East Through California by James Jackson


I argue with the music in my car again

those rock’n’roll pots and pans clanging

in the soup kitchen of my imagination

the Steel Reserve of my rumba rumblin’

stomach unfilled from Maruchan ramen


really I’m running from anything but home:

in the apartment of my car the desert’s

a sandstorm of faulty A/C and mountains

obscuring the view of my future and

there’s nowhere else to go but here


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