Dan Campion



I laughed at Super Bowl the First,
Plumb sure it was the last,
Plain silliness—though not our worst—
Whose sacking would come fast.

When bottled water hit, What sap,
I chortled, ever springs
For what pours freely from the tap?

You see the trend of things;

Dear savvy marketeers: My scorn
Gives fail-safe guarantee
A megahit new product’s born.
So step up: Hire me.

Safety In Between

Let’s pretend we’re Harold Lloyd, on fire
with hazardous ideas for Safety Last,
and Buster Keaton, center of a blast,
or waiting for the countdown to expire.
We’re pretty sure each stunt won’t be our last,
but you can never tell. Events conspire.
Yet it would be our death blow to retire:
We’re Lloyd and Keaton! Fans would gape, aghast.
And so we plan to plan, and then we plan—
except of course when inspiration rips
all plans apart and leaves us in the air,
where comedy can breathe, as quick death nips
our heels and twirls our hats while cameras scan
our faces. Safety’s waiting for us there.

The Gullivers

Since Gulliver indeed was Dean Swift’s gull,
it’s likely things were not quite as he thought.
The Houyhnhnms very probably were dull,
the Yahoos mannerly, their urns well-wrought.
The Lilliputians might have been the giants,
the Brobdingnagians the imps, the Grand
Academy a model of sound science.
Who knows? You’d have to visit every land.
And if you did, you’d do so in the spell
of Gulliver, the Ancient Mariner,
and Arthur Gordon Pym, of Dante’s hell
and Homer’s wine-dark sea. But you would hear
the sirens singing, and from them take note
how far they were from what men poets wrote.

Dan Campion is the author of Peter De Vries and Surrealism (Bucknell University Press) and coeditor of Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song (Holy Cow! Press) and a contributor of poetry to many magazines, including Able Muse, Light, Measure, Poetry, Rolling Stone, and Think. A selection of his poems titled The Mirror Test will be published by MadHat Press in 2022.