James Croal Jackson lives in Columbus, Ohio. He spent a few years in Los Angeles working in the film industry, but now he releases electronic rap albums under the pseudonym 'Layzerus'. You can find some of his poems at jimjakk.com.
For two weeks I bathed deep in the sweat of whiskey.
Submerged vocals yawed to 3am caresses together, together.
The silken bed turns itself over, its base an earthquake.
Listerine breath hurls to vortex the two years of refraining
from the holy riptide– how its arms reach
and withdraw, reach and withdraw.
You would drown in the salt of married shells,
sheathe your crackled forearm in the tide's tattoo.
You would let it embrace and clear
your pearls. Thus begins the tide anew.
The Photograph Was a Drunken Winter
slackened falls into chaos: each plod
a sobering imprint on snow
buzzing cavernous hearts
white honey swathes the air
the dewdrop pale of her shirt, arms curved
from the door in bent-seven candles, icicled
waxen breath hissing this
is the moment sculptured to ice:
a future with gluey trees barren at night,
tongues born licking telephone poles
static moments stretched to angel hair
feel like rare dreams caught in dim light
in the vacant living room
our packed boxes never touched,
black mold assumes the ceiling fan.
it awakens every morning
wanting to spin,
to slice into the air
with its fine blades
a surgery of breathing
and the chest waits
for your steady palm
those numb nights,
when our billowed heat
cooled our voluminous bits
We were the hardwood floor. Cold squeaks,
outstretched panther palm, red hand,
expected the chlorine. Wax splashed
baby oil eyes and it is citrus– cinnamon, acidic.
Where we were wanted, the pitchfork path
and jagged rim,
this fungus crust metastasis, you twirl
and twirl your index finger until it leaves.
we bend and fold to keep
some memories alive
we with our doughy cores–
salty to the lick–
rose and contracted,
twisted into rope,
into ebb and echo, ripples
of the faintest caress,
indented on the crust