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“Findley Lake”, “Khraugnbin Concert, 2022”, & “My Mind’s Forbidden Animals” by James Croal Jackson

Findley Lake

I have lived long enough

to know to stay

out of the water. Bug guts

a crushed red berry beside

me. If there’s poison off

the dock– weeds in everlasting

web, I have a lot of gnats

to catch along the muddy

path around the pond of singing

birds and bullfrogs leading

the way to Destiny’s house.

Khruangbin Concert, 2022

In the inner sanctum of throbbing

bodies, I groove hard beyond slow

walk of long-haired superstars,

headlight-eyed, mumbling inside

microphones amplified starward.

Diving deep into this band the

first time– an alien soundscape

of guitar echo and half-familiar

nostalgia for when we could live

forever, tapping wine bottles

with drumsticks to the rhythmic

thrum of how our lives were

going, no interruptions, propellor

hats attached and forever flying,

no batteries included, unnecessary.

My Mind’s Forbidden Animals

I am feeling


having already killed

a spider tonight

inching down

my bedroom wall

I crushed him

with a white paper towel

as I barked praise

for keeping

more insects out

of my house

but you can’t show

your face around here

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. (


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