Many Suns Will Rise / Mark Jackley


Many Suns Will Rise

poems by

Mark Jackley

ISBN: 978-1-59948-927-8, 64 pages, $14 (+ shipping)

Release Date: September 7, 2022

The Advance Sale Discount on this title has expired. For those who prefer to pay by check, the price is $18/book (which includes shipping) and should be sent to: Main Street Rag, PO BOX 690100, Charlotte, NC 28227-7001. 


Mark Jackley lives in Purcellville, Virginia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. His poems have appeared in Fifth Wednesday, Sugar House Review, Natural Bridge, The Cape Rock, Talking River, The Main Street Rag, and other journals. His previous books include Cracks and Slats (Amsterdam Press), Every Green Word (Finishing Line Press), and On the Edge of a Very Small Town (self-published).

The poems in Mark Jackley’s Many Suns Will Rise use compression as a virtue. The short poem’s power is on full display in this book. Like a piston in its cylinder, the poem compresses until it explodes. Sometimes the poem compresses image by image until it seeps into our eyes and grabs hold of us. The range of the imagination in these poems is their stronghold on the reader. This book deserves our attention. ~Andrew Cox, editor of UCity Review and author of The Equation That Explains Everything, Fortune Cookies and This False Compare


Mark Jackley’s poems are photographically precise applied studies of light. Through his poems we watch movement in peripheral lives, light as a slab or a smeared angle. The playing field of attention holds humans and other species equally, whether a dancing slug or the prehistoric bovine gaze. These careful attentive poems demonstrate that it’s the small details make the whole living worthwhile. The poems live in a grounded world that is exactly absurd yet absorbing for all its pathos. It’s the gravity of it all that makes us care about the choices that hold us in place. These are worth attending to. Listen, in “Moon over tow truck” “ask any apple /falling /in the cool/ and shining /dusk/ all is pull” ~Pearl Pirie, author of Footlights (Radiant Press, 2020)


These small poems traffic in life’s smallest details. But therein lies the paradoxical splendor of Mark Jackley’s work. The microscope he turns on everyday moments doubles as a telescope, enlarging the scope of our vision. A neat trick, except it’s not a trick at all. The poems in Many Suns Will Rise are the offerings of a fully mature poet, one who has labored long with the ghosts of Basho and James Wright providing company. ~Mike White, author of How to Make a Bird with Two Hands and Addendum to a Miracle, winner of the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize



I stood back and regarded the absence of my wallet,
the Honda keys that take me in little circles and
gazed upon a perfect slab of emptiness and light
streaming from the window, from the larger light.
It was enough to make me wish that I were a dust mote,
electrical and dancing, time keeping me.

My grandfather’s dresser. A drummer who departed,
shining and alone, to no music.




I am driving
to work.
You work,
inhaling hay.
Teach me
to wade in shit
all day
and rid myself
of torment
with something
like the tail
we had
before words.





The stray dog in the photo
Mary Lou took the year before
she died was me, she said,
always drifting. In my defense,

the dog is sniffing the scrub and nothing
of the Utah desert,
cool and lovely I imagine
after morning rain,

itself a traveler
and shape-shifter, mentor to coyotes
who wait for you to blink,
then disappear beyond the frame.





you who
slowly open
your eyes
neck craned
head slumped
as if a
looming over a hole
without end
it seems
want badly
to believe
there is a
something livable
will rise

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