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Jayson Harsin  (email, website1, website2)


About the Poet:

Jayson is a scholar, cultural critic, teacher, blogger, accordianist, "third-rate poet," former Americana and indierock dj, and a lover of coconut cream pies. His scholarship appears in journals such as  "Southern Review," and his music, film and political criticism appear on Blogcritics Magazine, Bad Subjects, and Bright Lights Film Journal, among others. He lives in Paris , France with his beautiful companion, a dog named Mirth.


Christmas, 1943

Being first a farmer in
The Great Depression,
He always hated Christmas,
No matter the
Endless cups of
Amnesiac cheer
A commercialized
Holiday offered.

And secondly why?

On Christmas Eve 1943,
a teenage sailor,
residue of hay bales still clinging to his ears,
dreaming of thistles and harvests,
horse-powered ploughing
in the middle of the South Pacific,
was still seasick when he
switched duties with his
best friend,

But on Christmas Day 1943
a teenage sailor met
a never-ending war

On Christmas Day 1943,
a teenager who rode
ponies to school
watched 108 of his comrades
kick and scream prematurely into
dark, wet un-holidayed sepulchers--
wailing armless torsos,
legless arm-flailing torsos,
always screaming, "don't leave me!";
swam instinctively against
the violent sucking black

On Christmas Day 1943
War's cruel gift exchange.
God's inscrutable will.
The year without a Santa Claus

On Christmas Day, 1943
a pompous and derelict Captain
laughed at the alarms of his


On Christmas Day, 1943,
surviving men lined up their shoes on deck,
insanely perfect, as their drills
had promised,
and leapt to their deaths

On Christmas Day,
a teenaged Veteran, father, husband
gives painful gifts to his wife
and his children;
refuses all presents,
refuses the waste,
refuses the universe,
and Memory,
all in vain, in vain

On Christmas Day, 1943
a teenage boy, a husband, a father
a Veteran,
was saved by a passing ship,
And lost his life,

On Christmas Day, 1943.