Tag Archives: Rust + Moth

A Date with Doubt by James Croal Jackson

You look around the room
and rate singles from one to ten
in terms of melancholy
but don’t know
how to rate yourself–
Pacific waves flow through
you almost drown
in the sea of your thoughts–
the scisms between pen and mirror,
heart and mind, these are thieves
who will lie to you ‘til the Greyhound
leaves for Cincinnati at 11:30.
Until then we watch superheroes do bad
stand-up comedy in the conference room
at the new Mikey’s, eating mushroom pizza
with too-hot sauce. Bass pounds from the stage
so loudly we walk to 16-Bit next door
to drink water and pretend we are drunk,
our mouths rocketships exploring the universe
of each other– the rotation of stars
confused with physics. In the end all you want
is chocolate cake. Your blue eyes curve away
in that soaring flyball-to-left way. The way
you sway me back to simpler times
when buying CDs was a holy act
of personal preference
and I stayed sealed on a shelf in plastic,
waiting to give the world my music.

James Croal Jackson is the author of The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017). His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in FLAPPERHOUSE, Rust + Moth, The Bitter Oleander, and elsewhere. He edits The Mantle and is a former winner of the William Redding Memorial Poetry Contest. Find him in Columbus, Ohio or at jimjakk.com.

 Morning Valentine by Kevin Casey

In this new mid-February snow  IMG_0784
a doe drew a line of footfalls
where the hayfield leans
against the bordering pines,

and before the sun climbs
high enough to wash away
the shade that shows the curve
of each depression left

by her silent writing,
you’ll need to rise and see
the valentine we made —
the deer who shaped with care

this string of heart-formed marks,
and I, who hoped to shape
this moment into something
you might wish to share.

Kevin Casey has contributed poems to recent editions of Green Hills Literary Lantern, Hartskill Review, Rust + Moth, San Pedro River Review, and other publications.  His new chapbook “The wind considers everything –” was recently published by Flutter Press, and another from Red Dashboard is due out later this year.