Poems by James Croal Jackson



How my mind functions on a given day dictates the way my poems are presented. Sometimes I’m scatterbrained and my poems are jarring. Other times, my brain seems to be running a thousand miles per minute and my fingers can’t keep up. Either way, I’m trying to reflect the chaos always in my field.


Six Miles In

the Reserve longer
               to get           lost in

steep trails             will sleep well
         balancing spaces

in extended
         phone conversations

to cut         yesterday
       my bike

summer with roads how
           long all

       the distant presents
all precautions everywhere

       of daily life for a long time



if you have something to say say it
thick-coated anticipation
you have a habit of staring into the nearest brightest light
horse galloping dirt fast toward you
your sadness unhidden momentous
hiding future illness in your blood
where we first kissed the claustrophobic purple room wipes her snot on my neck
another glass of water another benadryl hours pass the sun descends to sleep
blue handkerchief hangs at the side of the bed
you say this happens each first warmth of winter
but it happens every time birds wing from the distance
a swarm an inevitable oncoming pressure


everyone wants the glory everyone wants

to not wonder where their next meal
will come from– cupboards empty
one day, adorned in gold the next–
to be instantaneous in transformation–
Pisschrist into Christ, prayer into
hummingbirds singing softly on your shoulders




you tell me
while we
slice pita
under a
at the restaurant
your childhood
in Hawaii
was vacation
after moving
to Akron
but the truth
is our ocean
is the same
just a tiny
bit further


Adjusting to a New City (Thank You for Your Calls)

you say go
             to the lake I can’t

connection (the multitudes

               slathered in fog lotion)

                                              I have
believed in you
                           all our distant

foolishness     outside this realm
    of such irrelevant people


About the Author

James Croal Jackson  is a Filipino-American poet. He has a chapbook, The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), and recent poems in DASHSampsonia Way, and Jam & Sand. He edits The Mantle (themantlepoetry.com). Currently, he works in film production in Pittsburgh, PA. (jamescroaljackson.com)