James Croal Jackson (he/him) has a chapbook, The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), and poems in indefinite space, SHARK REEF, and Pacifica. He edits The Mantle Poetry (themantlepoetry.com). Currently, he works in film production in Pittsburgh, PA. (jimjakk.com)
on television are beefy men staring each other down the camera zooms on one he blows his snot onto the green grass a quiet meteor my friends and I saw that half-drunk at the tavern then proceed to agree we are too anxious to blow our nose with one thousand people watching I guess it’s just testosterone, man, the comparisons of muscles and tendons without the tenderness of inward reflection, a pool rippling out from the inside then pouring all over the field
Growing up with an Old Dad meant he was always dying, inches closer than the rest. Mine survived the Great Depression to grant me a shorter bridge to bloodshed in our lineage, my father’s great- great uncle Stonewall (the Confederate general) and Andrew (the genocidal President). I don’t want to be that close in time to them. My years must stretch as far as they can, long enough to outlive that legacy.
I thought by now the whistles would warp us to a future in peace jump me ahead of this dark underground level Mario I have crushed enough Koopas to keep my genocidal ancestry whooping from their battleground graves didn’t feel much sanctity from Arlington Cemetery sorry when they buried my brother at Ohio Western Reserve gravestones orderly as pill bottles on the shelves of corporate pharamacy what rings in my brain are the gunshots of old white veterans fired during Clinton’s final ceremony bullets whizzing up the sky just to land on the dirt covering graves of my genocidal ancestry