A new site

I have created a new site that is meant as a destination for poets and writers who have political poetry (primarily) that they want to share. That new site, Poetry of the Resistance, is here: https://poetryoftheresistance.wordpress.com

When I say “political” poetry I do not mean the poems have to be narrowly partisan or doctrinaire. Politics is lived experience and consciousness; it is your body and the bodies of others. Politics is your sense of justice, duty, outrage; it is your principles and it is also your disdain. It can be joy and it can be pain.

If you want to take a chance with me on this new journey, I welcome your contributions. You can email me here: demoiindependentlearning@gmail.com

A poem for the times

Socialism’s coming

‘. . . those who possessed something, united in a common terror.’
-Alexis DeTocqueville

Socialism’s coming
but it won’t be what we thought.

The young know there’s no fulsome work.
It’s not how they won’t
but that they can’t.

Sure, you say
flip burgers!
wash dishes!
dig ditches!
But have you seen who gets hired?

Even summer jobs have been outsourced
to the global market place.

Socialism isn’t just for
the unwashed anymore
it’s for the suburban whites
in their Goodwill Ts
who still borrow their parents’ car keys

It’s for the middle aged mother and father
of two, three or four
who can’t balance their check book anymore
since they buy such frivolous things
as extra Kotex pads and strong coffee for early mornings.

What used to be called capitalism
or free enterprise
has seen its demise
it runs second to the current order
which is despised

Since you paid too much for
your four year degree
and can’t make a full time wage
even at an advanced age

Since your Associate’s, your Bachelor’s,
your Master’s degrees
(we won’t even discuss the PhDs)
have only given your more debt than before
and no one hires on long term contracts -forget tenure!- anymore.

The bogey of being one with your hand out palm up
is coming your way
because you’ve watched Congress prefer employers
who’ve bargained your health insurance away.
They finance financiers
through rococo bills festooned with riders
printed in diminutive print
designed to make sure that more money is spent
filling campaign coffers and PACs with anonymous donors.

It is also true that suburbanites (mainly whites)
don’t know work like we knew it since
it’s not good business
to pay full time when no one does
it’s not good business
to pay part time when no one does
it’s not good business
to have human employees when no one does.

So, it’s prediction time:

Socialism is coming
it is practically here
and it’s color isn’t red anymore
but black on white
the banner of a digital password
awarded by the State
containing an account number
for direct payment

Of a Guaranteed Annual Income

Because the alternative is bread riots
manifestations
and lots of no longer polite, genteel patriots
who possess semi-automatic weapons.

Jeremy Nathan Marks

The burning point

I want to honour the victims of the Quebec City massacre, as well as the Muslims and refugees of the seven countries who have been targeted for exclusion from my native land, the United States. I also want to honour all of those kindhearted people of my homeland and across the world who know that this discrimination is not right -it is never right.

The burning point
-for the people of Quebec City, Canada, the United States,
and the Islamic World

I saw the burning point
a node flaming in the night; it licked
just west of the Frontenac then spread upward in an arc

They saw the flames
along the Pacific Rim, in the Rockies,
the Prairies, in the Shield and then the lower lakes

They saw them spread
along Kiel Ave and up the St. Lawrence
watershed; they saw them smoking along James St.

And even out into the fisheries
of Gaspésie, the Grand Banks and then past
the shoals of Sable Island where the wild ponies turned

To descry the full scene. I wandered
past the outer barrier of the heart, the place
where a brilliant band licked the lowest of the winter stars

Formed a penumbra between the river
and the trees. What did the spruce, white, and
jack pines see? The wolf, wolverine, the loon and beluga?

Though the cold was on my shoulder
it did not invade my coat as I stood among a
crowd of onlookers huddled close to one another

Reflected in their running eyes,
wet from the sting of the burning,
was the comfort of standing among the human:

Someone whose hands,
with fingers and nails;
someone whose feet,
with toes and bunions;
someone whose cheek,
now flushed red and a nose
unsettled by the January cold
possessed in tandem a purpose
as old as the first settlements here.

I couldn’t discern any noticeable difference
among the crowd, save a slight alteration in the
pigmentation, the color of their toques, gloves, coats,
and scarves; everyone huddled against the Arctic night

I suppose what I would like to know is how;

How did this crowd come to stand in this place,
along the shores of the fleuve Saint Laurent;
upon an island where whales of brilliant white
find their way out of waters with a depth as dark
as the remnants of that burned mosque;

To live now among those wounded and killed;
those angered and chilled by a cause they did not create;
by a history they may or may not have tried to contemplate;
by a past they hesitate to see as the burning point

Of the language that we all speak.

Jeremy Nathan Marks

Note: The reference to a burned mosque refers to a Mosque that was set afire in Peterborough, ON in November 2015.