Devil’s Lake

Fall 2015 Issue

Robert Campbell: Problems for Ghosts

Every asshole owned a ouija board.
Everyone burned sage. We holed up

in the old boat house. We weren’t
welcome anywhere. Dark machinery

drew us in with its rope and pulley,
guiding us along the docks to rest.

Troubles still followed us like flies.
Men and women with big hair came

to expel us with their angry prayers.
I was forever shouting between walls.

We became various falling sensations.
I’d open my mouth, and things fell in

by accident. Nothing became very
important to us. I don’t know why

we couldn’t sleep. The tied canoes
would bob and rise in the lake water,

floating there beside the slick, warped pier.
Our reflections stared like big black dogs.

ROBERT CAMPBELL is a poet living in Lexington, Kentucky. His poetry and criticism have appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, River Styx, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. A nominee for the Pushcart Prize, short-listed for the 2015 Black Warrior Review Poetry Contest, and a third-place winner of the 2013 River Styx International Poetry Contest, Robert is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at Murray State University. He serves as reviews editor at DIALOGIST, an online journal of poetry and art. More from this issue >