you ever written a limerick?

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell: No.

Wayman Barnes: Can you come up with a rhyme for orange?

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell: That's a negative.

Wayman Barnes: If you couldn't be “Kingfisher” anymore, which other bird name would you choose?

Don “Kingfisher” Campbell: Golden Eagle.

Wayman Barnes: Which decade of the last century was the coolest?

Don “Golden Eagle” Campbell: The 70's. I can sum it up in two words: Glam Rock!

Wayman Barnes: Are you really Neve Campbell's uncle?

Don “Golden Eagle” Campbell: No, but if she needs a sugar daddy....

Kevin Connelly 7.21.04
"False Idyls"

A brow full of soot, an understood scowl.
A cowl with gold coils, foiling a plan;
a bow to a cow is bull from Aaron-
The Rose of Sharon! Bard of Patterson!
God of Manhattan! Allow me a field!
My Ark's a vessel; a plow to be pulled.
Arrows hit the mark- an orange is peeled.
Electrical arcs betwixt cherubs tell
secrets to each other in separate cells:
"Istanbul to Prague is fuel for Exxon;
Hexagons' may be the tools to hex us!"
Vaguely, this is felt by you in Texas;
who raised these kids: Was it school or Tetris?
A fool is lectured; he soon accepts it.

"Paper Work"

My dead presidents have met with an end;
I've meant they've begun, so my endz begin.
Let's pretend I never said it- I'm Kev.
This time my money's illing for meds;
when a wen's on skin, with an extra N,
we'll let the letter Wen win Prez again.
A Pheasant, a wren; a peasant's a friend-
a lez was never meant to get what men
pen in a ledger; a ledge in a glen.
A legend is pent- Dead Prez is alleged!
I guess it depends, what, the message is:
If time is money- I'm killing seconds!
Heads on cents are getting death sentences;
send gents to get endz for Dead Presidents!


"French Cuffs"

They read me and mused: "Like Louis he's poised!
So who is your boy; monsieur or Roy?"
The head of a moose, I hoist in my house,
mount it and ponder a rose in it's mouth;
the sign of a truce, I trust it's by choice,
for force is a course arising to rouse
a ponderosa, mouse, rooster and cow-
up in a cloud with a rusted Rolls Royce!
Assumptions allowed, I thunk it out loud:
I drunk up some stout; now, I'm a drunk lout?
To moisten the fuse, I usually pout;
how can I put it? I used to be proud.
Now, it's Scotch on the rocks; I'm a booze hound.
A ruse up my cowl: there's mousse on my loins!


"Gullible Travels"

They gather and meet, and then they agree:
They'll slather the meat- and the meat is me!
I'm salmon plus greens; they're Salman Rushdie;
I must be lunch cause they up and rush me!
Perhaps it just seems, as if that's their scheme:
"How deep is the sea?" I'd rather not see!
Matter's just C, on cadavers that ceased.
A fragment with sheen, rusts like a machine;
the soul is a scream, fleeing a being,
flambeing, the steam, fleeting as evenings.
Man praying; the Dream- heathens receiving
Jesus! Treating it like trick-or-treating.
I leap to my feet: "Liquor's him bleeding?!
I eat sacrament with Bastards in Queens?!"


Kevin Connelly is the author of "Testing the Drink" available at www.publishamerica.com/books5311 . He works as a cashier at a grocery store. He quit smoking last year. He writes five sonnets a week. Visit his website www.testingthedrink.com to read more of his writing.

