James Croal Jackson

James Croal Jackson

(he/him/his) is a Filipino-American poet. He has a chapbook, The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), and recent poems in Sampsonia Way, San Antonio Review, and Selcouth Station. He edits The Mantle Poetry (themantlepoetry.com) and works in film production in Pittsburgh, PA. (jamescroaljackson.com)

There’s not enough insect imagery

in my poetry where are the bugs where
are the bugs hiding everywhere cock
roaches lurk beneath heaps of clothes
on the white bathroom tiles I turn on
the faucet and divine water sprays
from the shower head please scrub
the itching away the dermis micro
cosmic atoms creeping along the
ridges of my body hair I know
behind the curtains what’s inside
the peels of avocados and apples
dead wing meat flecks my tongue
will lash at colonies in the cracks
of my kitchen poison in the paint
on walls to drop the husks into
the milk of my daily routine
in and out of bed the wind
a centipede its many legs
sing bristles on my skin

French Toast

Mom is from the Philippines;
she has been American

forty years. Made a habit of white
rice and chicken. So, I was never

vegetarian. Home of meats
and starch– broth for breakfast.

She never taught me traditional
dishes: I only ate

what was given. Can’t speak
Tagalog– last I heard,

she’s trilingual and I am
thirty years old, eating french toast–

bread in cream in butter. Plus, sugar.
I must be American.

Whip Your Flame Hair Against Me

and I am on fire too ready
to burn Panera down
no one really wants this hospital

food its chemicals inside
that make it breathe the bread
is moving if you watch

close enough its heartbeat
in your mouth we are all on
fire this former dead living

animal a baguette string inside
my intestines there are wings
in my salad flapping dead cells

floating and all I can do is be
the sun and burn the whole world
then flush my throat with water

One thought on “James Croal Jackson

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s