I Too Have Been to Candyland

By Anthony Madrid Anthony Madrid
I TOO have been to Candyland, but I found myself missing the death cult.
I missed the spectacle of the wounded bones being opened and instrumented.
 
Bill Varner, when he was still just a boy, wrote a stunning line of Arabic verse.
He wrote: “The crescent moon is a scimitar; the sun, a severed head.”
 
¡Gran cantar! and this, when he still had to keep his books in a locker!
And he’d never even held hands with a girl—God! Penn State in the 1980s!
 
In those days, we all sat at the feet of a pig poet, deaf in one ear. One of these
Dreadful “white-haired lovers”—oh, but he knew how to touch fire to fuse!
 
That little stick of fire apt to launch a poetic career! But what is it now?
Merely a billowing cloud of humidity floating out of a tree.
 
Every turtle, snake, and bird is “born again”—oh, isn’t that so? The first time,
Out the fêted cloaca—and the next, through the top of the shell.
 
The “I” is Greek, the “it” Italian, and Dickinson is our Ghalib. But that
Ridiculous piece of dirt you’re kissing on can never be anything but.
 
Shut your eyes to what a worm he is, concentrate on his caress—but know
Every half-truth is bound to call up its suppressed synoptic double.
 
Close your eyes and moan softly, your head full of packed cotton—but know
Every hidden camera’s cockpit must one day be delivered of its black box.

Anthony Madrid, “I Too Have Been to Candyland” from I Am Your Slave Now Do What I Say. Copyright © 2012 by Anthony Madrid. Reprinted by permission of Canarium Books.

Source: I Am Your Slave Now Do What I Say (Canarium Books, 2012)

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Poet Anthony Madrid

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Coming of Age, The Mind, Youth, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Reading & Books

Poetic Terms Couplet, Free Verse

 Anthony  Madrid

Biography

Poet Anthony Madrid is the author of the chapbook The 580 Strophes (2009) and the full-length collection I Am Your Slave Now Do What I Say (2012). He has written in forms such as the ghazal and rhyming quatrain, bringing a contemporary, associative, and surreal sensibility to received forms. A PhD student in the University of Chicago graduate program in English language and literature, Madrid’s study of poetics and American . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Coming of Age, The Mind, Youth, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Reading & Books

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Couplet, Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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