Smoke Shop Blues


There are twenty dead cowboys

inside every pack of cigarettes.

I see them in there,

eyes dull and ash,

their metastasis hunts the planet,

plays tag with near organisms,

their bibles flop around,

like desperate salmon at a

grizzly bear tickle party,


now I look inside a whiskey bottle

only to find the BIA in there,

telling me who my

blood belongs to,

and just how much

I'm allowed to drink

or pray,

and to whom,

and with what degree of ferocity.




Our Surface


Under the door,

skidding tar surface,

the way snow slides across the night’s cheeks,

It's the way you creep into bed, the way I accept you,

It's not the television’s rendition of love,

it grows alone,

without electricity or programming or definition,

like the way Henry Miller fucked his way through Paris,


the way we are barbed, and the coyotes watch us with their moonstruck headlights,

and we watch them back, with a lit marijuana pipe or a colorful firework for a daughter’s laughter,

every ale I ever drank was the first photo I took of you,

searching is a thirsty place... and now that I am full up,

and my hands have become still,

I can start smoothing, with more precision,

the gruesome instruments

of our outcast and resurrected heart.




Monty Campbell, Jr. is a citizen of the Cayuga Tribe of the Iroquois Six Nations. He lives in Seneca Falls, NY, where he write’s recipes, poems and works for his tribe. Monty has worked as a chef for many years in NY, Montana and Utah, but now lives the quiet life on Cayuga Lake and his ancestral homelands. He was raised on and around the Cattaraugus reservation and in Rochester, NY’s inner city. Monty’s poetry appears in literary journals such as paces Lit Mag; Amerinda’s Talking Stick; Yellow Medicine Review; and in both volumes of Native anthology Was Indian (Before Being Indian Was Cool). His book Large Dent in the Moon, is a part of Foothills Publishing’s Re-Matriation Chapbook Series of Indigenous Poetry.