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Marcus Jackson

Years: 2006-2009


Marcus Jackson was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio.  After earning his BA at the University of Toledo, he continued his poetry studies in NYU's graduate creative writing program and as a Cavem Canem fellow.

His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Harvard Review, and The Cincinnati Review, among many other publications.  His chapbook, Rundown, was published by Aureole Press in 2009.  His debut full-length collection of poems, entitled Neighborhood Register, will be released in September of this year. 

Marcus lives with his wife in New York City, and he teaches creative writing workshops at Rutgers University.




Just shaved, face

flawless like a waxed Cadillac,

dad peered into mirror, picking

his hair into a black globe.


Knee scar from playing 1-guard

for the Navy’s hoop squad;

flat feet, stance

a smidgen bowlegged.


You might’ve been

one of our neighbors who wondered

how this man could actually love

my mama, a White woman

with Irish eyes, who

tilted into month-long moods.


You probably heard

their thunderous doors,

their fight-voices or

the snap of struck skin.


Maybe you squinted

through parted drapes to view

them tussle like two

tornadoes tied together.


Shame you couldn’t see them

during certain days when

he’d stop her in the calm hall,

sweep a tress of hair from her neck,

kiss her shoulder freckles as if

nothing ever made better sense.