I’d like to mention one of the reasons I cherish my friend Anthony Madrid’s book of jewelrybox marvels, I am Your Slave Now Do What I Say. There are many reasons, but this is one I don’t believe anyone’s mentioned on the interwebs.
Madrid is a poet working toward dismantling moronic, objectifying images of women. As I know him to be a hater of pedantry, I don’t think he would like me saying he is doing that in his poetry, but I'll say it anyway; to me it seems clear. Where so many books are rife with women who appear as objects, not subjects, Madrid’s lines about them are mystified, insightful, and delighted. That’s not to say he’s pious or fastidious about them. It’s clear his viewpoint is hetero, and he likes to subvert gender roles naughtily. Moreover, he goes to town on some ugly ways we do damage to ladies. There’s something really healthy about all of this. Lemme draw your eye to some lines where he does it.
When people walk around naked, they all look like people I know.
My tutor taught me long ago that bodies are all the same.
‘The male is caught in a cleft stick.’ Better write that one down.
Young woman walking the road to Rome, with a book of Latin poetry in your jacket,
Come over here and read something alound – to me and my family.
Of the many hymns to the goddess Kali, only one is worthy a poet’s respect.
I mean the one wherein her ankles are hung with severed arms;—
I mean the one where her face is lit up with cruel pleasure, and she has a beard of sweat
As she has rear-entry intercourse with Vishnu.
You should have been a pretty girl, MADRID. The whole world might have been spared
All this body-resenting satire in the tone of a parting shot.
NO more epigrams against sluts. For it galls me to have to hear
These pig men and buccaneers complaining against every little unauthorized blowjob.
For if the word vagina means sheath, then every baby is a sword.
I AM no longer cut to the heart to watch her laughing with my rival.
Any man who gives her pleasure I consider my emissary.
So, let’s up on our stiletti, gentlemen! Let us not for a moment forget
How winning it is when a sexy young thing is clumsy on her heels.
Stand aside, you lesser beauties, for MADRID is coming through!
Miss Queen Teen Photogenic, soon to be seen on Pay-Per-View!
Are not all women beautiful? Babies seem to think so.
But I’m not like the other boys – I don’t go by looks.
Nadya, why does not everyone desire you? Why are you not swarmed with love?
Your virtue is a five-mile-high geyser of liquid nitrogen.
These go on. I’m simply glad to see women – infants, little girls, teenagers, grown loves – regarded in so many iterations in this book. The joy, mischief, and subversiveness with which Madrid wrangles restores some happiness to women appearing in literature. I hope young male writers especially read him and get a tutorial in how it’s done.
I’ll leave you with this bit, a poem where Madrid turns himself into a tranny. This is the good shit, people.
And now MADRID’S ascending into heaven! Here’s our chance to look up his dress!
Oh, but God! The thing I see there–! It’s like a shark shaking the life out of the back wheel of a tractor!