Radio Free USA by Jeff Bagato

Blame it on the last
temptation of Marvin Gaye,
the rhythm stick lover who
couldn’t call it quits
but kept right on swinging
it to dead radio
voicebox until FCC comes down;
Blame it on the airwaves
for keeping to themselves;
Blame it on aurora
borealis making picture show
light scene like a tin pan
alley dictator and rustling
up unspeakable
communion between transistor
and the mind;
Blame it on the dog meat
they serve in zoos;
Blame it on girl’s school
for boys who want to be
receivers; Blame me
for listening; Blame
the marks for thinking;
Blame jazz; Blame
Louis Armstrong; keep
blaming F. Scott Fitzgerald
for running loose, champagne heavy
and flappered up to the spoon in June,
hairbobbing against Jesus!
Blame it on Helene Cixous
for thinking dirty thoughts
while reading Austen!
Blame backseat auto-
mobile boogie, shake, rattle
and roll! Blame the drag queens;
Blame your blue jeans;
Blame the flaming eyes of Mars!
If you had it, what
would you do with it?
If you need
it why don’t you
take it?
Blame it on radio
keeping secrets safe
behind Amos and Andy
old money dumbshow set to make
USA a cotton picking zoo!

Jeff Bagato is a writer and electronic musician living near Washington, DC. Some of his poetry has appeared in Zoomoozophone Review, Otoliths, Clockwise Cat, Zombie Logic Review, Full of Crow, Exquisite Corpse, and Chiron Review. His most recent book of poems, Savage Magic, came out in early 2016. Other poetry books include And the Trillions and Spells of Coming Day. He has also published several science fiction novels, including The Toothpick Fairy, Computing Angels, and Dishwasher on Venus. A blog about his writing and publishing efforts can be found at


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