Volume 4 Issue 1, April 2020
James Croal Jackson
wasted time the sloppy in and out
of direction from new strangers
begging for moans in the silence
of wind between the space of passing
cars and hours spent before this shield
from the bright yet lonely light
Soup Cup / Dead Life
This is microbiology.
What to do, what is not done
every day. Nature appears
Without invention, sing wings.
kiss your pain. Check
the bleeding. Allow
Now, when I am shackled in my mother’s home
in the middle of the woods, with nothing to do
but write & fuck & consume, especially the day
after Thanksgiving, when not frigid enough to stay
inside forever but it is frigid, I want to roam
what seems the unattainable world, missing
the skyscrapers I hate & the open seasons over
Pittsburgh & the rows of rowdy bars I get wild in.
I want to drive my Ford Fiesta up the hill in shadow
& never come back down, accelerate to a hundred
and become the blur of pines, windows
down, forest mornings so thick with unease
I want to be shackled by trees & serve
the unattainable world the oxygen it lacks.
Turn away from bleeding nights
of hedonism, for nothing good
is heavenward, nothing virtuous
earthbound in the hours when
locals have vanished from taverns.
Nothing fills the soul more
than a bottomless glass of brew.
Nothing fills the soul anymore.
Cigarette fog creeps through
frigid city nights– how to swell
your lungs with want. Would-
be ghosts of unborn whispers,
these streets are teeming– how
ever empty they may seem.
you say you’ll be there
but never show
the forecast calls
for meteor showers
so I lay a blanket
in the park
I guess tiny streaks
across the sky
are not magnificent
I throw a penny
into a wishing
and call a séance
for my father
in my dining room
on my voice
June 20, 2019 – Work
I am a clicking sound in the tongue of the restaurant–
how would you like to be served how may I serve you
the bones are getting cold in this chicken breast this cutlet
of space I said I’d do anything for cash and it’s true there is
no limit to greed that’s the whole idea space expands
and my atoms stay quantum and still, considering.
partying was the new
beginning growing up how birdlike
I rose from the ash of a suburb
to learn a new suburb how limiting
to be alive in a time of bubbles
floating in a happy blur
days to pop
You Leave to Make Art in the South
of the world
still for contact
this accident of
longing a lesson
in how not to be alone
through the lens
About the Poet
James Croal Jackson (he/him) has a chapbook, The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), and poems in Pacifica, Reservoir, and Rattle. He edits The Mantle Poetry (themantlepoetry.com). Currently, he works in the film industry in Pittsburgh, PA. (jimjakk.com).