Pris Campbell, Strut

Pris Campbell

She checks that her pasties
are still stuck in place,
struts onto the dirty stage.
The guy with the pimples,
second table front,
looks as nervous as she feels
behind her revlon red pout,
but she’s gotta make money–
the kid screams all day.

She has a nice ass,
legs like a willow,
uses her fan to hide
what she’s lacking up top.

His friends push Mr. Pimples
up front with a fiver,
shuffle ,laughing, back
to their seats.

His eyes resemble the eyes
of a boy she once loved
before these long nights
at the bar.

Lost in her dream of better days
she leans over to kiss him,
show his friends he’s no loser, but
turns abruptly when the dj
spins the next tune.

Author’s Comment: When I was in my twenties and working as a Clinical Psychologist in Rhode Island, a couple of my male colleagues decided that I needed to ‘experience’ a strip joint. I was game, having never been in one of these places so popular with some men, judging by the number of cars parked outside. I was struck first by the stench of booze and the number of men sitting alone around the strip area. Next, I noticed the strippers’ eyes. Lifeless. Remote. Wherever they were, it wasn’t there. They could’ve been robots with breasts. their movements were so mechanical. That visit fermented inside me and helped birth this poem.

BIO: The poems of Pris Campbell have been published in numerous journals. The most recent include PoetsArtists, The Dead Mule, Outlaw Poetry Network, Rusty Truck and Wild Goose Review. She has had six poetry collections published by the small press and a second collaboration with Scott Owens is due out from Emory University Press in the late fall. Nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize she also was recently contacted by Pearson Publishing for permission to include one of her poems in their next textbook alongside Margaret Atwood, a real honor. A former Clinical Psychologist, she has been sidelined by ME/CFS since 1990 and makes her home in the greater West Palm Beach, Florida.

5 thoughts on “Pris Campbell, Strut

  1. legs like willows is just brilliant 🙂 Love hearing the back story here because it isn’t the back story I would have expected.

  2. I just loved this one. I can picture her ‘lost in the dream of better days’ then turning away at the sound of the next tune. Really great.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s