J.J. Campbell

the taste of blood on christmas morning


there’s a joy

in her laughter


a sense of danger

with the stare


it’s the taste of blood

on christmas morning


lost in the neon haze

of an old string of

lights and another

glass of something



two old souls passing

like ships in the night


you meet some people

in your life and just

know if this or that

would have happened…


you wouldn’t be the

miserable fading fuck

lost in this terrible



although, world peace

as your wish for

christmas is something

you should know by

now is a myth reserved

for children


no adult should even

think such a thing is



the new kitchen floor


i can remember

fucking you on

the new kitchen



i made you

breakfast in

that kitchen

the next



a week later

you decided

you were better

off as just a



i offered her

the bed but she

had to have it

right there


and the floor

wasn’t dirty



let’s just say

anytime i see a

white linoleum

floor i get slightly



a loaded shotgun


these are the mornings

where i imagine myself

on my grandmother’s

bathroom floor


and instead of my

cousin’s nipple in

my mouth, it’s a

loaded shotgun


and then i imagine

just how much easier

life would have been

if that was my fucking



i never lived all these

years expecting anyone

to understand my pain


i just wanted someone

to tell me it was going

to be okay


no one could understand

that either


all these hard truths

forced down my throat

like i was an unwilling

participant in life


no one could wrap their

heads around the fact

that my taste for pain

is an infinite shield

that only i can control


and as soon as i fully

believe that lie

i’ll truly be immortal


a nightmare to all

and the envy of none


Rob Plath

star bath





a lesser burden

i used to sit during winter
on the midnight train
gazing out the window
counting peaceful trees
praying it was just dream
that i was not really a man
but rather one those trees
gracefully bending beneath
the weight of snow

Grant Guy

I Can Handle It


Grant Guy


He said

He could limit himself to one meditation a day


He said

“I can handle it”


But before long

He and the boys were doing Zen everyday

Often in the back alley out behind the school



He can be found

Living on the streets of East Vancouver

Doing hard yoga




A Letter from an Editor

Hola vaqueros,
The Beatnik Cowboy is an incredible thing. And as a transcendent publication worthy of deep reverence and awe we here at the Cowboy would like to unveil our latest worthy ploy to get everyone on board. Forget the other rags. Written by hacks on toilet paper and edited by egg-heads bound to reject; your poetry suffers no such ignominious fate here. Our new motto and T-shirt we feel sum up the loving care with which we cradle each poem than arrives with us and deserves its share of widespread exposure. The words in which we reverently enshrine our magazine comprise the following: “All The Poems That Are Unfit To Print”. Emblazoned on the back of a luxurious rye colored short sleeved body vessel (i.e. T-shirt), the smoking Beatnik Cowboy himself girds the front of this groundbreaking couture. The roll-up himself rests cool and positive emboldened by our calligraph company name. Boasting sizes all the way to 5X, and lilliputian as S, this bold statement of poetry excellence wipes the floor with all other similar products of all kind. This shirt, like the influential publication which it absorbs and reflects is a wardrobe accouterment supreme. Coltrane pre-ordered one before he died.
Suffice it to say, it is apparel sublime. The sanctuary of kings, queens, beggars and thieves, like J.J Kale and the reputed health benefits of his “Cocaine”, this statement of poetic supremacy tangles the “facts” up in blue. Just like our singular poetry/short story publication. As they say, when your work has graced the pages of the Cowboy, especially the selective (and rarefied) print version, you have finally led your bronco, bucking, out of the Corral. All the Ramones are dead. Yet here you can be part of a live culture. So like flavored yogurt have taste. Write, submit, reap, and buy a shirt and a subscription. We’ll work on sowing your seeds, separating the nutrient nuggets from empty calories, getting the threads and quarterly print copies out to you. For all other concerns you can see the online version and hip updates at BeatnikCowboy.com For all practical purposes each less fabric size to 2XL comes to 27$ with shipping and handling (included in this price) and each larger shirt to 5Xl is 35$ (shipping and handling included in this price). Overseas shipments add ten dollars ($10) to these prices. As for subscriptions, to receive the multiple yearly print versions of Beatnik Cowboy send a check or money order for $30 ($45 for overseas subscriptions) to:
Beatnik Cowboy c/o Randall Rogers
3410 Corral Dr., Apt. 208
Rapid City, South Dakota
57702 USA
For both subscription and shirt domestically send either $57 or $65. Don’t send cash and please specify shirt size. To order both shirt and subscription overseas (foreign) send check or money order for $67 or $75 or equivalent in your currency.
Thank you, and rest assured this is a homespun Midwest Dakota USA venture hoping for your artistic and keen creativity to fly. To continue rising and proudly soar. And not have the wings melt when we go past the sun.
Your Editor,

J.J. Campbell

something charming


i believe

the waitress

caught me

staring at

her tattoos

on her right



these are the

moments where

i wish my smart

ass was also

clever enough

to come up

with something

charming to say


this is the

problem of

never growing

out of that


phase of life


you feel helpless

watching woman

after beautiful

woman walk



it’s pure




Robert J.W.

Drying The Bones


I tore out my
bone by
and placed it by the
sun to
dry from
years of
The crackling of the
cartilage was like
lighting up the
sky with
effervescent catharsis.
By now, a
crowd gathered to
watch as I
placed my
skeleton back into my
They watched in
terror as every
bone snapped into
place but they’ve
never been
I suppose;
they cried and
screamed while I just
smiled, and
strutted away.