June 13-19, 2022: Poetry from Elisa Albo and James Croal Jackson

Send us your poetry. Click here for submission guidelines.

Elisa Albo

Elisa Albo was born in Havana. A contributing editor of Grabbed: Poets and Writers on Sexual Harassment, Empowerment, and Healing, her poetry chapbooks are Passage to America, based on her family immigrant story, and Each Day More, a collection of elegies. Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies such as Alimentum, Bomb Magazine, Crab Orchard Review, InterLitQ, MiPoesias, Notre Dame Review, SWWIM Every Day, Two-Countries: U.S. Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents, Irrepressible Appetites, and Vinegar and Char. Nominated in 2021 for Best of the Net, she is an award-winning professor of English and ESL at Broward College, where she co-produces the Seahawk Writing Conference and teaches a food and film course. She lives with her family in Fort Lauderdale.

The following work is Copyright © 2022, and owned by Elisa Albo and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Pandemic Diagnosis: Tinnitus

~a haku of haiku

When I close my eyes
locusts harmonize in leaves
loud is how they swarm

***

My brown eyes wide shut
cicadas buzzcut in trees
scream on black mind screens

***

A steam release valve
in the brain’s basement hisses
no one, no shut-off

***

An old radio
feigns static between stations
but flatter, constant

***

Late night snow sounds on
an ancient television
mark programming’s end

James Croal Jackson

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)

The following work is Copyright © 2022, and owned by James Croal Jackson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

St. Petersburg, 2015

I took a photo of herons walking in Pioneer Park.
Followed them through grass to the St. Pete Pier,

sunrise blue reflecting forever upward. I thought
the road trip would last an eternity. I asked Tracy

if I could stay. Now I am in Pittsburgh, reflecting,
without yachts and breeze, just beside the living

room window. A gray-haired man drives by in
a silver Toyota Tacoma, heading to wherever.

In those days I followed everyone, every whim.
Tracy had other plans. These days I rarely drive,

and when I do it’s up a hill, over ice, or out of
hunger. The cool emptiness I used to carry

to bars, leather wallet bursting with receipts like
unkempt hair– I’d drink until finding purpose,

the familiar, unpaved road to drive on.

 

Shirtless in Goodale Park

I swing my shirt
around like a lasso
at the community
festival
when you walk by
my sunburnt torso
and stop
to ask how I have been.
Last month
we hung out
in circles
before I confessed
and we got dizzy.
When you exit
the conversation,
I drink
myself onto
a patch
of clumped grass
wishing
our shirtlessness
together was
a more organic
situation,
but everyone
here is shirtless.
We are all half
naked in the sun
hoping for another
chance.

 

White Noise Eucharist

the bathroom fan. now I am asleep. no
god has been asleep as long as I remember.

there was sleeping in church my pew
a long loungechair. white women

singing sunflower and epistle. to
write a love letter these days means

you are able to buy bread. too many
starved. hearts empty tanks. fill

a cup with holy water. pour into
brown grass. I have never been a man

of faith but I open plastic packets without
looking and consume what’s inside.

Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter: