Two Poems by Mike Maggio







Sounds like an art movement —
Neoclassicism, for example.

But this is no art form.
This is a biosphere of portentous possibilities.

Tubular, twisted
and prickly papilla

what sculpted you
into these neon lesions?

what possessed you to blossom
into these bright red lumines?

this free-form pneumobilia?
this post-modern, malformed phenomenon?

Alas, this is no still life
no portrait, no stippled silhouette

Just a surreal canvas
of contiguous protrusions

a fauvist specimen
of aboriginal abnormalities.


Poem for Joe

Your death has touched me
in ways I can’t express.
The statement on Facebook
stark and grim:

Joe Campo:
October 9, 1953 – March 31, 2019.
A statement so simple
and yet so complex:

a jumble of abrupt abstractions.

Dear cousin
I haven’t seen you in maybe 50 years
and yet I have journeyed with you
through your personal hell:

the surgeries, the chemo packs
the unrelenting hope.
And, through it all:
the symphonies, the opera,

the hikes through the untouched forest.

So brave. So stoic.
As if life itself
were a muddle of paint
on your very public canvas.

I remember our youth
that time we climbed the tree
at the bungalow in Long Island.
A vague recollection and yet:

the image clear as crystal.

Death is selfish.
It robs us of all but a twinkle of memory.
And yet your memory scintillates
throughout our lives

despite death’s most greedy grip.

Mike Maggio has published fiction, poetry, travel and reviews in many local, national and international publications including Potomac ReviewThe L.A. Weekly, The Washington CityPaper, and The Washington Independent Review of Books. His novel, The Wizard and the White House, was released in 2014 and his novella, The Appointment, was released in May 2017.  His newest collection of short stories Letters from Inside, will be released in October. He is a graduate of George Mason University’s MFA program and the Northern Regional Vice-President of the Poetry Society of Virginia. His web site is

Image by —=XEON=— –, CC BY 3.0,
Author photo by Yasmine Maggio

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