Castaway On a Sea of Twisted Smiles & Two other poems by Ted Jackins

Castaway On a Sea of Twisted Smiles

Now I’m sleeping in,
As if the sunlight were
Something else to outrun.
It’s always a slow motion
Slide into depression,
Cold sweat up
And down my protruding
Eyelids like heavy
Boulders blocking
Eyes dark as twin
I want to get up
Off my back,
I want to see
My wife and
My cat today.
I want to brew
I want to stack
Some records onto
The turntable,
I want to feed Boomerang
The porch kitty,
I want to smoke
I want to read
Four books
At once,
I want to go
Walk in the woods,
I even want to
Do laundry,
Get groceries,
Do the dishes,
Sweep the apartment,
Find a fucking job.
I want to write
More poems,
Though they tear
So at my heart,
Mind and soul.
I want to meditate
But my very
Being has a weight
Dropped into its
Like some half
Empty wishing
A weight which
Holds me down,
Keeps me in
One place
Never to move,
Shutting out
The entire world —
Where everything
Hangs heavy and
Black 24/7,
Sleep as an
Alternative to death,
A tiny suicide for
Fifteen to twenty
Hours a day,
Before being
Resurrected just
As the shadows
Grow forth from
My unconscious
World into the
Waking one,
Like darkened
Fingers twisting
Around the pale,
Thin throat
Of the new dusk

Cut Up #1

Lift here for signature.

In the company of failure,
Suspension policies
And money reminders,
Non-toxic finger contracts
For longer lasting privileges.
Glass bottles don’t apply
For tomorrow’s special:
12 oz customers and one
off cooperation.


Order kills germs,
Prepay or approve,
Alcohol travels to
Compare and save.

Vapor stimulants
Cut off winning numbers,
Good luck on underage assembly,
Get cash or receive ice,
Product service stations cost
$2000.00 and when
Entered correctly can escape
The information procedures.

Cut Up #2

Decorate my heart when
Looking for no one else,
Coincidence lead her toward
A strange abyss.
The theater broadcasts
Marquee surfaces,
A typical mischief deceiver
Directing fictitious days
With fear and genius,
And preparation when
Submitted bleeds validity,
Transforming tortured artists
Into fantastic obsessives,
Where competitive boozing
Leads to demanding hangovers.

Ted Jackins vanished along with the rest of his platoon somewhere in Hanoi in 1968. Rumors that he was actually born in 1982 and is alive and well living with his wife and multiple cats in a small town in North Carolina have yet to be confirmed. His work has appeared in Red Fez, Zygote In My Coffee, Blotterature, Citizens For Decent Literature and on the compilation They Came To Destroy the Carolinas Volume 2 from Dead Wax Records.

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