April 18 – Amanda Hayden

Welcome to National Poetry Month and Gyroscope Review’s month-long celebration of poets – and their diverse Writing Assistants. Enjoy the audio/video works by previous Gyroscope Review poets and be sure to check out the Author and fun Writing Assistant Bio at the end of each NPM poet post. Don’t forget to tag the poet on Social Media and let them know you enjoyed their work!

Sex Appeal of an El Camino

Sex Appeal of an El Camino

An El Camino is what happens
when a truck makes sweet,
dirty love to a station wagon
while Lynyrd Skynyrd plays on the 8track
or Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir

An El Camino is a coupe, a muscle car
a Chevrolet with rear wheel drive, pick up classified
swivel bucket or notchback bench seats
vinyl striped patterns, you can pick up just about anyone 
if you have an El Camino

An El Camino is V-shaped 
like the smooth geese heading to Mexico
like its revved big block engine 
like the space between my legs
capital “V” capital “EL”

An El Camino is Prince if he were a seductive utility
steel bed, smooth grille, side skirts
carpeted door panels, stylized suspension upgrade
woodgrain panel trim, plush upholstery, Cam shaft
hydraulic front bumper, copious V6 or V8

An El Camino is four generations
of trial and error, invention and reinvention
utility and impracticality, of ironic self-awareness legacy
a vehicle, when someone demands, are you a car or are you a truck?
takes a drag of its cigarette, eyebrows raised, and exhales, both.

"Sex Appeal of an El Camino" first published in Gyroscope Review, April 2023 (Spring Issue).


When she’s not reading or writing poems or teaching, Hayden is with her family and their menagerie of rescue animals on a small windy farm. They have two cats, two goats, seven pigs, many chickens, and two dogs; a very special blind, three-legged Schnauzer/Shepherd named Vinny Valentine and a completely deaf, mostly blind chihuahua named Babydog. Also, Hayden once touched a cloud after jumping out of a perfectly good airplane (not like cotton candy at all) and her dream vehicle is an El Camino, with a big, blazing Lady Guadelupe painted on the hood.

(Vinny Valentine, aka hims-the-best-boy-ever)


Amanda Hayden is the current Poet Laureate for Sinclair College and award-winning Professor of Humanities, Philosophy, and World Religions. Her debut collection, American Saunter, inspired by traveling across the U.S., is forthcoming by FlowerSong Press in Fall 2024.  Old World Wings, her second collection inspired by European travels, is forthcoming by Wild Ink Publishing in Fall 2025.  She just received the River Heron Editor’s Prize for Poetry for her poem, The Faery Bridges.  She lives on a windy little farm with her family, many furry rescue babies, including a blind, three-legged “angel in a dog suit” Vinny Valentine.


Don’t forget to read the Spring 2024 Issue of Gyroscope Review.

NPM 2024 Poets

April 1 – Cal Freeman

April 2 – Susanna Lang

April 3 – Marion Brown

April 4 – Melissa Huff

April 5 – Elaine Sorrentino

April 6 – Alison Stone

April 7 – Alexandra Fössinger

April 8 – Laurie Kuntz

April 9 – Dick Westheimer

April 10 – Wendy McVicker

April 11 – J.I. Kleinberg

April 12 – Ellen Austin-Li

April 13 – D. Dina Friedman

April 14 – Connie Post

April 15 – Georgina Key

April 16 – Judith McKenzie

April 17 – Jacqueline Jules

April 18 – Amanda Hayden