Mike Estabrook 7.10.04
Touring England with Aunt Alice

Me: The British Museum is the oldest museum in the world!
Aunt Alice: Look how big the tires are on that truck!
Me: They started building Westminster Abbey in 1245! It's the tallest Gothic building in the British Isles!
Aunt Alice: Oh look, somebody's sleeping there in the grass!
Me: What a catastrophe. The great medieval cathedral of St. Paul's was completely destroyed by the London fire of 1660.
Aunt Alice: Ha ha look! There's a woman carrying a baby on her back!
Me: The Tower of London was begun in 1078, built right on top of ancient Roman walls!
Aunt Alice: Look at the pretty flowers in that windowbox there!
Me: This village of Tiverton is where my ancestors came from, the very first Estabrook leaving here for America in 1796.
Aunt Alice: Michael, look at that cat!
Me: Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-Upon-Avon was begun in 1210! Shakespeare is buried in the floor in front of the altar.
Aunt Alice: Oh look, there's a Woolworth's in this town!
Me: Anne Hathaway's family has occupied this cottage since 1540, that's 13 generations in the same house!
Aunt Alice: Oh my, look how big the leaves are on that plant!
Me: No wonder my uncle pretty nearly drank himself to death.


In the taxi on the highway from Arlanda Airport
to Uppsala (Sweden), raining, but
some sun too, I notice ahead
on the side of the road an oblong black object
with a long angular neck.
I almost blurt out, “Stop,
a snapping turtle on the shoulder, we
need to stop him from walking
onto the highway and getting run over!”
But as we speed past I see it is only a car muffler,
quiet now and dark, gritty, dirty, some rust,
but still looking awfully
similar to a big old snapping turtle.

brief notice in the local newspaper:

Unidentified woman, in her early thirties,
apparently committed suicide last evening
by falling in front of a speeding train
at the Shawmut Mills Station. Eye-witnesses
said that she was not pushed and did not seem
to trip, but rather jumped down onto the tracks.
But this is a life, an entire life gone bad, I think,
a life of hopes and dreams, plans
and desires, perhaps even passions,
literally thrown away, crushed into
a mangled dirty, pulpy mess of blood
and bone and guts beneath tons
of indifferent careening steel. A life, wasted,
but why? The news doesn't tell us why,
and I guess nobody cared enough to try
and stop it from happening, stop her
from going to such depths, such
irretrievable depths to undo
something gone wrong.


Marc Campbell

”I had another dream about my wife and another man.” (Even after 30 years of marriage to this beautiful, wonderful woman, I am still insecure, fearful she will stumble upon a real man who likes football and golf, collecting tools and hanging around Home Depot.) ”It wasn't as bad as some of the other dreams where she was kissing other guys, but it woke me up and kept me up for a long while.” Mike continues chewing his sandwich wondering why I'm such an idiot. ”We were in some hotel lobby and she came out of this phone booth, sort of burst out of this phone booth, smiling very broadly, her face flushed. She looked at me and said, 'Marc Campbell really likes me!' then scurried off down the hall.” Mike says, ”Man, you really are insecure, but at least nothing graphic happened, I mean it could've been worse.” Yes indeed, it could have been worse. In one dream I had she was making out with some guy in a car, pressed up against him, rubbing him. In another dream she was sitting next to some guy in a sauna, red-faced and wrapped only in a towel, his hand . . . Yes it could be worse, it can always be worse. Later Mike sent me an email clearing up some confusion I had about a stupid powersaw he was buying, something as a ”man” I should already know. He ends his email by stating, ”No wonder your wife likes Mark Campbell.” Ha, really funny. I write back, ”It's Marc Campbell damn you!”

“Your ring is so pretty,” I said to her,
her diamond ring sparkling like her eyes,
her dark golden hair flowing down
over her shoulders like tupelo honey,
her voice like tupelo honey too,
sweet and pure. Recently out of college,
I hope her youth and newness resists
the impending onslaught of a crass
and frantically materialistic world,
encroaching upon our souls
like crabs over a dead fish.

Wayman Barnes 7.1.04
Stax: Broken Hearts & Sad Country Songs

Have you ever had your heart broken? More apropos, have you ever broken your own heart? You did that thing, said that something, you knew was going to come back to haunt you? Well, if you have - and you probably haven't been in a relationship if you haven't - then this show is for you.

