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About this poet

Marcus Jackson is the author of Pardon My Heart, forthcoming in 2018 from TriQuarterly Books, and Neighborhood Register (CavanKerry Press, 2011). He teaches in the MFA program at Ohio State University and lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Evasive Me

Of course there’s a certificate, bleeding
carbon at the creases and impressions,

detailing my metrics and lineage the night
I entered the earthly air in a new hospital

built by the intricate partnership between
Rust Belt governance, capitalism

and Christ, though I lie to people I like,
saying I was born in a garden so near

the sea that my mother—multilingual
and remarkably tall—rinsed me at the fringe

of the tide the morning after labor,
the horizon cloudless and birdless

while the sand whispered spells of protection,
depth, and solemnity upon the pair of us,

and amid this farce my dear listeners
don expressions of distrust or ire

as likely they should, faced with evasive
me, so wearied even before boyhood

by the truth that I’ve forever disallowed
my ears and my mouth any songs not made

from the water, dirt, wind, salt, and fire
of American manipulation.

Copyright © 2017 Marcus Jackson. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Winter 2017.

Copyright © 2017 Marcus Jackson. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Winter 2017.

Marcus Jackson

Marcus Jackson

Marcus Jackson is the author of Pardon My Heart, forthcoming in 2018 from TriQuarterly Books, and Neighborhood Register (CavanKerry Press, 2011). He teaches in the MFA program at Ohio State University and lives in Columbus, Ohio.

by this poet

poem

You turn the kitchen
tap’s metallic stream
into tropical drink,
extra sugar whirlpooling
to the pitcher-bottom
like gypsum sand.
Purplesaurus Rex, Roarin’
Rock-A-Dile Red, Ice Blue
Island Twist, Sharkleberry Fin;
on our tongues, each version
keeps a section, like

poem

Summer has salted
our neighborhood to thirst;
tar that patches the wounds of roofs
heats to sluggish bubbles;
sun obligates
paint on car hoods to blotch.

Emphasized by the light
inside corner-store beer coolers,
your malt lusters.

You’re cold gold down throat.