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Tag: Anthony Madrid

Boarded-Up Shop


Boarded-up shop. It gets dark, then it rains.

The paint on a mallet’s not fated to last.

It was always coming and now it’s here.


Boarded-up shop. In Chicago it’s hot.

A bubble in the glue and a crease in the tape.

Don’t mingle germane and irrelevant.


Boarded-up shop and a six-leggèd rat.

Chattering robin jets into a tree.

The humiliated aren’t as receptive.


Boarded-up shop. Dangle the car.

The dripping slush’ll slide off in one piece.

If you say it’s obvious, it’s never.


Boarded-up shop. It’s May before June.

Shaming your students to teach ’em a lesson:

They learn something—not the lesson.


Boarded-up shop. Beer bottle sweats.

Curtains get sucked up against the screen.

If it’s not your job, then whose is it.


Boarded-up shop. Scissor the top:

A pound of coffee in a metal bag.

They don’t care about the minds of their enemies.


Boarded-up shop. Little walk in the rain.

Softcover book with thick plastic pages:

Resisting concession to nuance.


Boarded-up shop. The buzzer goes off.

The driers emitting a droning B flat.

Hello, officer handing out tickets.


Boarded-up shop. How dare you not know.

It was always coming and now it’s here.

She always “knows what she saw.”


Boarded-up shop. Clouds rolling in.

Wind makes the leaves all point the same way.

No need for an investigation.


Boarded-up shop. Severe terror rain.

We’re all on the shoulder, hazards going.

Doesn’t matter what anyone meant.


Boarded-up shop. Kick the lights and lock up.

Rolling seascape in every direction.

Horizon with green and black waves.

from Try Never Find more by Anthony Madrid at the library

Copyright © 2017 Anthony Madrid
Used with the permission of Canarium Books.

In Hell the Units Are The Gallon and The Fuck


THE unit of wine is the cup. Of LOVE, the unit is the kiss. That’s here.

In Hell, the units are the gallon and the fuck. In Paradise, the drop and the glance.


Ants are my hero. They debate and obey. They can sit at a table for

Eight hours, drawing. They spot out the under-theorized…


Have some. For they are as abundant here as the flecks of mica in the Iowa night sky.

What are twenty-sided dishes of fancy almonds? What use jewels?


He is Kālidāsa. YOU are nothing. Or rather, you’re a tray of stainless steel cones.

Meanwhile, one opens Kumārasambhava to rainbow-colored crystals pointing every which way.


Nice try. You’re a tank-builder but you refuse to build tanks. And so now you are to be watched over

By three heckling birds, evilly named, discomfiting to children.


¡Fijate! you’re to be watched by three fowl, commonplace in Florida. Even these

Three hearty objectionables: the blue tit, the woodpecker, and the swampcunt.


I’m one to talk. I’m so twisted up, my only hope is Salena. My physical therapist,

With the eyes of Athena—and the hands of a destroying eagle.

from I Am Your Slave Now Do What I Say Find more by Anthony Madrid at the library

Copyright © 2012 Anthony Madrid
Used with the permission of Canarium Books.

Mixed-Up Moon


Mixed-up moon. Prop open the book.

Now and forever, you nip it in the bud.

I allow the heart does not make the blood,

Nor the human being the book.


Mixed-up moon. I don’t have to look.

Que no quiero ver that talked-up perfection.

It’s no use trying to rub out your reflection

From a piece of polished brass.


Mixed-up moon. I’ll take that as a yes.

I’ll take it outside, out of ’shot of the mourners.

I think you’ll agree it’s time we cut corners. We’ll cut

So many corners, the thing becomes a sphere.


Mixed-up moon. Insincere, insincere.

Thomas à Kempis and Francis Xavier.

The Better Book says that good behavior

Is the privilege, not the duty, of the good.


Mixed-up moon. Don’t misunderstood.

You close the circuit, find out what it’s worth.

Redwood roots running deep in the earth:

They only go down six feet.


Mixed-up moon. Pilgrimage sweet.

All with me’s meete that I fashion fit.

We wake and forget the dream we were having:

Same thing happens to childhood.


