A Vehicle to Experiment- Mike Campbell

I have known Mike Campbell for several years and have finally badgered him into sharing some work here.

I’m Mike Campbell, and I’m, well, a poet. I was lucky enough to begin my writing career with your own Mick Theebs at the opening meetings of the Northeastern Writing Club; since then, I’ve used poetry as a vehicle to experiment with language and to explore my ideas about myself and the world I live in. The most profound writing, I think, is introspective and not necessarily meant for popular consumption, until it finds itself being brought there by its merits. And while I can't vouch for the merits of any of my writing you'll find here, I can certainly endorse it as introspective.

The two poems you will find here are special for different reasons. The first is my first finished product, a poem investigating questions about the malleability of personal identity that I had at the time. The second is a criticism of consumer culture, and product of a cultural spoken word unit that I taught in my first year teaching English to high school seniors. Enjoy.



Crowd of One

Hungry Eyes, all mine,

addressed in introspection:

They exert their will,

I cerebrally spectate,

and am perplexed in retrospection.

They play their taxing game

Of conflict and submission;

The victors lead without shame,

Left to question their decision.

My family of wandering eyes,

Acutely aware in cerebral exploration:

Existing in relation, self-gratifying

Through incestual fornication.

They survive their contests,

Subsisting on daily rations.

They ebb and flow, shrink and grow,

Survival of the loudest.

Each has their time to be heard;

Each alternately swallows their pride.

Yet over time, all combine

To join this one—

To be mine.




“I Am”

I am…. a mosaic

I am an amalgam

of artificial sweeteners supplementing

a cup of please mask my hangover lingering

from last night’s escape from

corporeal punishment by

consuming the refuse of

producers attempting to

drain my main vein that sustains

“quality of life.”


Whatever that is.


I am…pixelated.

I have been painted by a

bombardment of advertising stimuli exemplified by

the rapid stream of vapid scenes emitted in

sickening :30 second spans that

I have no remote control of.

I am a regurgitation of

Crest-white smiles

painting over inadequacy,

heartfelt encouragement to

indulge my worst vices,

console commands controlling

my immersion into that which is not my own.,

and that dude

on that reality show

that distorts my own reality.

I am a walking billboard dominated by the




I am the product.


I am… a question mark.

I am lost, wandering

in half circles that

I cannot


until I am forced downward,

straight downward;

A downward spiral might imply some


but there is nothing uncertain

about this question mark.

I suddenly STOP.

And I lose myself for a


The newfound freedom is overwhelming.

I eventually come to a point.

But what point does that period plot?

Where do I find myself?



is the question.