New Poems by Jackie Chou

black pen on white printer paper

Pen Pals

I miss the sinuous curves 
of our words-
the way our blue ink
pitter-pattered 
onto scented pink stationary
filling it with stuff
we can now google online
Bohemian fashion
Lady Chatterley's Lover
the special stamps we bought
of paintings, birds, celebrities
to put on floral envelopes
cardboard photos 
we kept in albums
like we were real
flesh and blood friends.

Creature

I cringe at your touch
spikes under your soft-spoken words
pricks of sharp objects
like thistles, knives
shards of broken glass

How I shrink away from you
porcupine man, porcupine man
no symbol of what you are
marked on your forehead

You hide in the shadows
sneak out when I most need a hand
a black hook there instead
lethal by mere contact.


You Come Back in One Piece

Your hands,
which waved goodbye,
now ask for a second chance.
But the wind seldom brings people back
the way they were,
after their eyes have glimpsed God's face,
their souls scooped out of their bodies
and put back.

I can never understand you completely.
All those years I pretended
to let you pull me into your dark water,
I was only swimming in the shallows.

Now the trees are singing 
of your homecoming,
as a different person,
a tattered stuffed dog whose tears
are all stitched up.


Bio: Jackie Chou writes poetry because it makes life more colorful. It turns the common birds and flowers of the urban landscape where she has lived all her life into heroes. Her poem "Cycle of a Tree" was nominated for a Pushcart by Highland Park Poetry.



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.   


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

https://www.poetrysoup.com/poems_poets/poems_by_poet.aspx?ID=79653

https://subterraneanbluepoetry.com/Archives.JackieChou.html

https://pondersavant.com/2020/07/16/kises-other-poems-by-jackie-chou/

Bio: 
Jackie Chou writes poetry because it makes life more colorful. It turns the common birds and flowers of the urban landscape where she has lived all her life into heroes. Her poem "Cycle of a Tree" was nominated for a Pushcart by Highland Park Poetry.