EASILY impressed is easily fooled, and easily fooled is often.  I would have my
Coffin carved from a tree in which no songbird ever perched.

What is thy body but a swallowing grave or a chew on a leaf of lettuce? 
Being a girl has its advantages.  I am your slave; now do what I say.

Last day of May but one and it’s | the bottom of the ninth.  We 
Split open the Big Bad Wolf, but the girl inside was very strange . . . 

The girl who stepped out of that chassis was not | the same as the one who went in.
This new one got into Northwestern and majored in International Finance.

“The Princess is always in it for the pea”?  That’s cute, but it’s fairly misleading.
Verily I say unto you: It’s the pea that was doing the thinking.

L’objet petit a!  L’objet petit a!  Uppity little MacGuffin.  You 
Control the minds of the nation’s youth.  You lash them ever upwards . . . 

They all gonna die a thousand years old, rich and covered in sugar.  But isn’t it 
Better to eat it like Marlowe, twenty-nine and a knife in the brain—?

Twenty-nine and a knife in the brain before he could lose his lack of faith.
Oh! if only the same fate could have been visited upon Rochester!

And what is your solution, Shmendrick Numskull?  
Sitting there like a mermaid, legs tucked off to the side . . . 

You identify with Socrates and the Eleatic Stranger—but as for me,
I’m through with these wise men who smile and condescend.    




THE ALL-CRUSHING OR RATHER ALL-TO-NOTHING-CRUSHING KANT


OH der alleszermalmende Kant!  The all-crushing
Or rather all-to-nothing-crushing Kant.

I don’t want that guy to be right, ’cuz if he’s right, I’m a fool.
A fool—and a bad role model for my students.

I took a bottle, mashed its bottom into a thick coat of paint.
Then I stamped a ring of kisses into the palm of my hand.

I did wrong to try to understand these sensualist children.
In them the light is neither wave nor particle.

Ninety percent of these living angels’ll never hold a job.  
They’re all gonna have to walk from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Tarantula has to shed its skin.  Dude, I seen ’em do it!
The upshot’s like a new paintjob on a Formula One racecar.

But the replacement parts are twice the cost of the original equipment.
The disambiguation doesn’t even begin to disambiguate.

So I started looking at my own legs as if they were a girl’s.
Gotta say: I like what I see.

Delinquency gets an uptick every time I buy a book.  Every 
Time I grind a coffee bean, I release an African leprechaun . . . 

But I am too milde.  Reach me my scourge againe.  I have to
Skilsaw a ghazal out of this sheet of galvanized steel. 




NOW THAT I KNOW I AM TO BE DESTROYED BY A SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD GIRL


NOW that I know I am to be destroyed by a seventeen-year-old girl,
Doesn’t matter what I do.  I can drink poison if I want.  Can run a nail into my neck.

Nothing gonna happen to me.  For I am fated to be destroyed 
By a child, an illiterate girl with cartoon characters on her panties.

I have absolutely nothing to worry about!  I can lean out the door of the helicopter. 
I’m as invulnerable as Rāvaṇa.  Only a girl can cut off my head.

I need no weapons, no suit of armor | to fight a soot-spitting dragon.
A dragon the size of a Gothic cathedral, whose slobber smokes with bacteria.

I can fight Gojira bare-handed—or only armed with a roll of toilet paper.
Doesn’t matter; I cannot be injured.  My nemesis is only a girl.

No “trifling in a double sense” here; I am to be killed by a high school senior.
A girl whose hair bounces as she jumps up and down, or runs up the stairs of the post office . . . 

There’s an Arabic letter, same thing as our “r”—in calligraphic script, 
It is a flipped or rotated cipher for my ruiner’s right eyebrow.

So, she’s easy to spot, easy to evade.  And I know just what not to do.  
My mind at ease, I set out from Corinth; they are waiting for me in Thebes . . . 

I am an indestructible eagle.  I am the invincible poet Mardud.
I lay me down, I fall asleep as soon | as my head hits the pillow.




I ALWAYS DO WHAT PEOPLE FORCE ME TO DO


MY happiness is a boat.  Working on my dissertation drills its bottom.
If I sink the boat, I’ll have to haul it up | from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.

The paradox of the teakettle is a fit object of contemplation.
If its mouth is unusually open, it finds it impossible to scream.

Diligence, my child.  For you’ll not escape having to read ||
These sixty-five pages of homeowner poetry.  Title: The Little Improvements.

The poet says lovers are deluded, that their impressions are bound to be wrong.
Not so.  They are lovers precisely because | they see each other as they really are.

¡Aléjate de mí, Satanás! or I’ll annihilate you with my credit card.
My checkbook’ll be my broad sword; my Mexican wallet, my buckler!

And my great teacher Sarah Kramer has only just turned twenty-six!
Before I sat at her feet, I couldn’t be trusted to work a comma.

This and other tales of mystery and imagination will supply the passing hours
On snowy nights by the fire when we’re all in the next world . . . 

But in the meantime, we must sit for our portrait.  A courtly Sanskrit play
The only purpose of which is to illustrate | the pastimes of the god.
ANTHONY MADRID
I AM YOUR SLAVE NOW DO WHAT I SAY
THE ALL-CRUSHING OR RATHER ALL-TO-NOTHING-CRUSHING KANT
NOW THAT I KNOW I AM TO BE DESTROYED BY A SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD GIRL
I ALWAYS DO WHAT PEOPLE FORCE ME TO DO
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