Body Surfing with Bruce Jacobs

Jun 16, 2020 | Bubbler

Body Surfing

In a glass dish on my desk,
a candle flame heaves its way
toward nothing.
This life is
a thick swim.
Invisible water, with the
grainy cling of earth.
Its spherical touch
sealed around my skin.
The naked trees know,
awash in poured fog
that sinks through their arms at dusk.
They need half-buried selves
just to stand here. So
here we go.
On my desk, the flame points itself
toward nowhere.
Through swaying curtains,
passing cars hiss on the road
like dry water, each a wave cresting: here,


Bruce A. Jacobs is a poet, a nonfiction author, a working jazz drummer, and an improving saxophonist. He has appeared on NPR, C-SPAN, Sirius, and elsewhere. His two books of poems are Speaking Through My Skin(Michigan State University Press), which won the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, and Cathode Ray Blues (Tropos Press). His two nonfiction books are Race Manners and Race Manners for the 21st Century, (Arcade/Skyhorse), both of which provide a tour of racism from within each of us. Jacobs’ work has appeared in dozens of literary journals and anthologies, including Beloit Poetry JournalAfrican American Review, and many others, including the anthology 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Everyday, edited by Billy Collins.