Flying Ants

Flying ants. Back with that foot.
Back with that smack, ’cuz I’m finding out how
The evil queen got her bad thoughts.

Flying ants. And three thousand volts.
Three or four books on a prisoner’s shelf.
I have no self to stick up for.

Flying ants. Cloaca and corridor.
Horrible day for Scottish Ravana.
Ovid is our Yijing.

Flying ants. It don’t mean a thing.
Twenty-six minutes from here to the Jane.
I disdain their trionfalismo.

Flying ants. San Luis Obispo.
Personal salvation means nothing to me.
I prefer to take the long view.

Flying ants in the Biyanlu.
Beyond all that, I’m already in hell:
You can tell by what I’m ashamed of.

Flying ants and a bill of attainder.
Divvy it up and club the remainder.
Nobody knows the trouble.

Flying ants. Reduce it to rubble.
Have with you to Saffron-Walden, Henry:
Anyhow, you’re my Zhuangzi.

Flying ants. And Jonson and Johnson.
Hansel and Gretel and Gwendolyn Brooks.
She’s not in the Golden Treasury.

Flying ants. Vajracchedika.
Brooklyn College and Nietzsche and Fordham:
I predict boredom and non-comprehension.

Flying ants. A source of contention,
This language is straight out of Tazewell County.
Boswell, Sir, is our Analects.

Flying ants. Perfection of Wisdom
Expecting we’ll want the last sip from the can.
But I’m not a big fan of last drops.

Flying ants. And here come the cops.
The steak, the plate, the table, the chair.
Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbear.

Anthony Madrid

Anthony Madrid lives in Victoria, Texas. His poems have appeared in Best American Poetry 2013, Boston Review, Fence, Harvard Review, Lana Turner, LIT, and Poetry. His first book is called I AM YOUR SLAVE NOW DO WHAT I SAY (Canarium Books, 2012).

Cover image by Sarah Meadows


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