Poetry: Selections from James Croal Jackson

Another Round for Entropy

Soil shifts into sand. I sift through
the memory desert but images fade.
Apropos of data, imperfect as the sun.
Ever sit in existential crisis wondering
what if gravity ended? Would we
even know? A brisk death, clean,
and the photo album would
consist of something, a void
we wouldn’t be drawn to.

Take It Easy

the plan Sunday was take it easy
1 drink at the new brewery
instead we ran into 2 friends
then drank in the sunlight
among dogs on the patio
we walked five miles
through a cemetery
through the city
to another brewery
got drunk
on automated ordering
tech for our fast times
we packed Spider-Man 2 cards
we thought we would play
instead we drank with 2 friends
in 90 degree heat
taking it easy

Rainwater Is Now Undrinkable

everywhere around the world.
I learn this at work, a television
production office. A film would
frack lands surrounding its sets
were it to save a few hundred
bucks– you thought I’d say lives?
What powers that be? We’re alive,
yes, already pulsing red rivers
breached with microplastics.
The jingling adds up in my veins.
When I read forever chemicals,
I want it to mean love
but it is in the way we will
suffer together, forever,
oil rigs raised, still, all
over, hands up in ugly prayer.
The burning questions I want
to ask I can’t even stand
outside in a storm and be satiated.

Video Games on New Year’s Day

grape stem the fruit centipede
         parched time
                 a skin between my teeth
fingernails tapping on blue porcelain bowl
        then the controller my hand’s touched everything in this place
thanks for your spider fingers on the soft of my chest
        lips purple with last night’s wine
                 new year burst with pessimism not
optimism beginnings are overrated
         I do best when I don’t know where I’m going

An Ontological Argument for Necessary Being

God, understood here as a necessary being,
exists in my filthy shoe. The impossibility
of nonexistence shows good weather is
vague. Sunshine during workdays, storms on
weekends makes me want a world of reverse
gravity. My filthy shoes, then, muck
the clean white clouds of heaven.

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 out of Pittsburgh, PA.