In Hell the Units Are the Gallon and the Fuck

By Anthony Madrid Anthony Madrid
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.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2010).


This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

July/August 2010
 Anthony  Madrid


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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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Mind, Relationships, Religion, Faith & Doubt, Christianity, The Spiritual

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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