Be Myself

By Michael Robbins Michael Robbins
I took back the night. Wrested it
from the Chinese, many of  whom
were shorter than me.
Two billion outstretched Chinese
hands, give or take a few
thousand amputees.

A cheap knockoff, the night
proved to be — Nokla
not Nokia on the touchscreen.
Well, even Old Peng gotta eat,
Confucius say. Or maybe that
was Cassius Clay.

In me, folks, a movable object
meets a resistible force. I haven’t
worked a day since the accident
of   birth. Born of  woman,
my father the same. Make love
then war. I’ll bring round the car.

These children that I spit on
are immune to my consultations.
I’ll have none myself. It isn’t
(Write it!) a fiasco. I am small,
I contain platitudes.

Source: Poetry (April 2013).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2013
 Michael  Robbins


Michael Robbins is the author of Alien vs. Predator (Penguin, 2012) and The Second Sex (Penguin, 2014). His poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry, Harper's, Boston Review, and elsewhere; his critical work in Harper's, London Review of Books, The New York Observer, the Chicago Tribune, Spin, and several other publications. He is currently at work on a critical book, Equipment for Living (forthcoming from Simon & . . .

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SUBJECT Living, The Body, The Mind, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

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