Anthony Madrid

I Used to Manically Slick My Hair Back



I USED to manically slick my hair back with both hands like a fly.


I used to run my eyebrow antennae through the space between my teeth.




I would post myself on a lampshade or on the lip of a lonely girl’s tub.


I’d sit still, upside down in the curtains, and say in my scheming heart:




“Oh, let me just once witness her salty gasp of despair ecstasy! Let me


Hear her parched voice crack at the first vowel in my secret name.”




Good times—even if it was the Jahiliyya, “the Era of Ignorance.” Oh, and the


Bedouin poetry I wrote in those days will stand up to a thousand readings . . .




But now I know too well that all those sighs and secret names, all those


Eye widenings and shudders, they never have anything to do with you:—




Say what you like, whatever name she pronounces is His name,


And whatever she pictures in her mind’s eye is the imago of the Dark God.

I Shall Sit Atop Olympus



I SHALL sit atop Olympus; I shall juggle dying worlds.


I shall trifle with Great Hatreds and toy with Young Love.




So, let the girl from Rose Apple Tree Island bring her famous box of paints.


Let her set to work with her single-haired paintbrush on the living face of the Queen.




Not for nothing do we maintain this race of bird-eating royal spiders.


Each precious abdominal hair follicle has its place in the Cosmetic Scheme.




Behold our palace foreman, wise in the ways of pleasure. He has a belt with a


Wheel of revolving dildos, like the lens turret on a microscope.




And when our scientific equipment fails us, we punish it with a hammer!


In the case of our most advanced equipment, we have to use a jeweler’s hammer.




In my culture, we know the outsiders by the fact they can’t answer our riddles.


“Father’s in the room; his beard is outside” is a ready-to-hand example . . .




But to sharpen his carpenter’s pencil, Madrid al -Katib has no need of a knife.


He just sticks it in his mouth and sucks. One suck and it’s sharp as a needle.

Fuck Buddha I'm Buddha Nobody's Buddha Quit Talking About Buddha



FUCK Buddha, I’m Buddha, nobody’s Buddha, quit talking about Buddha.


You can’t intimidate me with your Thangka-toy halo.




You can’t intimidate me with your kneeling animals, your “journey,” your treasure words.


For I am just returned from beyond the endurable limits of human wisdom.




I walked on the bottom of a swimming pool. Saw giraffe-skin patterns of light.


Saw for myself what the light spelled out, and here is what I now know:




That gravity is not love. No; nor explosiveness, strife. Let me not


To the marriage of true minds admit Empedocles.




That mirrors are for seeing ’round corners. They are not for looking straight on.


That’s why whoever looks into a mirror sees something other than a face.




And that you are all sanpaku—for you buy into all that sex talk. Body parts


Hunting body parts—and then you’re shocked it’s not enough.




You should walk a poolbottom. David Hockney has painted this. You’ll


Shuck all that Buddha talk. You’ll send up little bubbles . . .




And perhaps you’ll shed a tear for your babbling younger self.


Don’t be afraid to cry. For crying replenishes the pool. And indeed




The Maitreya Buddha Mardud has no quarrel with sentimental tears.


He says the harm only comes in when we try to defend them.





ANTHONY MADRID lives in Chicago. His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in AGNI Online, Boston Review, Fence, Gulf Coast, Iowa Review, Lana Turner, LIT, Poetry, Washington Square, and WEB CONJUNCTIONS. His first book, called I AM YOUR SLAVE NOW DO WHAT I SAY, was published by Canarium Books, spring 2012.