Lance Anderson is the writer/performer of this one-person show about the down side of being in (and out of) relationships. His honesty and revelations about his own faults are what keeps you interested and his solid storytelling skills that will keep you entertained. Go see this show!

But one word of advice: if you are taking a date to this show, do not have a fight before going. You will get flop sweat when you hear Lance saying some of the same things on stage that you said to her before you got there. The sweat will get even worse when you hear her say under her breath, “men are so stupid.”

Stax: Broken Hearts & Sad Country Songs
Stories & Music by Lance Anderson
The Coffee Fix
12508 Moorpark St, Studio City

Leah 7.1.04

I have traveled this world over, only to find that certain
traits are universal..some brilliant like gems, that are to be shared, others so dangerous they must be acknowledged…
I found
Ignorance is lack of understanding which breeds fear, fear breeds stupidity, stupidity breeds jealousy, jealousy breeds cruelty, cruelty breeds violence, violence breeds hate……hate is ignorance times x arrogance which in turn ='s destruction.
I found
Laughter creates smiles, smiles create happiness, happiness creates well being, well being creates peace, peace creates harmony, harmony creates love, love creates understanding, understanding erases ignorance, which means that mankind at this point knows no fear. Without fear, there is no stupidity, jealousy, cruelty, violence or hate….without hate there is only love.
I found
I traveled this world over only to learn that I must make you understand my journey is to promote the love of the journey itself.. if I accomplish this, perhaps your understanding can be passed to those that understand that one person at a time..we can stop the destruction of humanity…….


What a pain it is to dance to someone else's whim….when all I'm trying to do is get paid….

What a pain it is to discover who will be friend or lover when all I'm trying to do is get laid….

Then of course the voice inside the pride never fully recognizes this is something I'd never do…in order to lay with you, I would have to pay upfront….which again is something old….not new, again, something I'd never do…..

What a pain it is to muddle through the mumbled clutter of someone else's intentions

What a pain it is to try to converse within the mindless verse of what was meant, or worse….what wasn't.

Am I so inept at understanding your dramatic language, that I can't find what your stance is….is this dancing or just your moves?

What a strain it is to figure out why I try to fit into a space so small its ludicrous….my personality for one, is rotund, and doesn't want to play with you anyway…I don't like the way you play the games you play, and you didn't come with rules…guessing is for fools so I quit…

What a thrill it is to split this trip and walk away…I don't have to stay where I'm not wanted…so happily and rationally I'll take my jacks and go….while you sit there quizzically remembering that what I've said you'll never comprehend …

What a joy it is to figure out the exact time and spot I realized I'm brighter than they thought



If you and I are never to be anymore than we are at this moment…….
Then I shall cherish this moment…


You to me are like hot chocolate after snow, deep kisses on white sands
Inside your giant eyes you make my blood race,
sucking on your lips, your style makes my face smile..
the very heat of you makes my mind race…..
allowing me to soar…
You to me are the perfect beach on a Nassau day,
you understand the complexities of my personality, and bring me peace; your voice reassures my insecurities...
allowing me to soar……..
I revel in being the best me I can be
as I crawl throughout your serenity,
you make my skin burn
my passion yeans for you within me
you set me free
allowing me to soar…


Mani Suri 6.1.04
On the Occasion of the 10th Anniversary of Cobalt's Poetry Reading

It's a bardic honor to read poetry
at the Cobalt
where the host, Lupe Rickert*,
is of Napoleonic proportions,
where a mannequin
prepares to mOOn your poetry
from its astral perch,
Marilyn Manson writhes
in agony to your words,
the wall lauds you quietly,
treats your words
like Rolling Stones,
sticking out its tongue at you,
proclaiming your work Atomic Garbage,
tells you to
Kiss off the wall
as a fan of your poetry,
While not waving the flag

*Rick Lupert (whose esteemed name was mangled by other poets recounting their first meetings with this inimicable poetry host of hosts).