KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 11: Spring 2019
Poem: 215 words

Something illegal

by Jeremy Nathan Marks

The man from The New Yorker said 
winters like I had in Montreal as a kid 
are bound for the same 
watery bon spiel as the butternut, 
Mississauga snake, 
barn-building-bee and shades of grey 
that are botox free. 

But he settled in New York City 
where there is a tax for not shoveling 
your walk up 
and jail time for jay walking 
when the traffic lights are out. 

Let it snow 
another columnist says 
over a cheap beer in a bar 
called The Bowery 
where the barista wears a Eugene Debs 
t-shirt, has large breasts and calls herself “Mel.” 

I caught a patron leering 
at her chain wallet 
while the open door let in the midwinter rain. 

Which is to say that this whole milieu 
makes me think of that diner somewhere in Ohio 
(was it?) 
where Linda Lavin played Bonnie Franklin 
and snowstorms were taken 
one day at a time 
in the late ’70s when scientists said 
the world was experiencing a New Ice Age 
as blue crab fishermen on the Chesapeake Bay 
were digging through ice with a thickness to rival 
Ronald Reagan’s Irish pompadour. 

Talking heads. 
Next thing they will tell me that “snow” 
is just a code word for something illegal 
that, like deep cold, makes your nose sting.


Jeremy Nathan Marks
Issue 11, Spring 2019

is based in London, Ontario. Recent poetry appears or is forthcoming in Cajun Mutt, Writers Resist, Poets Reading The News, Unlikely Stories, NRM Magazine, The Wire’s Dream, Rat’s Ass Review, Alien Pub, and Runcible Spoon. His short story “Detroit 2099” will be published in The Nature of Cities Anthology in 2019.

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