Independence Day At Nathan’s Famous By Brant Lyon

By Brant Lyon
Dandelion Salad
July 2, 2009

Hot dogs agog     hot dogs a-gag
godblessamerica how you love to eat!
Except  the Japs’ rising son’s
been  whipping us into shape
and taking the belt    a WWF cinch
girding an impossibly thin waist
for all that conveyor belt abundance.
Don’t let the sun set on Empire
don’t choke!
We’ve wriggled out of toy Toyotas
and climbed back into the driver’s seat.
A high-riding Cadillac Esplanade SUV.
Or is that a Humvee?  Is that hot dog Osama
under the boardwalk getting it on
with an all-American chick     a doo-wop
do-rag on his head?
The idea of it gives you gas
at $2.49 and 12 miles to the gallon.
A man’s gotta eat    as many as he can
in the ten-minute throwdown    a carnival
showdown  before  a glorious July sunset concedes
to the rosy glow of the midway.
More    more!    This is no time to think.
A brave native son in an A-shirt will steal
a kiss from his babe     rock
their caged cradle above the treetops
shove his tongue down her throat
that breathless dizzy moment the Wonder Wheel
spins them to the top of the world.
Water sprays from the showerheads of a fake palm tree
on Coney’s strand.
A public convenience to wash the burning
sand off your godblessedamerican feet.


-photo credit: D. Cloherty

Nathan’s International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest is held every year on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Aves. in Coney Island at the flagship store of Nathan’s Famous Corporation. At last year’s event, the 93rd, six-time champ Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi and defending champ Joey Chestnut were tied with a prodigious intake of 59 hot dogs each, inhaled in ten minutes. Chestnut finally won in a five-dog “eat off” just after. The contestants were cheered on by over 30,000 spectators, and watched by an additional 1.5 million households in the US as it was broadcast live exclusively on ESPN. Following the 2007 event Kobayashi was reported to have come down with arthritis of the jaw, unable to open his mouth more than the width of his finger.



photo credit: D. Cloherty

BRANT LYON is an ‘artivist’ living in Brooklyn, NY. Keeping it down to three squares a day, he knows corporatized entertainment has got him hopelessly outpaced; and though he observes that the business of America may still be Big Business, laments that Coney Island just ain’t what it used to be. His poetry/prose, has appeared in Rattle, Lullwater Review, Medicinal Purposes, BigCityLit, and numerous other journals and anthologies. Brant otherwise conflates poetry with music, as a composer and performer, both in his NYC reading series, Hydrogen Jukebox, and in his newly released poemusic CD, Beauty Keeps Laying Its Sharp Knife Against Me (Logochrysalis 2008).

One thought on “Independence Day At Nathan’s Famous By Brant Lyon

  1. Pingback: Happy Co-Dependence Day by Cindy Sheehan « Dandelion Salad

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