The emptied bridge

The emptied bridge, my fourth full-length poetry collection.

‘The emptied bridge’ poetry book cover

From “soaked”

… We’re the flensing edge
of any of a hundred
newly risen

We’re the cornea
of a boy bodysurfing
beside an
outlet pipe …

The poems in Jackson’s fourth full-length collection explore themes of environment, society, gender, sexuality, parenthood, and daily life: the climate change of the world and the self. This is crafted, literary poetry, aware of its contemporaries and antecedents; yet these are poems that anyone with reasonable English can read or perform, that can break free from their author, go out and do work in the world. They encode rhythm and intonation along with possibilities of meaning. Their music will alter the atmosphere in your head. (Publisher’s description)

The emptied bridge explores isolation, connection, and landscapes internal and external. It is a wide-ranging collection that plays throughout with form, rhythm and technique. The poems are infused with intelligence, humour and a deep longing. Sometimes the language is haikuesque, delicate and light, sometimes it is philosophical or matter-of-fact, and often it is charged and raw. Jackson’s distinct voice captures the poignancy of loss and hope and the consolations of music, nature and colour. Edgy, visceral and muscular, The emptied bridge bravely carries its reader through experiences of shadow and light.
— Julie Watts (Legacy, UWA Publishing 2018, winner of the Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript)

Order your copy

Published in 2019 by Mulla Mulla Press. 132 pages. ISBN 9780648542438

Perth Poetry Festival: OOTA Cornucopia, Fremantle, 18 August 2019

Sunday 18 August 2019
The Orient Hotel, 39 High Street (cnr Henry Street), Fremantle
I’m one of the poets reading at OOTA Cornucopia, presented by Out of the Asylum Writers Group for the 2019 Perth Poetry Festival.

I will read poems from my latest books A coat of ashes and The emptied bridge.

The poets

Carolyn Abbs
Rita Tognini
Vivienne Glance

Rose van Son
Tineke van der Eecken
Rachel Petridis
Kevin Gillam
Carol Millner

What a great line-up! We have ten minutes each. Come and listen.

2019 Perth Poetry Festival August 9-18

Deathwish (2019 edit)

If I were a man, you’d
call me brother. We’d
drink beer sing songs read poetry
late into the night

But I have a body that makes
you look. Legs
babyface symmetry plump lips and that thing
you have knows no language — only
a wombwish

You might
be the man in my dream — the one
about the old house with books
paintings guitars cats
friends —

but the woman in my dream
isn’t me.

She’s the cushion woman
the carpet woman
the send you hearts on facebook woman
The sari woman
the sandalwood patchouli woman
the bells on her fingers rose vanilla lavender butterfly tattoo woman

She’s the tongue woman
the womb woman
the open up and make room woman
the overflowing cup woman
the boneless chicken salt tarragon lemon your name her breath woman

But I’m the
cut you down to size woman the
right back at ya woman the
eye to eye hand to hand side by side woman the
boots woman the bare
truth woman the knife
and leather belt woman the don’t
mess with or else woman.
I’m not

the soft-poemed
scented woman
lighting the candles
arranging the cushions.

If I were a man, you’d
call me brother. We’d
drink beer sing songs read poetry
late into the night

From my book “The emptied bridge”, coming soon from Mulla Mulla Press. The original version of this poem was published in 2010.

“A coat of ashes” launch, 4 May 2019, Perth Poetry Club

Book cover, 'A coat of ashes' by JacksonLaunched by

JACKSON in sound & spirit


Plus open mike­
Pizzas afterwards

Sales at the launch will be Pay As You Feel

2pm at The Moon Cafe, 323 William Street, Northbridge
Enquiries: perthpoetryclub at gmail dot com

Can’t come? Get it online for only AUD$12.95 at

The pure tone
     of each electron
The pure functions
The math inside the atom
The muscles connecting
     the trunk to the legs
The tendons connecting
     the moon to the earth
The ligaments connecting
     the brain to the bones
A blanket,
A coat of ashes

This collection traverses science and spirituality, philosophy and matter. Drawing from physics, systems theory, Daoism and more, it contemplates profound questions about our place within a world of being. With deft silences and fine observations, these poems explore both modern and ancient paths to knowledge, seeking to ‘fully apprehend nature, including our fellow beings, and foster a reverent respect for it’. (Publisher’s description)

‘This collection, richly suffused with a personal metaphysics, delicately balances the most crucial aspects of being on a bridge between dark and light. One feels that the words in A coat of ashes might be written and received on the skin.’
— Dominique Hecq

‘Jackson’s work is both original and rooted in a number of poetic traditions, which it deftly fuses. The poems in A coat of ashes are beautifully composed, coherent and crystalline. This rich, creative work makes a genuine contribution to contemporary poetry.’
— Fiona Sampson MBE FRSL