The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Roger Camp

Old Maids Die Hard


she was a stiff

old bitch

a die-hard

old maid

an avalanche

of white

witching her

stooped shoulders

her shelf life

decades expired

her shrunken sex

withered hard


walnut sized

her kernel


her last card played



Roger Camp

An Unclean Dream

     for Charles Lamb, D.D.


Two weeks of unwashed hands at a remote campground,

a dentist’s dream, the only water, a running stream. Palms

browned by the sun, manicured nails begrimed, ringed black,

exhale scents of damp earth, bacon fat and creosote,

succeeded by complex notes of toasted oak

and unmistakable minerality. Fingers folding in food

accompany an expansive mouthfeel

filled with aromas of pitch, wet stone, crushed pine needles

followed by a bouquet of smoke and burning embers

married to fragrances of wild blackberries, honeysuckle

and grassy sage. Finishing with an attractive nose of forest floor,

underbrush, burnt enamel and silver fillings.




ROGER CAMP lives in Seal Beach, CA where he gardens, walks the pier, plays blues piano and spends afternoons with his pal, Harry, over drinks at Nick’s on 2nd. When he's not at home, he's traveling in the Old World. His work has appeared in the North American Review, Pank, Southern Poetry Review and Poetry East.



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