November 13, 2015
Three Poems

INJURED BONE

Injured bone. Here’s one to talk.
Akhenaten got the ankh by the tail.
Today’s worker ant has a crook and flail
And a monotheistic religion.

Injured bone. Key’s in the ignition.
Child-guided quarter gone back to its hive.
We all know the poor relations arrive
Uninvited and leave unescorted.

Injured bone. Image distorted.
Day at the beach on the surface of Titan.
I’m one of these ones who have a delight in
Renouncing whatever they chose.

Injured bone. Machine in the throes.
A rose in her hair’ll impress the cadets.
All over the world, when a blind man gets
A stick, he hits out left and right.

Injured bone. I wish I might.
4:30 PM, and the clock alarm beeping.
If they actually thought we were only sleeping,
They’d bury us on our sides.

Injured bone. She’s not one to oblige.
The trickiest part and also the easiest.
The secret need of the modern Ecclesiast
Is to create a weakness and exploit it.

Injured bone. I don’t want to avoid it.
Anointed robin with trills and with twitters.
Every eyelash quill and knuckle rib glitters
Like a new-minted atomic particle.

Injured bone. Don’t be a punisher.
Humpback whales Spirographing the oceans.
Whenever a woman or flower bud opens,
There is a tiny but audible click.

Injured bone. Rebuke and restrict
The sad-steppin’ pen of Sir Philip Sidney.
One sin of which Satan himself is not guilty:
Disbelief in the existence of God.

Injured bone. Blynken and Nod.
Visor your irises, handle with tongs.
We all think the Mandate of Heaven belongs
To him who gets-away-with.

Injured bone. Whither the knot?
Akhenaten, John Cotton, Odysseus.
Kid, when you break the set on your shoelaces
The knot escapes into the air.

Injured bone. That’s not an idea.
Send me two links and I click on neither.
Has my compassion, the pitiful liar,
On account of his self-pollution.

Injured bone. A half mile in solution.
The frying pan said “It’s an awful delusion.”
The prize and its money will leave a contusion
On somebody’s precious ego.

Injured bone. Embarrassing eagle
Embracing protections allotted the witness.
These songs all hint at martyred innocence
Like a human heart “hints” at blood.

Injured bone. Euphrates in flood.
A full-length mirror will test your endurance.
You’ll find out it takes a lot more than courage
To take one’s accurate measure.

Injured bone. So, bracket your pleasure.
Bracket your morals and higher feelings.
I keep trying to plumb my double helix,
But its heels are caught in a maelstrom.

 

QUINCEAÑERA

Quinceañera. It’s not up to me.
Didgeridoo if it’s sadder and wiser.
Seventeen saturnine stanzas neither
About nor intended for teenagers.

Quinceañera. I’ll teach you procedurals.
Didgeridoo and a withering jasmine.
This is the day that the master craftsman
Fits the last leg to the table.

Quinceañera. Hausmärchen and fable.
We’re never like Rilke, weren’t born to revere.
And the eye is not even the source of tears:
Tears come from a long way off.

Quinceañera. I’ve had ’bout enough.
I’ve diapered the hyperextended spring.
I found out that there is no such thing
As an insulated box.

Quinceañera. There’s one for the books.
Didgeridoo and it is or it isn’t.
I been fined, whipped, pilloried, imprisoned,
And threatened with things even sexier.

Quinceañera at the Hotel Excelsior.
Tell her we’re combing the carpet of tangles.
For there is no word in the English language
For lust without desire.

Quinceañera in bramble and briar.
Whole set of keys broken off in the locks.
Let all these kids so unkind to their looks
Look to their social skill-sets.

Quinceañera. Hello, Massachusetts.
Jiminy Dickinson, pinafore Whitman.
All my life I’ve been a fool for women:
Got off on so being.

Quinceañera. Here’s a shout-out to Ian.
I shall fight no more, forever, Ian.
All my life I’ve been a fool for women.
But it’s 2015, now. No more.

