Mike James

Who Opened for Ghost Nipples?

Ambrose Burnside and the Fearful Ones had devoted fans among street artists and kabuki slam dancers. They were a punk barber shop trio and performed at retirement parties and gas station openings. Every show featured a one hand clapping solo. That got fingers snapping in a good-old Zen ragtime way. (You should have seen how they convinced poodles to crowd surf without the use of biscuits or alcohol.) Some audiences were distracted by their leather togas and bullwhips. That happened more at gas stations than around gleeful, watch-wearing retirees. The big finale was always anticipated and always the same. All three put their heads together and daydreamed at the count of one.


Mike James makes his home outside Nashville, Tennessee. He has published in numerous magazines throughout the country in such places as Plainsongs, Laurel Poetry Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, and Chiron Review. His fifteen poetry collections include: Journeyman’s Suitcase (Luchador), Parades (Alien Buddha), Jumping Drawbridges in Technicolor (Blue Horse), First-Hand Accounts from Made-Up Places (Stubborn Mule), Crows in the Jukebox (Bottom Dog), My Favorite Houseguest (FutureCycle), and Peddler’s Blues (Main Street Rag.) He served as an associate editor of The Kentucky Review and currently serves as an associate editor of Unbroken.