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
when you walk by
my sunburnt torso
to ask how I have been.
we hung out
before I confessed
and we got dizzy.
When you exit
of clumped grass
a more organic
here is shirtless.
We are all half
naked in the sun
hoping for another
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.