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His most ambitious collection to date, Poems from Deep South Scottsdale finds Bill Campana at the height of his game. Containing all the elements we have come to love and expect–the wry, sardonic observations; surrealist, slapstick humor; unparalleled wit; all held together with the ability to bend a phrase in such a way as to make a Cirque du Soleil dancer blush–here Campana goes one better, offering a portrait of the poet with his soul stripped bare. Amongst the detritus of “pretirement”–the cats, the fast food attendants, ticking clocks, decks of cards, loose shoes–poems… sees a man negotiating the inevitable irony and loss of modern society, for whom comedy and tragedy are two sides of a perpetually spinning coin, but can somehow remain hopeful, who can still crack a joke, sounding a quiet, poignant note in the noise of American life.

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Table of Contents


kosher salt on the rim of a holy cocktail

i. the sun shines darker on willy street

your days as a contortionist are over

requiem for a testimony

of recollection and refreshment (for my mother)

funereality (to my father)

in the language

makeup (modern art)

the twelve shoes

sunrise at studio c (solar flare)

the sun shines darker on willy street

flight patterns

the weight of knowledge, or the girth of the blues

how is the lighting situation down there?



time tells

heroine worship

say it with footprints (happy trample day)

the grey poem (what blows in)

the grey sequel

common knowledge

deserted roads at five a.m.

life in the intersection/that’s no way to die

who gets what

and one big juicy coffee ring

ritual quartet

the sop #2

negotiating with the wanting

meat man

if you could ever love me

what this means to me



metaphor with a 20% chance of simile

unfiltered poem

movement and light

autobiographical poem based on the life of an animated fictional character

saturday mornings 1960

ii. subtitles for american headlines

for all that she has given


ghetto chic

fish stories

anti-socialized health care


modern lemon

the argument for planned parenthood, or let’s go for a ride, let’s go see daddy

dollars to donut holes

dateline irony

violent tide

why generation x should remember the day the baby boomers updated their corporate logo from a black and white television vomiting technicolor play money to the image of a hijacked plane flying into john f. kennedy’s head, and other organic falsehoods

red mountain’s majesty, or god dumps his grace on mesa

what place (xmas ’14)

how many blind men…

subtitles for american headlines

this poem is brought to you by…

iii. is heaven round?

lourdes junction, arizona

another protein

daisy 3:16

$aint knox

fat day (hurricane francis)

another moment of silence

reformed idolatry

afternoon vespers

in our image

prayer cards

had i been high

I might have written this poem

though after reading it

you might think otherwise

god rust salt

intermission (haikurhumba)

iv. off balance


canned ocean

lead fish (hindenburg)


dental retardation

off balance

salad days

beneath your world

grilled like a cheese sandwich

baby bok choy

impractical meteorology (a cat poem)

no tin cans / the string section

another poem about ham, one poem about dog


life plus death equals three

hey, thalo tryptophan (a poem in almost four parts)

two cylinders/sowing one-minute oats

v. the way things are

italian poem #1 (grapes)

italian poem #2 (skin)

italian poem #3 (anemia)

italian poem #4 (pizzelles)

italian poem #7 (compadre chief)

italian poem #8 (twelve shots)

folk poem #10 (fifteen items or less)

folk poem #11 (supersized irony)

folk poem #12 (chivalry grows old)

vi. the hand you are dealt

the nine of clubs rides again

a hard card to play

calling the spade a coxswain

where are my tens

jack jackson

by this i mean that

ambition trumps perception

rock the walk

crazy eight

she must be jewish

club on his sleeve

inter-recreational infatuation

the jack mysteries

el scandola grande

opening quote with poem

dice and dust

the trick

his royal masochist


the game

through the heart the king of hearts departs


About the Author

bill campana made his debut on december 8, 1955.  dissapointed with his early attempts at life, he abandoned his native bedford, ohio for phoenix, arizona. disappointed with his early attempts at writing poetry, he abandoned the craft for 20 years before returning with focus and purpose in 1997.  writing poetry with the intent of reading it aloud in public, he has called many venues “home” in the 18 years since, hosting and participating in poetry slams and poetry open mics (more often than not).  bill is currently at {9} the gallery on phoenix’s legendary grand avenue, hosting the open mic portion of the caffeine corridor poetry series, now in its 7th year.  this is his 3rd collection of poetry.