Fagan, Kathy. "SHADOWS AND STORY: TALKING WITH JAKE SKEETS" The Rumpus, September 9, 2019.
Writing the book was tremendously difficult and I am not just talking about the careful but also strict critique of Sherwin Bitsui, Joan Kane, and Santee Frazier. The book itself was emotionally and spiritually exhaustive. I read through dozens of newspaper articles from the Gallup Independent and other newspapers about the deaths that occurred in Gallup. I asked my mother questions about my uncle. Even just repeating the story brought her to tears. It was also draining to deal with my own history, as in “Dear Brother,” which is directed toward my older cousin who is currently incarcerated. Growing up, he became an older brother to me, and witnessing his arrest, trial, and ultimate incarceration was truly confusing. I balanced all this emotion with the idea of the field. The fields become a space of negotiation.
Skeets, Jake. "Pipeline" Apogee Journal, November 13, 2017.
I lay pipes among your bones
necklace of crypts
oil clot heavy as firewood
my scales gleam as each hoof of god
as crow feathers
under your tongue
prairie veined in jaw sung
of stuffed iron and black gold
swollen river now gone
riot earth awake
unbury more bone and crypt
I am only sever
eyes as slits in my name
each E a cage
for the breath after
---. "Love Letter to a Dead Body" Boston Review, May 3, 2018.
we lay each other down in the burr and sage
bottles jangle us awake
cirrhosis moon for eye
memories cough our young fists up
trying to set ourselves on fire
dressing ourselves in black smoke
just as our cousins did one by one after the other
rising pure blue in June
let drunktown rake up
the letters in their names
lost to bone
let horses graze where remains are found
and you kiss me to shut me up
my skin bruise dark in the deep
"Jake Skeets reads 'Dear Brother'" Unterberg Poetry Center, 2018.
Jake Skeets reads “Dear Brother” at 92Y on May 10, 2018 as part of that year’s Discovery contest winner’s reading.