Dan Campion


Thanks for Having Me

The topic of the interview may cause
the heart to lurch and brain to freeze, but be
assured, the host gives thanks, and there’s a pause,
and then the guest says, “Thanks for having me.”
It doesn’t matter what catastrophe
befell a town, who’s been disgraced, what crime
screams out for justice; formulae decree
the “Thanks” and “Thanks for having me” each time.
Though some guests, in rebellion, will not chime
the formula, but say, “You’re welcome,” this,
while courteous, with irony sublime
suggests we’ve earned whatever went amiss.
A grunt, or keeping silent, may be rude,
but, these days, shows the proper attitude.


Of what use is a universe?
It cannot drive a nail
Or sew a button on. What’s worse,
It lets fresh bread go stale.

Perhaps it’s just a work of art,
That is, superfluous,
Just toys to fix or tear apart,
Which labor falls to us.

Lifetime Guarantee

At my advanced age “Lifetime Guarantee”
conveys a cheap and vulgar irony
an advertiser might be well advised
to edit out. And yet I’m tantalized.
Time growing short, a lifetime guarantee
is all the likelier to favor me,
ensuring product qualities endure
until its owner’s ready to inter.
Would that every irony bore fruit
and advertisers all were so astute.

Dan Campion is the author of A Playbill for Sunset (Ice Cube Press) and the monograph Peter De Vries and Surrealism (Bucknell University Press) and is coeditor of Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song (Holy Cow! Press). His poems have appeared widely. The Mirror Test (poems) is forthcoming from MadHat Press. Dan lives in Iowa City, Iowa.