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.