poems by James Croal Jackson

August 10, 2012


Friday night patio party.

Drinks with the server crew.


The Exterminator untangles

cords behind the stereo,


a glowing green-eyed demon,

excited to unleash


a swarm of houseflies

into our ears.






at our local bar

you put my finger


in your mouth

and suck


apart from

your partner


this now lingers

in my mind


takes a field day

in my dreams



I had a crush


and this kind of touch

will lead me where


I must go no





The Photographs of Layzerus


were supposed to have fountains

not just in Santa Clarita, but

in Akron, too, a missed

moment against a brick wall

of self the undermined

understanding of art

versus creator, physical

creation versus memory

music I sang to create

a sentiment of dust




Three Rivers Studios



wood waddles

down the path

of silos



maze of memories–

in each room

you’ll find a hundred



a vastness


end to end






I want more– god,

our nights on the patio

are memory’s reruns.

I want it back: you,

your hand secretly

caressing my chest

beside the dead firepit.

Everything. You asked

to craft me a drink

with Firefly whiskey.

You made it strong

& asked if I could

withstand this. No–

I’m weak. Each kiss

that night, your lips

sudden, brief– through

the crowd we looked

for each other, making

a game of running

around the kitchen island

to never catch the other,

but how close we were

to giving our all. This

close to telling you

I never could get over

you. But here’s

a chance to start.

poems by James Croal Jackson

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