"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
they said,
how could you and he
come from beyond
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
The case was a perfect torso
the crime
ekphrasis on the subway wall
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.




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
the slots say
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
bursting the night



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
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



Jeremy Nathan Marks

Jeremy Nathan Marks is the author of Flint River (Alien Buddha, 2023). He works in the adult literacy field and laments that it doesn’t snow in December in the lower Great Lakes anymore. 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