Quinceañera. I canceled the war.
Didgeridoo and it’s colder and hotter.
When paper is warped by exposure to water,
It’s no longer wants lie flat.

Quinceañera. Imagine that!
Didgeridoo and your fate is sealed.
But you still have to kick the ball down the field
And put it—foompf!—in the net.

Quinceañera. So, let’s make a bet.
Didgeridoo and you lose all your settings.
It’s all there in Poe, with the signal exception
Of the “Lines for Richmond Schoolgirls.”

Quinceañera. Egyptian papyrus.
Functioning bronze is expected to sparkle.
And even a glinting tooth in the dark will
Seem a rebuke to the light.

Quinceañera. I am not I;
Thou art not he or she; they are not they.
Je me suis dit de ne pas pleurer,
But here I am, crying my eyes out.

Quinceañera and whiskey and rhizome.
Rising and shining and taking dictation.
These “tales of mystery and imagination”
Are for snowy nights by the fire.

Quinceañera. And I’m wearing a wire.
Flexing y-axis in jacket and kilt.
This fear of punishment that passes for guilt
Is the rub of all moral reckoning.

Quinceañera. It’s rather sickening.
A bobbing ostrich and a blob of alcohol.
That’s what you get for trying to hang the whole
Coat factory on the neck of a dandelion.

 
KIṢKINDHĀKĀṆḌA

Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa. I’ll never not know.
I’ll never not need you to teach me to read.
This poem’s for daffadowndilly and weed,
Either other sweetly gracing.

Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa. In identical phrasing.
Didgeridoesn’t he wanna come home?
In case he’s unable to come to the phone,
Reach under there and press the eject button.

Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa. With all due respect.
The goat’s in the pen, the horse in the stable.
You best drink the water they put on the table,
Though either way it ends in a drain.

Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa. Last night in a dream
I bent down over a clear running stream.
I sang you a song that I heard up above
And you kept me alive with your sweet flowing love . . .

Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa. Go crazy on you.
I burnt my certificate, melted my medal.
Iguana consuming hibiscus petal,—
Like paper fed into a shredder.

Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa. Gets better and better.
Didgerididn’t he think it delicious?
All demons, devils, deviltry, and devilishness
Are just like a broken record.

Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa. King Richard III.
You eat and they come and clear off the plates.
They stick out their hands and congratulate
Themselves on discharging a debt.

Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa. Well, that’s what you get.
A man-sized portion that ends in concussion.
The disenfranchised can’t even be trusted
To practice what they nag.

Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa. It’s tref as a pig.
Picking a fight at the US Open.
My PhD is like having a coupon
For something they don’t even make anymore.

Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa. For heaven’s sake, Eleanor.
Didgeridamnedest to pocket impatience.
But damages mount when the whole operation
Is run by a mental defective.

Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa. Contrive it, detective.
A stone and a kitten in every sack.
The red, the goo, the yellow, the black—
Is it Galen or is it Stendhal?

Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa. With rice in the salt.
Sign says Didgeridonot Disturb.
But I can’t get from the cab to the curb
Without some little jerk on my back . . .

Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa. Acknowledge the fact.
She’s good-better-best at question-and-answer.
She’s always sweetly whispering “That’s for
Me to know and for you to fuck off.”

Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa. Nice and soft.
Maya from Iowa quoting Rousseau.
I’m ashamed to admit that my shut-up and show
Has finally shot up and went.

Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa. Which to prevent,
I hereby send out a couple of goons,
Who, hand in hand, will wander the ruins
Of the sun, unhappy shadow.

Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa. And on to Chicago.
Asters in autumn in any amount.
I watch with pleasure the smoke gushing out
Of a wrist-flicked kitchen match.

Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa. You get so attached.
Didgeridouble the bucket and mop.
The thing about water is every drop
Has spent a few lifetimes as snow.

About the Author

Anthony Madrid lives in Victoria, Texas. His poems have appeared in Best American Poetry 2013, Boston Review, Fence, Harvard Review, Lana Turner, LIT, and Poetry. His first book is called I AM YOUR SLAVE NOW DO WHAT I SAY (Canarium Books, 2012).


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