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  • James Croal Jackson

How I am right now

James Croal Jackson

How I am right now is a golden field

(head down letting myself feel

so much a stingray ascends out

of me and swims into sky).

I cannot identify the plants

I am masking my sadness in. Orange-

capped mushroom head

with dropping greens. Are you a fan

of James Jean? His paintings

melt me into a sludge

of vines. Life

has moved slow

but I want everything

to be slower. A psychic

once told me I will live

to be eighty-two

which is how old my father

and his father were when

they passed so I have twenty-

nine thousand days at most

and rarely will I sit

beside a mountain.


James Croal Jackson is a Filipino-American poet who works in film production. His latest chapbooks are Count Seeds With Me (Ethel Zine & Micro-Press, 2022) and Our Past Leaves (Kelsay Books, 2021). Recent poems are in Stirring, Vilas Avenue, and *82 Review. He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (


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