MY brothers, we have left the world to be saved by persons unﬁt
to live in it.
The depressed will never save the world, for they | unconsciously
long to be rid of it.
The constitutionally depressed are in the grip of an ax-grinding
They can only detect intelligence in that which conduces to the
No wonder they love their Sunzi, that much-translated Daoist war
The world’s only instruction book | on how to be passive
O ye of little tact. How you long to hear confessions. You want to
go on national
Television and dish out the advice . . .
My brothers, we are different. We respect our materials. When
A travelers’ advisory the last thing we want to see is tears.
We must wrest the world from the depressed, from those who
put stock in repentance.
For they cannot see how repentance is merely a piece of sacred theater.
Trembling, pedantic, they step up to the plate and solemnly take
They think, Dreamland starts now. For I have a piece of paper.
Mama didn’t love me don’t matter no more—for I have a piece of paper.
And hand in hand, out of Eden they take | their slow and solitary
way . . .
Wake up, Homer. C’mon, Homer: rise and shine. For the human
Cannot grow a new head, nor should this be asked of him.
The cracked ego cannot be patched. It is too late for the
In China we say “Three Buddhas and two sticks of incense.” It
means none for you.
Originally appeared in Fence, Fall 2011.
Anthony Madrid's book of poems is I Am Your Slave Now Do What I Say (Canarium, 2012). You can order it here.