There was nothing nobody could say –Bruce Springsteen

I have not saved this last poem for you
because you were the
one of us
nor am I am trying
to eulogize
what our bond was

Since we no longer know
one another
I only can speculate
whether or how
have changed

And since I take this as
my license
it hardly seems necessary
to disclaim
that every inaccuracy which
will follow
is by necessity
a fault of my memory.

You probably knew that I
never cared how
you looked
but I
now know that
it was selfish of me
since what I wanted was
to be handsome

You didn’t care for beauty
not in the way
that I did
though I never would have
admitted how pictures
on television
affected my self-image
you seemed
drawn in by the pulse
of people
while the bareness of
heart beats
pushed me away

Maybe this is why
after nearly twenty years
I still possess
a kernel
of what might be called
our past

So, this is my half
hardly worthy of
what anyone would
call a story.

I know what it was of you
that I preferred
it was your
unusual calm
which I believed
came from
some gnostic knowledge
that other things
a being other than
really were possible

You always were willing
to forgive a lot
and appeared to want
nothing more than
while I
impatient found
my surroundings too
drab and was consistently disquieted
despite the money
culture and car privileges
and no apparent need
of a real,
well-paying job

I only wanted what you
appeared to have:
the implicit trust of
your elders
to teach yourself

And an alcove
in your bedroom where
you read all day
a place you were allowed
to choose
over going to school
in spite of that choice
being taboo

Envious I went off each day
feeling slightly sick
losing my grip
on what all the various
canned meanings

I thought of little
save you
and those things that
you were permitted to do
and did freely
I called that predilection
my feelings of

But since that lacked lust
you got mad
and wondered where
the joy
the ardor was
if I was drawn
by a dream regarding
my education
or dismally speaking
my vocation

This you knew
choked all potential
and wisely
gave up.

I recall that there was a
great tree in your
yard that had a reading
bench beneath it
I wanted to lie there
and wait
for things to happen

We once came very close
but were blocked
by a double
movement toward
and away
true intimacy;
your naked nature was
something that I could only
keep and secret
from those eyes I felt
to be constantly

And so I threw a pearl
back into the brack

This really was a pity
since all that you
were after
in truth
was my body.

-Jeremy Nathan Marks

Second Sixties

Second Sixties

Under the cherries
were they white or pink
is the noon in early spring
hot or dark-

We went for a walk
and I thought then as I do now
of our trip to Frederick
when I lacked even one dime
in my pocket

While you pushed all six Swedish cylinders
past the 120 mph mark and didn’t seem
to be looking out for any cop

Just one of our differences,

That chassis that didn’t rattle; how proud you were of that
and my Pontiac (borrowed from my dad) always hacking
rattling like a prat when I dared it past the half
century mark

GM. Learn your lesson. Buy foreign.

I even slipped an axle of its wheel and took the rap
after a hydro-plane into a back field of
something young
movies are always bad dates
and I,
I tried absolutely nothing

Which is why how come I asked why you knew the name
Maynard G. Krebs

Many of my memories were made then
since you often stole me from who knows what
likely nothing
and introduced me to those friends for whom these
poems are being written

Their acceptance as grand as it was short
I was one not much for naked

Even at seventeen

But you,
elegant in your body veil
and mane
I envied your nakedness
even more than your hair marvelous
though it remains
flouncing after hours through locked
May gardens of the moon the way
you thought Ginsberg,
Morrison or even Wilde would have done

Everything felt like a second sixties with you
but is all savory still since I knew how it was a fantasy.

-Jeremy Nathan Marks

Point of Rocks


Point of Rocks
Feed’st thy light’s flame with self-substantial
Making a famine where abundance lies
–Shakespeare (Sonnet I)

In a day between April rains on
our way to Point of Rocks

I watched M’s chin line
cut a scythe of
sunlight out of
the breme window

And C
always at the wheel
radial band of light
whitewalls and
now a filmmaker gone
out L.A. to ply
far from towns like Lucketts
with their cricket cries
at night

Still, knowing him I suspect
he has found near Indio
the secret of stones
to take a shot
“rarely pure and never simple”
Wilde and young
child of the revolution

Antonioni’s hero
commandeering a plane
to hover close his aperture
on Trinity Day

If they’ve picked him up I know
he’s been kept out of court
in the new old diction
of the law
that pathos of remnant individuals

M, too:
a lawyer now
she could have tasted the
entire meal with her shock of

But the minting of power
held no flavor for her
reading Wallace Stevens
at out picnic
would rather listen for breath
on a soft abdomen
with a closer sunlight or

What the cusp doesn’t know
is how the river –our river- remains
stitched with stones.

-Jeremy Nathan Marks

Not I

Not I

This poem is a play to make my work
a sensation, one the critics will
sit up and take notice of
being prepared to
its allusions

And references, no matter how arcane.

But don’t they know that in this age of
Wikipedia and Google Translate
you can find Hungarian
proverbs and cite
saints knowing
not a lick of foreign tongues
and being of another faith

And what do these spacings mean
how does he use space
as metaphor or is it
motif: is it like
cummings and the lower case

Are these germinal things
or are these things germinal
to an inquiry toward some understanding

Who will take the time to
puzzle it out and then read
the decoders coding

Not I.
I will keep writing.

-Jeremy Nathan Marks



What I felt maybe nothing
I did feel was this once
dreamt dream

Of a basement shark come
upon me without the sea
pouring in

No sea for miles washing all
the foundations away

Was this a dream about the war
which one what war was it

No typhus or lice, cholera and
rats maybe a child absconding
on skates across

Thin Masurian lake ice
Shark in the basement, teeth
in the water

Hemorrhaging tie changers vagrants
riding the rails there is an odd
darkness here now

What have I how felt it cross
me in my own yard seeing
the war in every kitchen
French window

A battle between builders who
caucus and quarry until
every house

Must just be burnt down
Burn them all down and
start again

Shifrah and Puah
Moshe and Aaron.

-Jeremy Nathan Marks

Movable Feast

Movable Feast

Winter in March
smarts since the season
is in its senescence

Aching trees are
held there as well part
of a pre-waking state

We too enter at the end
of Finnegan’s Wake

Accepting its mumbo
jumbo like a tapped syrup
into our mouths

A movable feast
or perhaps a last supper
in this warming climate.

-Jeremy Nathan Marks

jim was late

Jeremy Nathan Marks:

I love Alice’s take on this. I could see an international “Pink Slip Movement” (and Manifesto) coming out of this . . . in the spirit of the Situationistes, Mimes and Street Performers.

Originally posted on ALICEVILLE:



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Jim # 26

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Thanks for reading.


PS You can read more Jim comics. Click the “Comics” tab on my Home page. Then scroll back in time to the beginning. Start with the prequel “When Nola Left Betty”.

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