Writings / Poetry

JL Jacobs

Skirt Hill


Tonight I want grapes.

A transfusion of birds
like fingers into hands

slow closing

strangely frail buttonholes.

You harbour sour wine:
Full throated ghost
unworked hair           and all

the night behind.

You laid the tongue and groove
of my pine ceiling.
Your message           mortal.
Not to tell.

Go forth from here
the river road.

I inhabit your garden.

My hand mid-thigh
part-song          (echoed)

and a row of trees
ensued by mud.

Dream distance
and the no-road-back.
Listen in the thatch-eaved

(Storms and all that is comprehensible.)

The circumstance of my name
and yours.
Telescoped senses and closed lids.


Level reach           of rain

I walk in.

I have sealed all the jars.

Moved between farm houses
copperhead wary,

as always in late Autumn

unfettered voice.

I sorted linens
uncreased cotton flour sacks
with mitered corners.

We lived below Skirt Hill.

The North side of the house

It is open to indeterminate sleep
and my inconstancy.


It was a June rehearsal.
The Choctaw in cuffless
trousers           hard-dried.

And she drinking blue
like wine.

It is a prison song.

You insisted in her,
a red-brown girl           moved
(lengthwise) across the floor

into words.

I wrist into morning
earthing in
and the house like me

I have overwatered everything
as sacrament.
Re-collected grocery lists.
Your sense of chairs

This wall of books
that hover my skin---
such an Easter
dark to bone.
Its colour blue in mind
as fruit.

I heard a rhythm of flowers
in our unlit room
thickening dust
circles of dark tobacco

at a distance.

A sun for sun draped           August
a road
upended.           Black-top ready.



Trees on the occasion

of months           fractured

Oaks, sweetgum, sycamores
bulldozed to widen
the road North
to lower the hill ten inches.

It is my own posture
my high-shoes.
I grow cold on the porch.

I see dirt and stillbirths
try           to stay awake.

About The Author


JL Jacobs grew up in Oklahoma underfoot to her great-grandmother who was midwife and root-doctor to a small community at the end of the Trail of Tears (forced removal of Choctaws to Indian Territory 1830-32). She studied art, photography and literature, and graduated from Brown University’s MFA Program. Her work has appeared in such journals as Ploughshares, New American Writing, New Orleans Review, American Letters & Commentary, Volt, Five Fingers Review. Books include, Varieties of Inflorescence, Leave, 1992, The Leaves in Her Shoes, Lost Roads, 1999, and DreamSongs, Above Ground Press, 2004. Recent work has appeared in Fascicle, Octopus, American Letters & Commentary and Ploughshares. She lives and writes in the Cross Timbers of America – where the eastern woodlands meet the Great Plains.

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