The Creationists, Cancel Culture; Stories; The Influencer; The Teacher

The Creationists
We placed a tall drought on the San Joaquin.  
Monitored it closely with birds eyes collected. 
Black Raven beads.  Hermit Thrush pebbles. 
Turkey Vulture marbles and the beryl gems 
of Red Tails. 

Saw the Jack-Weed there and Saw-
Grass spread like cotton spittle
across a dry earthen tongue.  Then retreat 
into itself.  Into a powder that a breathy gust 
released into something without thought.  
Or space to be.  An exact thought.  
An idea floating over a Paleocene landscape.  
Fossils beneath a sand colored sky.  Dissipating 
and regenerating into means of industry and light. 
Decomposing into river beds of silt and stone.  

The places where Carver would dream
of men drowning in their own brackish ponds. 
The places where women made homes 
for drowning men.  And dreamed
of the freedom of themselves

This barren land, chalky with bone and shell.
All exoskeleton and tide marks of a sea retreated 
but returning.  This animal life.  This hard window.

We climbed back out of the brine and into Wattieza 
looking up in fear and hunger. 
For a wet heaven. For anything 
to answer to.
Cancel Culture 

Keep in mind 
that they have discredited
the existence of dark stars 
and tornados.  The migrations 
of various ground birds.  Music 
in general.  Cans of Spaghettios.
The Appalachian trail and every 
single nudist colony on only the Baltic.

Dogs are no longer allowed 
in the houses of the poor and 
plastic patio furniture can only 
be used inside.  Crude oil is now 
available at all local supermarkets
but Cornish game hens will no longer
be sold due to environmental initiatives.

The moon will now rise at 4pm 
on Mondays and Wednesdays and 
the coyote curfew will be implemented 
at those times as well. Weapons 
are mandatory in large arenas but 
must be holstered while eating nachos
or hotdogs for obvious safety reasons.

Meanwhile every hotdog eaten will
take 36 minutes off of your life according 
to a study done by a neighbor’s 
grandfather.  This kind of decadence 
will add up.  Be prepared 

They become less true
every time you tell them.
The Carrion Crow 
over east Kentucky.
The Turtle Dove 
dead on the patio doormat.

They make less sense
and become the creation 
of the town the more you 
misremember them aloud.

The slow car ride 
through the winding roads 
of the Mediterranean. The creaks 
and shifts.  The sputtering uncertainty 
of every bend.  The idea that this 
is all there is and one could
dissipate at any moment 
as a thin Cirrus.

Every time you tell them 
the eyes turn green or blue or grey.
The long walk across the low bridge
becomes shorter and shorter.
The Willow becomes a Birch 
or an Oak or an Ash.

Sometimes it is better
to hold these things inside of you
where they are safe 
from your malignant 

Let them fester or shrivel or grow
to outrageous proportions
of their own volition. 

Let them climb like Kudzu 
around your innards and organs.  
Feel them rise to your lungs 
and move on to your larynx
and tongue and teeth. Let them
try to pry your lips apart.

That is the true test.
That is when one 
must make the choice.

To lock them up.
To keep them safe.
To keep them true.
The Influencer

My audience is completely black

hearted and humored and 
non-existent.  Not even the white
lies that I provide can substantiate this.

I have a following

of quail unquestionable.
Their little feet and hearts
race for me in my sleep.
I build them hollow nests 
out of Plover-bone in the 
quagmire and kiss their tiny
beaks just before the bloat
of the levee’s belly bursts.

The inner circle of my friend’s 

scerla is always bloodshot and
the cornucopia of his eye is
seasonless.  I give him drops
of tub water that my children
have bathed in and tell him
Drink it son, for the antibodies.

All of my fans are Oriental

and have peacocks painted
on them. Covered in dust
they are.  In boxes in the cellar
where the Redwood rot seeps in.
I unfold them on occasion and
feel the push and pull of heavy
murk.  Then I smell the smell
of the Good Earth again.

All of the stars gather for me

in clusters and crustaceans.
I turn my camera obscura away 
from their celestial sepia and 
back at myself.  The Tarantula 
Nebula of my crow’s feet
climbing outward.  The brown 
thin remnant of a blood moon 
my mouth.  Like the thumbnail 
of a farmworker.  And in my eyes
I notice constellations twisting 
like ventricles and aorta.  
Little hearts, I think.
This must mean 

I am a star now
The Teacher

Words like candlewax
or homemade soap melt
through her legs. Thick 
like rich milk or pancake
batter.  Sit still, she says.

A chalkboard under a
fluorescent glow hard
on us and laminate. The
world pulses and throbs 
under the pressure of being
condensed into a plastic globe.

Letters and numbers pour
out of her blouse like
fat butterflies screaming
and we cannot hear them.
We hear nothing but the
sound of our own blood.

She smells strange like
copper.  Like a mother 
we’ve never known.  Lotion
or blood or almonds
still green.  Yet to ripen.

We are young and
fearless and want to
rip open our own skin.
The world is huge and
so goddamn small and 
we thought we wanted 

She leans in with
breath wet like a
dream.  Like an 80’s 
movie.  Like a song 
we can’t yet sing.

Now we know 
what we want and
it is that simple.

The woman bathing 
on the dock in the
horror film.

Just the chance
to save her.  Or
at least die


Ronald Jackson studied Creative Writing at Grossmont College of San Diego and Cal State University of Northridge. His poems have previously been published in Flatmancrooked’s Slim Volume of Contemporary Poetics and will also be included in the upcoming Issue No. 7 of Dum Dum Zine.