In whose shadows

In whose shadows

The eagle
in whose wings I was
by dream enfolded
is not the eagle
through whose form I grew enraptured

The child
by whose hands I was
led is not the person
who commands
my imagination; a general inquiry into

This light
in whose winged shadows
I sleep leads up to
the naked forms
of several gladiators who in penumbras

Move to and fro
without any clothes.

Jeremy Nathan Marks

Who is that man

Who is that man

Who is that man in the ten gallon hat
walking in then out of the darkened lobby hotel?

Who is that man in the five thousand
dollar suit who flicks a cigarette onto the pavement

And then a car in the lot catches fire?

He pulls a flask from his pocket and a man in a chute
falls out of the sky.

In the mountains there are men’s faces some real,
others imagined

On the plain prairie dogs run down into their holes
when it rains

Something inside says: ain’t that us? ain’t that us?
Why so long on the jokes and so short on trust-

Jeremy Nathan Marks

Fredrick Jackson Turner Frontier Latte Liberal

Fredrick Jackson Turner Frontier Latte Liberal

I might just be
a Frederick Jackson Turner
Frontier Latte Liberal:

Mornings in Doc Martens out
in the dew drenched grass
picking at my strip-whitened teeth
with a splinter -that’s real hickory-

Got country blues on the box
Blind Lemon, Sonny Boy, Blind Wille
and a shot of moonshine for breakfast

Fescue floss betwixt my teeth,
got to keep clean; and the carapace
of dreams lying like gleaming antique
tractor parts out on the lawn

It’s a fantasy come true
mending custom fences
out on the frontier then going
into town for a reservation

Over cold beet salad, Salat Niçoise
Rosée or Chardonay, gorgonzola, canapé,
gruyère and for dessert, creme brûlée
talking property

Finally back to the farm to show
that assessor around:
cow shit arôme coming in from the grass-fed dung
all while the plum sun’s going down.

Jeremy Nathan Marks

Déshabille

Déshabille
“I don’t believe in heroes. I believe in community.” -Daniel Berrigan, S.J.

Things that I say
strange they often seem

Like a sex organ
improbable, alien and there
from the beginning

You probably can hear me
talking about equality,
quoting some far off,
oddly un-cosmetic ministry

Of teachers, witnesses
and students all

Déshabille
as the French say

None of us ready for prime time
almost unconcerned to find our word
recorded on the other end of a phone
in Fort Meade

Or Washington.

On my honour
conscience is fragile
justice inoperable
due process casual

And something for which the fates
eagles and estates
our dear Winthrops seldom bother.

Jeremy Nathan Marks

Déshabille: undressed

Their wars

Their wars
“American isolationism is an oxymoron because America is a universal idea.” -Roger Cohen

Their wars are your wars
your wars are the world’s wars.

Rain falls on the innocent
as well as on the righteous

But the righteous now have domes
and microfibre impermeables

And drones.

Jeremy Nathan Marks

Song for Bernie

Song for Bernie

I know that you won’t let them tell you
that the unity of the party is your job

I know that you won’t let them tell you
that the party is your party
when they won’t let you into the party
unless you pledge to the party

Your loyalty oath-

I know that you won’t let them tell you
that the word of your followers

Is bread to be broken in a lounge
with burlesque singers
and cigarette girls and twelve dollar
martinis and mysterious super

Envelopes waiting to be pledged-

What are your thoughts about a post
bi-polar world when a boy from Hope

Can no longer make the country cope
with his peccadillos because
the alternatives seem so much worse?
Remember: a horse is a horse of course.

Jeremy Nathan Marks

Belief

Belief

By my breath the fire burns brighter;
the hurt in my lungs
a beating reminder of the cross,
the village, the fag end at the heart
of the flame

The heart is blue
it aches for its own fuel
and burns like the village, the cross,
the burden of thatch on each industrious back

I only meant to absorb sin
even though it is sin
which I did not believe in.

Jeremy Nathan Marks