Collection of Poetry by CAMILLE GRIEP

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At the drive through

I’m buying chicken nuggets for the dog

On our way home from the vet

The drool is nerves, not hunger.



Paul at the window tells me there’s a backup,

Nine people behind me.

The woman at the second window screams at the Manager

Paul made her repeat her order, has an attitude.



Says she wants him fired.

I just want to go home,

And so does the dog,

And so do the nine people behind me.



The woman, she wants somebody to listen.

Eleven cars now. Almost out to the 196th.

Paul’s got needle marks in his hands

And a rosary around his neck



I don’t want to be homeless, he tells me

I know, I say. I want to apologize but don’t.

You get what you give. You know?

The dog and me, maybe we did. Once.




In the morning, he says

He doesn’t want me to talk to him

Or look at him.

That I smell

like hardboiled eggs.


In the afternoon, he says

He loves me

And can we play Legos.

Thanks for the

blueberry ice cream.


Later, I listen

from the bottom of the stairs as he,


laments to his mother an emptiness

he isn’t yet old enough to name.


Sweet-faced boy, there’s so much to tell you

about waking up alone and

dark corners the same shape and breadth as our missing fathers.


Would that we could find a better nightlight,

one we might carry.

Your Poem



Your poem won’t leave me alone

It’s at 2nd and Pike holding a box of scary teriyaki

It’s behind the Hard Rock smoking a cigarette

It’s outside the bookstore signing your autograph

It’s in the basement of the strip mall modeling sequined ponchos


Why can’t you control your poem

Put it between a notebook full of pressed leaves

Put it on a cocktail napkin folded to prop up a wobbly table

Put it under a pile of things that remind us of them and strike a match

Put it in a pastel-covered anthology no one will buy


Do something about this goddamn poem

Look at the wine stains on its bra

Look at the gravy at the edge of its boxers

Look at what it’s doing to itself

Look at what it’s doing to me

 Mountain Goats in Fog


All we ever wanted

Was your sure steady gaze

Wrapped snug in fur and feather.



That shale you stood on

Clatters under our feet.



We’ll still leap; just say the word.

***Camille Griep lives and writes near Seattle. She is the author of Letters to Zell (2015) and New Charity Blues (forthcoming April 2016). When not practicing short form, she can be found at the helm of Easy Street, a magazine of words and culture, and editing over at The Lascaux Review.***

Insta: @camillethegriep

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