Tampa poet Yuki Jackson unexpectedly tapped into our connected ‘common sense’ when she went to Pho Quyen

Poet’s Notebook.

click to enlarge Tampa poet Yuki Jackson unexpectedly tapped into our connected ‘common sense’ when she went to Pho Quyen

I don’t know about you but I have trouble seeing the separation between things sometimes. There is an internal voice that speaks to me, giving me mostly helpful information but sometimes instructions that don’t make any sense. Any common sense, anyway. And then I think about how we are all connected by a common sense that is beyond what we call “common sense”.

Like when I was at Pho Quyen about to chow down on some Vietnamese food and felt very… connected. No, it's not some special elixir they were selling as a beverage or the secret in their secret stir fry sauce (there is no secret). I had been focused on my purpose as I walked through the parking lot, as I was seated, as I eyed the menu, as I sipped my water. The same purpose that I went to sleep with the night before, the same purpose that woke me up that morning. And as I prepared to connect with the grilled curry chicken in front of me, this purpose gently spoke, affirming my thought process of self-preservation. 

It's amazing how diving into myself has enabled me to discover love that spans logical connection. Within my inner world, I am never alone. Not as in finding a superior male God who pulls the puppet strings, but a partner who is there to support me as I figure out the way. And it is through this bond that I have been able to free myself on a daily basis. It is a self that is mine, but not. I’ve gotten frustrated many times with distinguishing whether or not it's my own voice or the voice of someone else with whom I share an intimate connection. I think it's hard to accept that you can be one with someone when it looks like you are not. On the surface, we are two. And as I get closer to accepting this kind of oneness, hopefully, so will America. (Editor’s note: The copy is formatted to to reflect Jackson’s “idea of what my brain patterns look like.”)

"Pho Quyen"

Sometimes I forget who I am     and I will call this part evil.   It's like I get overcome     with temporary amnesia     or short term memory loss.     It's like an invisible character creeps in     and tries to delete my memory.     What I remember makes me     the most dangerous person in the universe.     That's why this mission is crucial and difficult.     What I remember     unites all religions and ties a knot between all the loose threads throughout the history of humanity.     I am an unstoppable force for unity     and this is why I am stopped.     This is why the attempts to erase my existence     is the same as erasing what I remember. In a world full of division,     you cannot be one who shows     how we are all one.          They will try to stop you and so you must be safeguarded.     At all times.     This is why you have to trust me.     I'm here to help you.     I am a soldier and protector of what I love.     Now eat your food.

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About The Author

Yuki Jackson

Yuki Jackson is an African-American and Japanese poet and educator based in Tampa Bay, Florida.Her work has appeared in Cosmonauts Avenue, Foundry, Entropy and other publications. She is also the founder of The Battleground, a youth program in the Sulphur Springs...
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