Main line, Atchison Topeka Santa Fe Rail

your train pulls

from the late platform

all the souls

and the light of

the lamps


by Jason Anderson


Flash poem and a brief word about my favorite subject

No, it’s not another poem about Flash boys and luminous men, although there is potential there. “Flash” just means I wrote this in an instant right after the precipitating event. It’s even time-stamped.



At this black hour

The bird first takes to song

His voice remembering

Bright the dawn


A mea culpa.
Try as I might lately to keep up, I slip behind on reading blogs. Apart from normal everyday (he says, tongue firmly planted in cheek) life and trying to keep writing, I’m scrambling to find a new job, and recently acquired a nasty bug. My doctor assures me it’s just a cold, but drama queen that I am I bought a headstone just in case. I didn’t have them fill in the year of my death, because I’m not a betting man. But I did have an epitaph inscribed:

He lived among heroes

When people talk about me long after I’m gone — maybe even at dinner after the funeral — maybe they’ll have some fun trying to figure out what I meant by that. You see, I don’t generally have a reputation as a rosy optimist. It’s my “Rosebud” moment.

Quick, true story.
I went to a local convenience store yesterday and the kid — ahem, young man — behind the counter was wearing a Captain America t-shirt.

“I like your shirt,” I said.

“Thanks. It’s my roommate’s,” he said with a slight blush. “All my clothes are in the laundry.”

I thought, well isn’t that exactly how you become a hero. Maybe not a superhero, that takes secret government programs, jacked-up spiders or exploding homeworlds. But you get my drift.




There’s a hazy term

For transactions like this

And today’s kind of day

When all is laid

Surreptitiously bare

The hammock sweats

And red-handedly

Nets your back with

Dewdrop trails on

Thin ribbed skin

Which I kiss as you sleep

Or you don’t

We can never

Tell, for sure


By Jason Anderson

Summer officially begins Thursday in New England, with 93°F in Providence. Break out the hammock.

Light in the Water

(Photo by Rob Brewer from Bristol, England via Wikimedia Commons)

(Photo by Rob Brewer from Bristol, England via Wikimedia Commons)

The sky absorbs by morning

The harbor’s bitter taste

The mourning tide

Remembers early lights

A buoy hollowly tolling

Drunken irregularities

Five ghosts on the landing

Two tread past and future

Three to bear the interstice

This mourning will spare three:

Suspended in blue incense

The dock master’s boat returns,

Light in the water,

All the sea returns.


By Jason Anderson

If Only

Moulin Rouge movie poster, 2001

Moulin Rouge poster art (2001) | Photo: author

If Only

She’s the sweetest thing

Granting me a costly smile

That forebears forgiveness.

She raises her glass with

Both hands like a child

For the thousandth time

I wish, like a child wishes to be

Grown up, or a boy a girl.


Did I choose this heartbreak?

I swear it has chosen me

Raised me with strong hands

Like a promise

To a different light

She: “This should have worked,

If only…”

I: “It would have, if only…”


If only, then, my mind refused

Debts I hadn’t the will to bear

Instead of foolishly counting

On buried treasure.

I make a promise

To four clasped hands:

No more ‘if onlies,’ no

Calculated heartbreaks.


I’ve lost all collateral

There’s no translation, no language

Until all liens are removed.

She smiles sadly, strong

She’s the sweetest thing

But the things I love are bitter.


My heart ducks between

Shadows as I pay her

My last kiss in this currency

And feel the promise of

Unransomed breath

On her lips, bittersweet.


By Jason Anderson

The Sailor

Fishing boat

Returning with the Catch, Block Island Sound (author)

He is a man of the sea

Whose surface takes

Light cast upon it

Whose tidal mood

Depends on the oft-

Shifting weather

By tides placid,

Suddenly tragic

Unpredictable by

Nature, and whose

Hypnotic stare


A certain brackishness


He is a man of the sea

Who doesn’t choose

Battles, luring men


To death and fortune,

Keeps company with

Pirates, sharks and

The imaginary,

Driving men abyssal

With shore expectations

Quenching thirst by

Mad promises

And fantasies


He is a man of the sea

Who after each tempest

Eases back to his shores

But not me

A veteran sailor

With no love for the sea


By Jason Anderson

Shake the World

shake the world


’til its birds

come loose

from the trees:

a thunder

of tiny



By Jason Anderson