3 poems by James Croal Jackson

James Croal Jackson

Infinity Reservoir

each time a glass is raised to mouth & drank
each time it’s clear water’s the last to go take

a river under forever dry ground or a waterfall
bounding from nothing if the sky was ocean

we’d drink it falling filling another cup to restore our
blood where to place this treasury as

we live we break the faucet

Aging / Dying

You age and dye clothes the actors 
wear, and when the old thing breaks, 
we talk a washing machine between us. 
I hold company money– someone else’s 
wealth– without knowledge or specialty. 
You say the replacement must not have 
sensors. And you must be able to 
manipulate the water level. These, you say,
are the only requirements. Everything
else can be jazz. Copper chords I 
know. I riff on melodies in my head. 
Soon the machine will have to be
unhooked, and I know little 
useful of hoses, washers, inlets,
pumps. If it were just about
water– and shapelessness– 
I could close my eyes
and submerge. But 
it’s about spin, the pirouette
inside that makes it work
after the basin fills with
soil and sweat, a 
pool of clean chemicals 
and dead things all
scrunched together–
close the lid to hear 
its tender agitations
before its heartbeats
turn frantic. The cyclone 
within gathers wind of 
frantic thoughts that
entertain the idea of
waking one morning,
fresh off a sharp night-
before fight in the kitchen,
and ripping all clothes
off hangers to jam
in a suitcase so that
when you wake, too,
you’d see my clothes
as a hole where they used
to hang and you’d ask 
what are you 
doing / what are you
doing? and I swim
up to the closed lid, 
telling the world
th-thump, th-thump,
my fingers prying 
and pulling. 


sometimes to sneeze is 
a wave crashing onto
a piano at the top
of a staircase
and the force
of rejection
is but a small
with fins

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James Croal Jackson is a Filipino-American poet who works in film production. He has three chapbooks: Count Seeds With Me (Ethel Zine & Micro-Press, 2022), Our Past Leaves (Kelsay Books, 2021), and The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights, 2017). He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, PA. (jamescroaljackson.com)

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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