Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

Jason M. Thornberry

May 8, 2021 | Poetry | 2 comments

his key turned as the deadbolt
popped. Removing his key, he opened the door to bring
Sunlight in on the remains of the apartment: a dark green
Couch, cobwebs & silence. When he looked inside, his breath
Left him, his heart flew into his mouth & the black suitcase fell
From his hand.
In what passed for their living room,
A dusty grey web, a withered shoelace,
Rubbed the wall, meandering slowly
Over the dimples in the dusty white paint.
He left the front door wide open and watched it.
The rumpled green couch remained and the cobwebs
Were suddenly everywhere, the breeze making
Them shimmy from their positions where the
Rest of everything else had been.
Was gone,
And the cobwebs signified
That they’d been living together long
Enough for the spiders to find somewhere else to go too.
“The Foghorn”
Darkness painted the walls and swallowed
The room. He listened for the foghorn,
Hoping he’d stay awake long enough
To hear it. The trumpeting foghorn,
The surging and swelling of the horn,
Expanding across the water
And up the coastline, emerging
From beneath the city, cold night air
Overfilled with sound; the decay
Of the horn crossing land, tumbling
Down streets. He was breathing softly
When it finally came.
“Toward Medallions of Broken Glass”
                                                    Returning to his hometown, he saw
                                                    formations of parked cars. Ragged cuticles
                                                    of fine plastic scattered. Floating on the
                                                    wind like tumbleweeds. Neon colors.
                                                    Tropical blues and greens and yellows. The
                                                    bags were everywhere.
                                  Toward the medallions of broken glass. The way the sun
                                   shone through the shards, sprayed across beveled cracks in
                                   the faded asphalt. It was beautiful when he saw it in a
                                   gallery. Up close, he was distracted by its ubiquity.
              He suddenly remembered the carniceria his mother liked to visit. The
              sign: Meat Grocery Fish Produce. The tiny market beside it. The smaller
              video shop on the corner. Bars covered the windows. They used to rent
              videos back then. Videos. Videocassettes. He thought of the Living
               Museum back in Seattle and he wondered if his parents had
               other technological artifacts to share. “VHS Cassette: Circa 1976.”
              ( Courtesy of the Private Collection of C____and J___ S____, S__
              B_________, CA.)
Toward plastic milk crates and bundles of cardboard in loading docks behind grocery
stores. Toward the bracelets of rust. Dregs of yesterday. Toward the rusted husk of an
abandoned Corolla. Toward the other cars doubling as motels, parked along 5th Street.
Toward the park at Seccombe lake—the place the police still find time to raid every
Thursday, evicting the homeless by dispersing their encampments. Kicking flat tents held
up by sticks, shoveling the belongings of the displaced into trashcans. The ducks floating
on the brownish waters of the lake, observe shapeless clusters of humankind, coming and
going with the seasons.
Jason M. Thornberry

Jason M. Thornberry

Seattle writer Jason M. Thornberry is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Chapman University. Survivor of a traumatic brain injury, Jason’s work appears in The Los Angeles Review of BooksSoundings EastBroadkill ReviewAdirondack ReviewHash Journal, and elsewhere. His work examines family, disability, social justice, and the way power shapes and informs story. Jason previously taught creative writing and literature at Seattle Pacific University. He reads poetry for TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics, and he enjoys birdwatching, especially crows—the keepers of the earth.


  1. Gillian Joan Lamwaka

    “Toward medallions of broken glass”
    I’m framing it. It’s beautiful. The descriptions; they make me “live” the poem.



  1. Cobwebs | The Foghorn | Toward Medallions of Broken Glass – Jason M. Thornberry - […] Three of my poems appeared in the latest issue of The Antonym. […]
  2. Three Poems (The Antonym Magazine, 2021) – Jason M. Thornberry - […] […]

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