Poems by James Croal Jackson


I don’t know you

but I must have, once,

in some other life, the same

one this timeline is a part

of, this forward motion

a shadow of a shadow

darkening everything

I believe I know

has obscured.



Years later you emerge to say– oh,

you were marginalia in the stampede

of time. Fine. Where


are the footprints? Developing

the rock we once said was us.

That’s the Earth. I’m garbage.


The erosion of memory

started with aluminum beneath

your feet. The sand–


such an ordeal

to remember the origin

of recyclables. I am a

weather system forming

my own thoughts about

the worth of a tornado,


how it whips the air

in circles to salt

the crust of distance.


Serenity Blue

praise the underwater statue

at the aquarium it looks like Mary


mother of– mother of– there is no

statue inside the mind standing


eroding inside spacetime   what

a cliché (your reflection) magnified


you stare above into great white

light illuminating water’s new


life (forms of the past forms

of the past) sentient beaming


in its own extensive space

(how to fill the frame


of mind) where I want no

other self to suffocate



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 DASH, Sampsonia Way, and Jam & Sand. He edits The Mantle (themantlepoetry.com). He works in film production in Pittsburgh, PA. (jamescroaljackson.com)

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