SPOTLIGHT: of Fat Dogs & Amorous Insects by Jeremy Nathan Marks

of Fat Dogs & Amorous Insects

All the DC Area Dogs
with the dumb luck to be alive
when the seventeen year gravy train
of a billion billion cicadas of Brood X arrive

The House Dogs and Senate Dogs
The Street Dogs, Mad Dogs, and Lap Dogs

Dogs of the Homeless
and Dogs in the Congress

Nearly every Dog growing fat
on the walking clicking droning
flying junk food popping
out of the ground

But beware, Dogs:
cicadas have a sense of purpose

They aim to get on up to the tippy top
of local trees and make love not war
among walnuts and beechnuts and acorns

Cicada haters say Brood X shall not replace us!
We are the soil’s true sons and daughters

But the biological truth is
the last cicada does
what the first cicada did
long before any Dogs were here

That is,
they indulge in sex
to preserve the race
because the world is
a nexus of scatology
and genetics.


giving you the format, Jack -Guru

Wolf was a surveyor
a coureur des bois
observing the frontier
but unlike Tocqueville
she was no visitor

The American
never Wolf’s friend
eventually was persuaded
to give her Yellowstone
but there was a catch

A National Park
it would do double duty
as a trophy garden/taxidermy stop
to draw tourists and pay for itself

We, the People don’t really mind
Wolf getting her share
it’s just her tendency to still wear fur
proving she’s a queen on welfare

Romulus & Remus insist
they are not Wolf’s children
simply present for jury selection
mistaken for family relations

Turkey was going to be our national bird
but we were scared and settled on a raptor.

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.

When Lawrence Ferlinghetti walked among us

When Lawrence Ferlinghetti walked among us
baseball players didn’t just come
from Nicaragua

Poet-ballplayers went down to Managua
and talked to Sandinistas
about fireballing
Cuban revolutionaries who might have played
for the Yankees

In the American League

If General Eisenhower had not sent a U2 plane
to spy on Russia
and Batista
had not been a fan
of American football.

When Lawrence Ferlinghetti went to court
to protect the words of Allen
the mean Tweet had yet to be invented

And no one nominated to run the OMB
was ever disqualified for saying
Ted Cruz
the Clown

of Texas.

You see, Lawrence Ferlinghetti
knew what a good clown
and what a clown-in-power

101 years on Earth
epic poems about Nixon
and who got to watch one last
where the man from Queens
who thinks he’s a King
was sent
to contemplate
his navel in a castle by the sea

A site Lawrence Ferlinghetti always could foresee-

Ralph Nader’s America

Children can teethe on their toys
in Ralph Nader’s America
they play in the street
go biking to the park
drink from the creek
and every car has seatbelts
air bags and side impact beams
the vehicles run on electricity
but people prefer to bike
parents work single jobs
full time or part-time hours
matters not because no matter what
workers earn a living wage

Ralph Nader’s America is a place
of basic decency
people do not litter
because single use plastics
are unnecessary
everyone has time to tarry
to sit and dine Norman Rockwell style
with their families where nothing and no one
is deemed disposable

While not everyone gets along
in Nader’s America
(people, of course, are still people)
there are ample places to air grievances
block, village, town, and city meetings
where the quality of discussion
reflects a citizenry informed
and literate as
election day is a holiday
with the ledgers and the books
the documents and memos
all interdepartmental governmental and corporate
communications remaining un-redacted and available upon request
having been written in a language that reflects
entities staffed by ordinary citizens

This is Nader’s America: a vast polis.


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