A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 (7) Interview with Jackie Chou

with Jackie Chou:

Q1: When did you begin writing and first influences?

Jackie: I was homeschooled in my native language of Mandarin Chinese until the sixth grade. When I started attending regular school, I became more proficient in English and wrote in my diary. I also began to read classical literature avidly. Some of my early influences included Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and William Faulkner.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Jackie: There are so many poets I read nowadays that I cannot name one who is my biggest influence. The poems I read most recently were Jack Karouac’s collected haiku, which I believe gave me inspiration for writing short form poetry.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Did any travels away from home influence your work?

Jackie: I grew up in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles. The neighborhood, quaint with its colorful run-down houses, definitely provided a backdrop for my writing.

Q4: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Jackie: I consider the most meaningful work I’ve done so far to be the poems, and a couple of short stories, that have been accepted by various journals. For me, getting published is a big validation for my writing.

Q5: What are your favorite activities to relax?

Jackie: When not writing, I love to watch Jeopardy, America's 
Got Talent, and The Voice.  

 Q6: What is a favorite line/stanza from one of your poems or others?

 Jackie: Since I write a lot of short form poetry, I'll share the following lines from one of my favorite tanka: as if my story/were a sculpture/in my diaries/the meticulous carving/of each word.

 Q7: Who has helped you most with writing?

 Jackie: The support of the poetry community--the teachers, facilitators, editors, and fellow poets--has helped me most with writing.   

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Jackie Chou

Several poems from the Fevers of the Mind Anthologies by Jackie Chou




Several poems from the Fevers of the Mind Anthologies by Jackie Chou


Dad's voice in my ears,
After all these years,
Lilacs the color of dreams,
Reality starker than it seems.
The callouses on his hands,
Evidence of life's demands.
Too blind to see the truth,
He thought I had it smooth,
Not knowing what lay ahead
The road on which he tread.
The fallen lilacs only covered
The hardships I discovered.


You're my friend,
yet you act like my enemy.
I see you change color
from the purple
of fairy tale chivalry
to the green of envy.
The hands that glued
my disconnected self
now tear me to pieces.
I am no longer whole
no longer a poet.
My words matter no more,
for you have lit a fire
and burnt them into ash.

You're better Without Me

You don't nee me, you need her,
though you think
the other way around,
deceived by my eyes, my hands:
the warm glow of my gaze,
the soft skin.
The kind gentle voice
consoling you
in your darkest times

But you need her,
who has a rock solid ego,
who is not afraid
to swim with you in deep water,
for she will rise up
no matter how many times
she has been pushed down.
Her arms are strong
to lift you when you're drowning,
her feet rough for walking

Glass Rod

You push me around
with careless hands
like I'm a glass rod
on a wind chime
forcing a word
a tune out of me
as the thin thread
I dangle from wavers
and I hold on
another day
before it breaks
and I detach
from the world I know
shattered into pieces


the black board gazes at me
waits for shards of glass
to fall from my mouth and shatter
outside the jacaranda flowers
descend like knives
upon the bleeding road
I want to vomit bile of disgust
wake from gangrene daydreams
where I fall from high places
again and again
the maroon color of poinsettias
saved for wakeful moments
my alma mater burgundy and gold
I live in the past not the now
my poems are mostly about me
not the outside world
the trees, the conch shells
the sound of paper turning
crumples my heart
as only the nonsensical
spills onto the page

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Jackie Chou