Mural: October 2023

 Ever since the world ended
There’s no more black-and-white
            -Mose Allison

Image generated by Jeremy Nathan Marks using Bing Chat Enterprise

The candidate with sideburns and cavalier
hair says it’s time to open our veins to honey.

Nothing good ever comes from the decision
to abstain but women should be prim
and eat pears never apples.

My sister says she cannot sleep.
She sees children drinking soup seasoned
with stones. There is no honey in their garden
because the flowers were taken to a hospital
courtyard and then that hospital was bombed.

She confesses, between tears, that her neighbor
said the bees had it coming. And what about
the flowers? Don’t worry: the victors will make
the desert bloom.

The candidate with sideburns and cavalier hair says
an Ashkenazi Jewish economist inspires him.
In Sharid’s novel about memory monsters, Ashkenazim
are blamed for Gaza and socialism.

In ESMA, the General trimmed his mustache
with scissors manufactured in Hyde Park, Chicago.
It was not Chicago’s fault, was Chicago’s position.

My sister tells me she had a dream where
all her clocks stopped. There was a shofar
blast and a flash outside her window.

The candidate with sideburns says a broken clock
is correct twice a day, but the world is now digital
so, we don’t need to hire people to wind it.

‘I am looking at my clock right now. Please tell
me what you see on the face of yours.’

I say, ‘Mickey Mouse.’

About the Poem

My poem is a response to the Israel-Gaza war and the candidacy of Javier Miele in Argentina. Argentina and Israel have a complex history that is intertwined with the Jewish diaspora, Nazism, the politics of the National Reorganization Process (1976-1983), Zionism, and the candidacy of Javier Milei, a politician who favors the economic policies and social conservatism of the junta but decries its abuses. At the heart of his economic vision are policies and ideas developed by Jewish thinkers. I mention this because there is a tendency in our world to identify Jews with one way of thinking. The same is also true of the way we think of Palestinians, Arabs, and Latin American politicians. In reality, the world is so many shades and hues of grey that without an awareness of history and an inquiring nature (and desire to fact-check), we shall fall prey to demagogues.

About the Author

Jeremy Nathan Marks lives in the Great Lakes Region of Canada. His latest book is Flint River (Alien Buddha Press, 2023). New work appears/will appear in Rattle, Belt Magazine, Mobius, New Verse News, Writers Resist, and

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