Literature 7-14-2008

What Light: This Week’s Poem: Jason Ericson

"Five Unrelated Episodes" by Jason Ericson is this week's winning poem, and it was selected by Bryan Thao Worra. ALSO: CALL FOR MN POETS for a new quarter of What Light! Deadline: July 19


Five Unrelated Episodes

Heart just popped over a beat
crept up on itself and yelled boo
so shocked it dropped its pail of water
on the cold steps
of course they froze solid
the next morning

Right here in my hallway
I see your breasts come
bobbing out, I follow them
like a magician’s cup trick
gentle olives – salty, mildly fragrant
– soft and full, now giggling towards me
your bra and panties, once hidden doves,
disappear into the very quiet part of the night.

Hurt trying to leave it
pushed too hard and balloon (doubt)

There is under every thought
– I have no words –
at the edge of my sight – hate crawling
like bugs, burnt by a crisply focused
dot of sun bent through my glasses
a circular saw (gritting teeth)
a smile – inside that very window
I know they’re fucking.

The leaves told different stories
that one said “fuck you” and pushed
the other down
and it stayed down.


I was maybe 14 when I decided I was a writer. Nothing made me one, besides the journal in the drawer by my bed, and the desire to be one. To inform my writing, I sought informal education: I cut firebreaks in Colorado, hitchhiked across the Sierras, climbed rocks in North Carolina, motorcycled through New England, and slept on the beaches of Oahu. I work on my writing, continually. I take risks, ask for feedback, and keep tinkering. And I write, and I write.


Jason Ericson holds a B.A. in English and political science from the University of California-Berkeley. His writing also appears in Lyndale Neighborhood News, Minneapolis Observer Quarterly, MinnPost, Northography, Twin Cities Daily Planet, and Utne Reader. He lives in Minneapolis, and enjoys biking, taking pictures, and counting his blessings.

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