James Croal Jackson – 4 poems

Thanksgiving, 2019


I can’t sit at the dining table

& listen to the morning swarm


of words buzzing around my hair

hovering not entering my ears    


(this tablecloth of hardened rice

& wide-angled magenta lotus flowers).


To come home is to steam tradition      

& I admit love is a dry chunk of it.   


But my patience does not endure.

The turkey in the oven has been


dressed with salt & oil since 3 A.M.

Soon we will eat our wounds.



This Old Table Means So Much to You


Tripod mahogany plate. The ceiling

leaks– nowhere for rain. The cat’s self-

cleaning beside treble clef legs. The robot

vacuum learns floor secrets below.

Purple grape stems. Vent dust

from the void. I left you a voicemail

on a no outlet road. I read a few pages

tonight. Shower steam dissipates

slowly into starlight.


The Hunger


First were fruits drifting down like feathers,

their sugar shells & caramel centers gooey.


When the fruits stopped fruiting, she scraped

off the tree’s gingerbread bark using flint


as a spatula. Next gone were leaves–

the sweet ones– but the branches chewed


like celery so were spat out. Feet swollen,

hands rugburn red, she climbed all


night, eating, the tree only sour leaves

& skeleton, exposed heart beating


before a death between teeth, strawberry ice

cream gushing past the mauve, ravenous moon.


Inevitable Change


surf another wave

of cyclical maturation


I am who I am, you

are who you are–


static trust– your white

noise a velcro


loosening of being

unhinged– I leave cities


faster than lovers, cruise

the interstate in blindfolds


before rumble strip sobers

me beyond the paved path

James Croal Jackson (he/him/his) is a Filipino-American poet. He has two chapbooks, Our Past Leaves (Kelsay Books, forthcoming 2021) and The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), with recent poems in White Wall Review, Subnivean, and Thin Air. He edits The Mantle Poetry ( from Pittsburgh, PA. (

By Heavenly Flower Publishing

Bindweed Magazine publishes two anthologies each year: Midsummer Madness and Winter Wonderland. Bindweed is run as a not for profit, labour of love endeavour by an author/poet couple: Leilanie Stewart and Joseph Robert. Bindweed can be found at

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