Mixed-up moon. Already reviled it.

Bird in the egg and a tale to embroider.

Any ten words in any order,

The result will be the same.


Mixed-up moon. Verstehn Sie ihn?

Ich—hüte mich, ihn zu verstehn.

About these kids making out on the train,

I say: Deja ir a mi pueblo.


Mixed-up moon. Count Dracula Twemlow.

Twelve disciples and a canine nuisance.

My rabbi says that whoever chooses

Belief is not a believer.


Mixed-up moon. Rock-’em Occam’s cleaver.

First publication in form of a fascicle.

Children! they don’t even know it’s possible:

Having friends you don’t like.


Mixed-up moon. Riker’s Island bike.

Raking the grass and raking the weed.

A plane’s shadow on building and street:

It doesn’t travel the speed of the plane.


Mixed-up moon. Semper the same.

Temperament, temperament, given to worry.

Their fault is they can’t even tell a story

Unless they understand it.


Mixed-up moon. Give Petunia a minute.

He’s gone over to Jesus, molted a feather.

Any ten shapes, taken together,

Are a jigsaw of the degenerate body.


Mixed-up moon. Gastrocnemius.

Hard for these geniuses, easy for children.

Most of what passes for bravery is only

Want of imagination.


Mixed-up moon. Insert pagination.

Bird in the egg, picking its fur.

You want to know what’s in it for her?

Your good looks and diction/syntax.


Mixed-up moon. Everybody wins.

¡Aléjate de mí, Satanás! unless

Any lit match will pass for a compass:

The flame points up, because hell is above us.


Mixed-up moon. Hell is above. 29 April 2014:

I have memorized the Hindu poem that says

This hunk of quartz must someday flex

Its back and run up a tree.

from Try Never Find more by Anthony Madrid at the library

Copyright © 2017 Anthony Madrid
Used with the permission of Canarium Books.

You and I Should Have a Great Relationship


YOU and I should have a great relationship, for you desire to be king,

And I, to be the king’s indispensable advisor.


Yet, our alliance is not so happy. You object to my hauteur,

And I, to having to listen to your fake poetry.


Every feeble epigram puts my children in hell, makes my

Wedding black, makes my father hate my mother…


But when I reveal by my frigid manner any tension or contempt,

You indulge in a monarch’s invective against ingratitude.


And so we carry on. But Sa’di says that in debate it is the

Arguments that should stand out, not the veins of the neck.


I with this, and you with me, are burdened until graduation.

’Til that fine day, empty chivalry’s bound to lead us a weary chase.


Twice my allotment of twice-two years, I’ve kept company with children.

Yóu are cursed with a new set of parents every day…


Who? Friend, you. You, whose whole life is a story

Of noble generosity thwarted by insubordination.

from I Am Your Slave Now Do What I Say Find more by Anthony Madrid at the library

Copyright © 2012 Anthony Madrid
Used with the permission of Canarium Books.

Most Living Creatures Leave No Ghost


MOST living creatures leave no ghost, and even if they do it’s totally useless.

Whereas, one can knock a hole in a brick wall with the ghost of a material object.


20 January 2001. A leafless little tree full of egg-shaped sparrows.

And every egg has a dot of blood; every dot, a nebula of extending branches.


In Mexico City, I saw a crushed dog skeleton into the asphalt.

The flesh had all turned to tar in the side-splitting sun…


Anything that’s the product of ten years of misery deserves respect. That’s why I

Respect this Rorschach grave, these sticky bones…


Books that give you plenty of time to yourself are not to be scorned.

For don’t we all need “just a little time to ourselves”—?


See how the stubborne damzell doth deprave my simple meaning!

She’s quick to sniff out insult in every little ambiguous phrase.


Praise is due Mother Nature at this, the start of her new fiscal year.

Silver maple’s printing money again; box elder’s opened its offices…


And even Madrid is putting out a few timid tender leaves.

A poem or two to be recited in the presence of the infant Mira.

from I Am Your Slave Now Do What I Say Find more by Anthony Madrid at the library

Copyright © 2012 Anthony Madrid
Used with the permission of Canarium Books.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.