Dan Campion



Conviviality is what we crave
When stepping out at night. With smile and wave
We stride up party house’s walk. Our hosts
Wave back. (They have already raised six toasts.)
We hand our bottle over, join the scrum,
Are offered some concoction laced with rum.
We brought a good Bordeaux. Expected talk.
Instead, a punchbowl fuels incessant squawk.
We’ll stay one hour, nothing more or less,
Convivial the whole time, in duress,
And as we leave the house, we’ll wave and smile
Convivial as bridesmaids up the aisle.

Hors de Combat

after Gelett Burgess

I ever see a purple toe,
Though never hoped to see one,
The hue of red, refined Bordeaux
From grapes at peak of season.
It stems from foot I chanced to kick
Against wine cellar door
That wouldn’t shut—a dirty trick.
Wine’s warming. I’m still sore.

Roberto Valentini

He started Robert Valentine,
Changed spots in Italy,
Made music blithe and serpentine
As eels in wine-dark sea.
It only took a change of air,
Accent, and plazas sunned in
To turn fecund and debonair
Dry, barren Bob from London.

Dan Campion has contributed verse to Light since its founding. He is author of Peter De Vries and Surrealism, coeditor of Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song, and contributor of poetry to many magazines, including Able Muse, After Hours, Measure, The Midwest Quarterly, The North American Review, Parody, Poetry, Rolling Stone, Shenandoah, and Think. He works as a writer and editor in Iowa City, Iowa.