Review: Suicide Porn

Leah Angstman
Jun 27, 2016 · 4 min read

J.J. Campbell
Poetry
44 pages
5 ½” x 8 ½” chapbook
Interior Noise Press
Available HERE
$8.00
Review originally published on 2/6/11

Even though the polished, glossy cover with trimmed page edges on laid paper makes this collection of poetry look like a pretty package, the title alone should let you know what to expect from Campbell: raw, gritty, truthful poems from the estranged underbelly of healthy and happy society. This book is not to be read by the flower girls and lovely poetesses of the soft, functioning world, nor by the sick at heart with razors resting nearby, but it should be devoured by those who crave a dark truth.

The poems are fairly dismal, dealing with a lack of direction in life,

“mission accomplished”:

[ … ]

i remember when
i was 13 i never
wanted to grow
up

now in my mid
30’s

mission
accomplished

He often uses winter and nature’s harshness as a metaphor for his own cold pain and constant struggle, as in

“seven kittens”:

[ … ]

i’m refusing to
name them until
they make it
through a winter
outdoors

[ … ]

i figure whoever
makes it to march
will be blessed
with a name they’ll
never understand
anyway

[ … ]

“like it nearly had a meaning”:

[ … ]

those deep dark pools
of regret
remorse
unrequited love

winter was settling in

the winds bringing the
harsh chill of death to
your door

[ … ]

“lost on the other side of the horizon”:

[ … ]

i’ve watched a
potentially good
crop of corn and
soybeans turn to
dust right before
my eyes

[ … ].

“like a fading kiss”:

[ … ]

she had the eyes
of the ancient
dead greeks

[ … ]

“your wall of regret”:

[ … ]

all the while i still
believe my love for
you exists for a reason

but anytime i try to
express that you run
off to swim with the
shallow end of the
gene pool

[ … ]

“within fives minutes of entering the supermarket”:

standing in the beer
aisle wondering if the
imported shit is really
worth four extra dollars
when this attractive
[ … ] woman fell to
the floor

my first inclination
was to laugh

[ … ]

i settled for domestic

[ … ]

“up by the big barn”:

[ … ]

do you wanna see it?

the yankees just got swept
i’ve got a stack of rejection
letters and my fantasy baseball
teams have gone to shit

of course i want to see it

[ … ]

“deer makes a nice stew”:

every time i mow the
grass out here on the
farm the deer that lives
in the front woods pokes
its head out and stares
at me

the kind of stare that
comes off to me as he’s
asking just who the fuck
am i to disrupt his day

[ … ].

The Coil

Literature to change your lightbulb.

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