A trained corsetiere,
my aunt measured
large breasts
small breasts
just blooming breasts
over the hill breasts
randy breasts
shy breasts
well used breasts
never been touched breasts.

At least once a week
she spoke of her dreams.
Balloons. Always about balloons.
Red ones blue ones white ones
all set adrift and rising until,
peak reached and deflating,
they fell to the earth in soft plops.
Like a late summer rain.
Like the sound of a boy’s gasp
as he jerks off to a photo
bought for a buck.

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Among other journals and anthologies, PRIS CAMPBELL's poetry appears in such journals such as Chiron Review, Main Street Rag, Outlaw Poetry,The Cliffs:Soundings, Red-Headed Stepchild, Wild Goose Review, MiPo Productions (OCHO, Oranges & Sardines), The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, and Boxcar Poetry Review.

In 2008 and 2009, she was featured poet in Empowerment4Women, In The Fray and From East to West. Her haiga and haiku have appeared in Simply Haiku, Haigaonline. Moonset, Sketchbook, Ink, Sweat, and Tears and several other journals. Her poem in the spring 2007 issue of Boxcar won the Peer Award for the issue and was nominated by that journal for a 'Best of the Internet' Anthology. She was again nominated for that honor by two journals in 2009 and for one in 2010. Pris also was nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize.

She has published five collections of poetry. Abrasions, her first book, by Rank Stranger Press, now has only a limited number of copies left and can be bought only from the author. Interchangeable Goddesses, with Tammy Trendle Brewer, was published by Rose of Sharon Press, a press run by S.A. Griffin, editor of The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry and is out of print. Her first full-length book of poetry, Sea Trails, was published in the fall of 2009 by Lummox Press. Hesitant Commitments was released in 2008 by Lummox Press as part of its prestigious Little Red Book series. The Nature of Attraction, her most recent collection, with Scott Owens, was released in 2010 by Main Street Rag Press. Sea Trails was based on a meandering six month trip she took down the east coast from Boston to Florida in a 22-foot sailboat and includes not only poems but a sampling of log notes, charts and photos.

A former clinical psychologist as well as avid sailor, she has been sidelined by ME/CFS since 1990. Currently, she makes her home in the greater West Palm Beach, Florida, with her husband, a dog, and two cats. She lived in the Midwest, Hawaii, Rhode Island and Boston before settling in Florida.

13 responses to “Red Ones, Blue Ones”

  1. barbara moore says:

    Really enjoyed this. Made me smile. Balloons, indeed!

  2. Philip says:

    Pris I loved the poem. It made me smile. I use to dream of printing when I was a printer but the presses were still just dirty machines. The balloon thing was really interesting.


  3. Thank you both for commenting. Balloons……yes:-)

  4. Doug says:


    a goodie..well crafted and funny and reminds of the days when just the view…but a glimpse of d├ęcolletage was enough to make it all as hard as Chinese arithmetic.

    The guys and girls here were right to post this.

  5. Those days when peekaboo breasts were well hidden except from corsetieres, a lost profession, and mostly found in magazines read under covers with flashlights at night…

  6. Here’s to those red, blue and white balloons. And here’s to those photos for a buck. But most of all, here’s to you, Pris. It was such a pleasure to work with you. I wish you all the best in art and life.

  7. Aaron Dietz says:

    Really great rhythm in this, as I’m sure you know. Like a more natural Seuss, with some adult subject matter thrown in. Very clever!

  8. Rich, it was great working with you, too.

    Aaron, thanks. I love the observation.

  9. Uche Ogbuji says:

    Oi! I could have sworn I commented on this one. Not sure what happened, but here goes again…

    I love the way this is organized like a classical Greek Ode.

    Strophe (“A trained corsetiere,…”)

    Antistrophe: (“At least once a week…”)

    Epode: (“Like the sound of a boy’s gasp…”)

    Nicely worked.

  10. Uche, thanks for letting me see my own poem through new eyes. I appreciate it.


  11. M.J. Fievre says:

    That’s a powerful poem, Pris. I’ll keep with me the image of the breasts deflating…

  12. hortensia anderson says:

    “all set adrift…” a lovely, moving poem

  13. Thank you, Hortensia!

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