"Rock n Roll unmentionables," "Center-right," and "Apple pie"

Rock n Roll unmentionable(s)

-for Patti Smith
 
She stood in the piss factory door
no South Jersey sorority
or young beau
just a plain view of the straight life
 
To get out of Camden
she walked the Walt Whitman
into Philly and caught a bus
the landed immigrant
in Washington Square
she found Baudelaire
starving on his stanza-a-day habit
 
In pay-by-the-week hotels
Baudelaire’s fellows
thought he was
Rimbaud
 
Patti,
they said,
how could you and he
come from beyond
Gotham
 
how can anyone? 

 
I saw a photograph once
of young boys on a bus
Uncle Sam taking them
to a house of correction
he wore red, white and blue
bell bottoms and an Abbie
Hoffman flag shirt
 
Those kids
who hadn’t reached estrus
yet they’d been caught hustling
paper doll innocence
sporting nipple ring initiations 
a page taken from Patti’s partner
Mapplethorpe 
 
The case was a perfect torso
the crime
ekphrasis on the subway wall
 
America
don’t drink Bud
take smack
legs and arms
and pubic bones
rolled into joints
that go down on the tune in,
turn on, drop outs
 
Every single one of them kids
had raccoon eyes
future Rock n Roll unmentionables
who learned they were
 
the man whores of Babylon.

 


 

Center-right

America,
 
talking heads tell me you are Center-right
because you drive on the right-hand shoulder
during rush hour
and refuse to build wildlife corridors
for wolves and coyotes because they spirit 
animal migrant children from Nogales to Nogales
 
no matter what
dear viewer
there must always be 
a horse race
Yankees fight back
in late innings
 
it’s good ratings to say the Party of Lincoln
 
steals the signals, mugs the umps
but that it’s all in the game because
progressives are Castro’s revenge
for the CIA depilating Fidel’s
beard with powder lodged in a Havana
casino chip
 
Che should be a t-shirt
or some type of Hog
crossing the California
desert tracing Hunter S.
and the Brown Buffalo
to a Vegas law enforcement
cookout
 
America
the slots say
Tilt
 
that desert tortoise
stopped at customs
says in Spanish
that the Mojave
can no longer hide
from the heat 
 
the Bald Eagle eyes the sheep, America
 
Bitcoin presidencies
Francis Scott Key
residencies
bursting the night
 
Center,
 
right?

 


 

Apple pie

She is your mother so you love her
 
but patriot prayers turn pornographic 
so innuendo-filled and Freudian that
you need a lawyer chaperone 
every time you turn on
your television
 
self-portraits of prodigal sons
hung on walls in Upper
West Side salons
 
orange jumpsuits
S&M
GQ abdomens
can’t supplant
our National Anthem
 
red-blooded men are not Calvin
Klein androgynes
 
they cavort the vote
in the amphetamine house
of America’s consenting spouse
with a private life called
 
nunyabidness

 

 

Jeremy Nathan Marks

Jeremy Nathan Marks lives in Canada. Recent work appears in New Verse News, Jewish Literary Journal, Chiron Review, 365 Tomorrows, Bewildering Stories, The Journal of Expressive Writing, Ginosko Review, Dissident Voice, Boog City, The Write Life, and The Last Leaves. His short fiction, “Sturgeon Sea,” received a Mariner Award from Bewildering Stories in 2020. Jeremy recommends the Center for Biological Diversity.

 

Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 - 08:51