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"You're taking an artistic risk"

Published onJan 04, 2023

Photo by Brian Patrick Tagalog:

half-sunk in a bog you take a photo and I say no
no no not quite like Amy Winehouse but if we sing to

a hedonistic youth I want to enter every swamp
and declare my love for alligator bites you say

you’re taking an artistic risk you swear will pay
off because yesterday after rent you went

to the post and mailed a hundred letters to a hundred
lovers I held your scratched satchel you said would

become the mark of our marked love and there isn’t
enough space in this world to become expendable

not with seven point seven billion hungry
humans all seeking something different

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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