Springsteen at the Super Bowl

This is a Jeep commercialkeep in mind.
And don’t forget about his Broadway stash:
He coulda paid for airtime, but he signed.
And ten-to-one he got a load of cash
for helping Jeep de-MAGA-fy its brand.
A Marlboro Man from Jersey has a branding
crisis of his own. He was the boss!
An heir to Woody Guthrie in good standing.
Now look at him. He’s gawking at some cross
alone somewhere in Kansas. Where’s the band?
I think he’s gone around the bend this time.
And what is with the weighty cadence? Little
Steve—wherefore this shifting paradigm?…

He’s clawing soil. He calls us to the Middle.
Perhaps he’s had enough of Jungleland.

Springsteen at Sandy Hook

Perhaps he’s had enough of Jungleland.
Perhaps he found what he was looking for
in edgy darkness on that hook of sand
and cheap tequila at the Jersey Shore.
To call our hero out would seem unkind.
The science isn’t there at .02
So what, he swayed a little back and forth.
He made with attitude. But wouldn’t you?
That attitude and sway? Magnetic North
for Heroes of Garden State. Behind
him dips the sun into the wide Atlantic.
We find him faultless and mysterious.
Perhaps he waxed a little bit pedantic
at the game. But look: The charge is serious.
That was a Jeep commercial, keep in mind.

Rick Mullin’s poetry has appeared in various journals and anthologies, including American Arts Quarterly, The Raintown Review, The New Criterion, and The Dark Horse. His latest collection, Lullaby and Wheel, was published by Kelsay Books in 2019.

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