Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Posts tagged ‘Lisa Hase-Jackson’

West of Here — By Lisa Hase-Jackson

I wake in my mother’s guest bedroom

beneath stormy skies and diminishing rain

 

that so often characterize mid-summer

in Kansas City. It is the first of July.

 

Outside, varied configurations of limestone

homes & tree-canopied walks,

 

welcome me as if I belong here,

if only for the morning, as surely as the walnut
tree in front & the crack in the sidewalk

gaining prominence each year I visit. Tomorrow

 

I’ll travel west across prairies dotted

with round bales & abandoned farmhouses
past ditches peppered with wildflowers,

botanical names lost to a former self, a vague past.

 

Friends wait in Topeka, restless with resentment

or divorcing. I go to visit David, dying

 

of liver failure, a gift from the Goodyear plant

to supplement his early, if brief, retirement.

~ Lisa Hase-Jackson

 

Lisa Hase-Jackson earned her M.A. in English from Kansas State University and an M.F.A. in poetry from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Her award winning poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals, anthologies, and online magazines including The Midwest Quarterly, Kansas City Voices, Kansas Time and Place, Fall Lines, Sin Fronteras, and is forthcoming in I-70 Review. Born in Portland, Oregon and raised primarily in the Midwest, Lisa is a traveler at heart and has spent her adult years living and writing in such locations as Anyang, South Korea, Albuquerque, New Mexico and Spoleto, Italy. Her current perch is Charleston, South Carolina where she teaches Introduction to Poetry and Honors English at the College of Charleston. Lisa is managing editor for ZingaraPoet.net and 200 New Mexico Poems, a project she initiated while living in Albuquerque.

Izzy Wasserstein is a Lecturer in English at Washburn University. Izzy is the author of the poetry collection This Ecstasy They Call Damnation, and has published in Crab Orchard Review, Flint Hills Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. Izzy shares a home with Nora E. Derrington, a cat, and three dogs, and believes in the power of resistance.

This Town by Lisa Hase-Jackson

Downtown Main Street is stilllisa hase-jackson

mostly the same. The wrought

 

iron benches around the square

have all been repainted glossy black

and folks still ignore business

in favor of conversation. Store front

 

windows are thicker at the bottom

than they used to be, and the Christmas wreath

in the antique mall, thick with wood smoke

and dust, is perennial now.

Flour sacks are still buck a piece

at Koger’s Five and Dime. Yesterday

 

I passed my first

crush on second street. He

didn’t recognize me,

or pretended not to. He

always said he wouldn’t farm,

probably still works for the County

and rides his Harley to the city

on weekends it doesn’t rain. The Burkes’

lost another son

if the church marquee is any indication.

I expect folks’ll make casseroles and breads

for the funeral reception and the weeks
that follow, help out with planting in the spring

maybe even the harvesting come fall,
being sure to mark their good deed
on the feed-store calendar held
up by the bank magnet

on their refrigerator door.

~ Lisa Hase-Jackson

Lisa Hase-Jackson holds a Master’s Degree from Kansas State University and is pursuing an MFA from Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C. She is the Reviews Editor for South 85 Journal and facilitates two poetry blogs: ZingaraPoet.net and 200 New Mexico Poems. Recently, her poems have appeared in such literary magazines as Sugar Mule, Kansas City Voices, Pilgrimage, and As/Us Journal and anthologized in To The Stars Through Difficulty: A Kansas Renga, and Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku & Haiga.

Guest Editor: Israel Wasserstein, a Lecturer in English at Washburn University, was born and raised on the Great Plains. His first poetry collection, This Ecstasy They Call Damnation, was a 2013 Kansas Notable Book. His poetry and prose have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Blue Mesa Review, Flint Hills Review, and elsewhere.

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