Poetry Showcase from Jackie Chou


You weave a web
everywhere you go–

who are you, spider girl
but your one-and-only
Facebook photo–

a silver heart pendant
a fake hometown
a false alma mater

Nothing I do 
is good enough for you—
not even 
the sweat of my ink
you claim as your own

You say you’d be so cool
without me–
yet I know the truth
you’ve flipped upside down

Like a damselfly
I spread my wings
to disentangle myself
from your web of lies

The Neighbor

You walk like a queen
with your downgaze
dictating my downfall–
you'd like to place me
in a pillory
like a medieval prisoner

I’ve committed 
the most unforgivable crime
in your eyes–
by being alive
when you'd like to squash me
like an insect under your sole

I have every right 
to breathe the air you breathe 
to free myself 
from your collar of shame 
I'm no criminal 
and you're no monarch

Remembering an Old Crush

I've always wondered
if you wrote poetry
and if you did
what it was about–
the shiny new star-shaped rims
you got for your tires
all the girls you brought
to your Downtown LA suite
for cups of gourmet cappuccino 
and one-night stands
whom you drove home the next day
in your polished gray sports car?
Do you need heartbreak
to write good poems?
Or do you, my prince
have depths beyond 
your frat boy facade
to transcribe into verses
to touch the heart?


I've longed to hear you 
say it all my life–
only to be told the opposite.
You've branded me mediocre,
since I was old enough to know 
the meaning of the word–
ordinary, unexceptional.
I'd rather be a retard than that.
I've had to discover for myself 
that I'm a genius,
etch a star on my own chest,
place a crown on my own head.
Because to you, 
I will always be a commoner,
a B that never makes it to A,
an act that gets no applause.

Creative Process

My therapist asks me 
how I write the poems I write.

I tell her it’s similar 
to painting cherry blossoms,
like I do in art therapy.

The words dab on the page
gentle like a kitten’s prints.

There are days when the cat
becomes a tiger,
and the pawsteps become stampedes.

Then there are days
when the cat falls asleep,
and the words don’t come at all

except perhaps in dreams–
faint silhouettes whose shapes
I can hardly decipher.  

Wolfpack Contributor: Jackie Chou 

A Poetry Showcase for Jackie Chou 

New Poems by Jackie Chou

A Poetry Showcase for Jackie Chou

Moon, Full Moon, Sea, Sky, Night Sky, Lunar, Moonlight


Moonlit sky
brings no kisses
to the lips, cheeks
no embraces
We stand apart
like neighbor stars
a gap between us
Our silhouettes licked thin
like popsicles
in the semi-darkness
slowly vanishing under
the curtain of night.

The Sky Tonight

The sky tonight is full of scars
Gaping like my heart-flesh
Punctures of its myriad stars
Still bloody red and fresh

Oh night, don't slip away
I have much more to say

Before you turn to day. 

I will make right
The sky tonight


You're seventy-percent
dihydrogen monoxide

Dark and stinking
of the alleyways
like day-old rain puddles

I'm sinking
my boat paper-thin
& without oars

The seagull in me
still dreaming of wings
to save itself. 

I prefer my poem fat

like me in the pandemic
breasts, waist
hips, thighs
filled out
with greasy phrases
and poesy

But oh 
there's no meat
on that bone
just diaphanous skin
more deprived
of nutrients
than an anorexic
a weightless spectre


It's true I write incessantly
about boyfriends
Boyfriends who became celibate
Boyfriends who became quadriplegic
Boyfriends floating in memory-sea
It makes me wonder if you, hunk
will one day become just another shred
another puzzle piece of the big picture
the word "forever" falling off
from where it dangles on the heart

Wolfpack Contributor: Jackie Chou

Poetry Showcase from Jackie Chou

New Poems by Jackie Chou

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

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
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.


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.

Wolfpack Contributor: Jackie Chou

Poetry Showcase from Jackie Chou

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

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: Jackie Chou

Poetry Showcase from 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: Jackie Chou

Poetry Showcase from Jackie Chou