DANNY JACKSON-PIERCE


Danny Jackson-Pierce is currently pursuing a degree in professional
writing at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. For
the past year, he has served as editorial assistant for H_NGM_N, an online
journal of poetry and poetics.






Nurse

I have abandoned my responsibilities
to watch you work,
to wait outside your door,
to leer through your window.

And the hallway pedestrians
and their slack-jawed speculations
mean nothing to me;
(for such is the nature of my love)
to pass the uncomfortable stare,
the obsessive reaching,
that digs into your skin
that curdles the milk in your breast.

And I, in my infancy,
(for such is the nature of my love)
still suck it thick
whole, so i choke
on the sour flavor
and the burn.






Analogies

I have heard
analogies
of old gum on the soles
of her shoes,
eerie shadow walking
as she walks,
attached at the
heel,
housefly in her ear,
but I prefer
to think of myself
as a loose thread
twisting from the hem
of her skirt
and responding
faithfully
to her movement.






Bull in Smoke

I thought of him as some queer Brahma bull
Shaking his head in contempt of nothing at all

Not the flies or the mosquitoes around his eyes
Not the dust rising form the fury of his own hooves

And that was his absurdity
That blind rage -- that snorting at the empty,

That polished horn, gone ragged
Tearing through the vapor.

But in spite of that, or because of that,
He was still a bull in smoke,

And when his nostrils flared chaotic
Everyone responded to his breath,

And despite his ridiculous leather
No one could deny his muscle.






Reconstruction

In my grandmother's house,
my mother and I searched for tools
(the house is falling apart,
but we try to keep it together.)

In the back room, the one that's always
hot, because the door is kept closed,
we combed through rusted screwdrivers
and nails. Without warning, my mother
stopped.

"This is the room where your grandfather died."

She pointed to a corner, and motioned
along the wall, "There was a bed right here,
and that's where he left us."

My spine stiffened and I felt a chill;
the heat of the room, not letting it escape,
as my mother told me that this room
was once her parents' bedroom,
before I was born, before they added onto the house.

I found a hammer and picked up my new box
of nails from the floor. In my grandmother's bedroom
(as of 1974) I tacked a fresh strip of wood
into the baseboard.

My mother's words sat uneasy in my skull,
so I hammered hard.
Her story was pushed away
as if by war drums.
The chill from my spine
escaped through sweat.

My grandmother, slow and unsteady,
stepped into the room and cleared her throat.
She smiled.

"That was your Granddaddy's hammer;
right now you look just like him."



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