The mask is made to hide the face
It can be used to hide disgrace
To cover beauty with black lace

The mask allows you to be true
And say in safety all that you
Do really think would love to do

The mask is censor for your voice
Dishonesty what it employs
It hides from view your honest choice

The mask exposes your abyss
Exposes every hidden bliss
Convinces you a rape’s a kiss

The mask allows your evil reign
And lets you act in ways insane
You revel in your other’s pain

The mask can also be a hood
Of virtue morals and the good
Ensuring you do as you should

The mask allows each man to mask
Himself from others that’s its task
Thus hidden in sunlight we bask

Originally published at http://troycamplinpoetry.blogspot.com.


The field is green and full of holes. Flags are everywhere. The only iron I have is hollow, though about the right length. It wouldn’t hit a golf ball very far, but then, even with the right equipment I’ve never been able to hit a golf ball very far, but then, even with the right equipment, I’ve never been able to hit a golf ball very far. Besides, to put some distance on a golf ball, you need a wood, not an iron. I could make a golf ball disintegrate into hundreds of pieces from very far with this iron, but that’s only because of my laser scope. …


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One of the earliest works of Metamodern literature is the sci-fi novel A Double Shadow by Frederick Turner. Published in 1978, Turner was already reacting to the rise of postmodern literature in a way we would now recognize as metamodernist. Although metamodern literature seems to have mostly emerged in the 1990s, we should perhaps not be all that surprised if we were to find literary predecessors in the decades preceding. Some, like Turner, are very sensitive to cultural trends and prescient to their ultimate outcomes, and thus are already reacting to those trends.

If postmodernism is an ironic investigation of modernist experiments and tropes, metamodernism is a non-ironic embracing of the discoveries of both modernism and postmodernism. Further, it is a full, unironic embracing of conventions, as I’ve discussed before. I would also argue that there are elements of poliyphony in the sense of multiple styles (literary and non-literary; poetry and prose; fiction and nonfiction), and a tendency toward interdisciplinarity. Using these criteria, there is little doubt that Turner’s novel fits the bill as a work of metamodernism. …


It was late September, but still warm, so I sat at an outside table, on the café’s porch, sipping my mocha, my hand resting on a book I had brought to read if I had the time. It was Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle. The porch, as the house, was made of old, worn wood, paint peeling, white columns streaking in wood breaking up my view of the lawn, the yellowing grass, yellowing to brown. I leaned back in my chair, the flimsy white plastic bending under me. I sat up to prevent the chair from collapsing, as I had seen them do to other customers. I leaned across the coffee-, tea-stained plastic table and took another sip from my mocha. I had already stirred in the whipped cream, leaving a thin foam floating on the chocolate liquid. I don’t like whipped cream — or coffee, for that matter — but the two combined with milk and chocolate make for one of my favorite drinks. I came to Café Voltaire often and always got a mocha. Even in the summer, when I would get my mochas iced, lumps of whipped cream suspended between clear pillows of ice when I stirred it all together. …


To break with common thinking you
Can’t be afraid to be a little wrong
To realize the real as true
You must fight Hercules and be more strong

Misunderstanding is an act
That hammers at the common paradigms
Until the fractures make a chart
Designed to guide us to more complex times

My thoughts are messy it is true
My brain is filled by many flowing streams
That network to a complex brew
And truth emerges from my growing dreams

Originally published at http://troycamplinpoetry.blogspot.com.


The wave runs fore
And frictionless until
It meets the shore
It rises to a spill
In changing amplitude and space
An ever-moving hill
Before which quick sandpipers chase
The waves that stir their food upon the shore
Beneath the foamy fractal lace
That in their power will
Create destroy this fractal place
A cormorant deft-dives for fish before
A rainbow breaks upon the face
Of a new wave to fill
The human mind with nature’s grace
And every seabird’s bill
I’ll watch some more
This natural churning mill
Creative war

Originally published at http://troycamplinpoetry.blogspot.com.


Bob came over with an interesting offer.

“I have a B-52 bomber. You want it?”

“Sure,” I said.

“You have to come get it tonight.”

“Where would I put it?” I asked.

Bob put a stack of papers in front of me.

“Sign here.”

I signed.

“Congratulations. It’s in hangar 47-C.”

“Where will I put it?” I repeated.

“Not my problem. Hope you enjoy it. Bye.”

* * * * *

I went to look at my place. I showed the people at the hangar my papers. They asked when I was going to take it from the hangar.

“When I have someplace to put…


It is often difficult to choose a subject to study. So many things go into that decision and so many things can go wrong: a bad selection on our part, an unexpected death of the subject. Ideally, we want to select a subject who will be interesting and have a long, healthy life. But that, of course, does not always happen?

* * * * *

We chose our subject using several criteria based on parental traits: physical perfection, intelligence, creativity, and aptitude for success. A necessity since we must choose our subjects at birth. …


The woman is the archer who
Just misses, misses, misses
Then offers to make her aim true
With kisses, kisses, kisses

The man is but a criminal
Loves murders, thefts and rapings
Rampaging like an inflamed bull
Destroying with its shapings

The criminal is out at night
The sinner, she is sleeping
Destruction is his true delight
Her pregnancy, she’s reaping

From crime and sin a boy is born
From whines he winds to wining
In drunken ecstasy he’s torn
From us as we were dining

From sin and crime a girl is brought
To birth, an earth seducing
To become creatures who have sought
The truth as but…


Alex looked around as I shut the door behind her. “So, this is where you live,” Alex said, wandering along the interior wall of my living room, bookshelves packed tight from ceiling to floor. I have a couch in the middle of the room, forming a walkway from the front door to the interior of the house. The two walls facing nature are mostly glass, deep bay windows filled from pane to edge with clay pots overflowing with orchids. There is a stereo in the corner of the bay windows and bookshelf, cattycorner to the front door. The TV is next to the stereo, with enough room behind them os I can reach my orchids. A trash can sits at the corner of the bay windows. I like to keep things simple, although I do love many complex things. …

Troy Camplin

I am the author of “Diaphysics” and “Hear the Screams of the Butterfly,” and a consultant, poet, playwright, and interdisciplinary scholar.

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