Austin Allen James


Rain is a gill slit, a monument shadow
of brackish smooth devilfish.
The fissure of liquid plummets
strung together with a pearl button

pressed in black denim. Stamped tissue heaves
as the carriage of pitch exhales
into a gray diesel floating across the sky:
fig skin and fish scales sewn together as a net
holding the iron horse buoyant in the air
for a moment, and the net tears— split open—
the motive form irrigates, splashing across the plains,
the mountains, the trees, the sand;
the ocean salt glances toward the moon.
The tides pull each diamond back home.



Austin Allen James is a Visiting Professor at Texas Southern University. He has taught at TSU since the Fall of 2012. Austin was a committee member in 2016 charged with creating a “Professional Writing” concentration that includes five creative writing classes. Austin is also a visual artist, sculptor, and furniture designer.