Authors: Michael Robbins
ALSO BY MICHAEL ROBBINS
Published by the Penguin Group
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First published in Penguin Books 2014
Copyright Â© 2014 by Michael Robbins
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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA
Robbins, Michael, 1972â
The second sex / Michael Robbins.
pages cm.â(Penguin Poets)
eBook ISBN 978-0-698-16901-2
to the memory of Bill Knott
Look at your money. No one is smiling.
Springtime in Chicago in November.
My forty-first year to heaven.
My left hand wants to know
what my right hand is doing.
Oh. Sorry I asked.
First comes love, which I disparage.
I blight with plagues a baby carriage.
Green means go and red means red.
we're cooking with Sudafed.
Steer by, deerfly. I hereby declare
the deer tick on my derriere
a heretic. Derelict, hunker down.
Get the Led out, Goodman Brown.
Get thee behind me, Nathan.
Horseman, ramble on.
Springtime snows white hairs on me.
Green means go and go means gone.
In the clearing I stand,
a boxer! Putting all your shit
in boxes, dragging the boxes
to this stupid clearing.
A man walks into his forties.
You lost me at “hello.”
I'm tying balloon animals.
Here you go. That's a rooster.
To burn out or to fade away?
I'm keeping my options open.
I'm looking for option C.
I'm boning up on Coptic.
I'm scrolling past the Dead Sea,
talking to Christ on the road
from Kiss My Ass to Damascus.
I kick my prick. I refute it
Be tawdry for me, thou.
Be like unto Sierra Mist
when it opens in the first
cold of spring. Be a Chippewa.
According to the oral history,
outside the Tastee Freez
you sucked on a chili dog
with your head between your knees.
The United States of Fuck You Too
is what you're about to receive.
You can shoot all the kids you like,
but you can never leave.
The mind is a terrible thing.
That outboard motor.
The tedium is the message.
The chimp signs
in his enclosure.
Is this Mick Jagger which I see before me?
Come, let me clutch thee.
I consider the lilies beneath me.
I tell the Magdalene not to touch me.
I tell the miniature schnauzer not to swarm.
I tell my willy it's getting warm.
I tell the content to fuck the form.
Who is the United States?
The grassy knoll elaborates.
Ask not what the Dew can do for you.
Ask about our special rates
for armed forces personnel.
All right, then, I'll go to hell.
These colors don't runâ
red, white, and carbohydrate gel.
Navy SEALs are good to go
All along the White House fence
the Redskins mascot leads the chants.
Full fathom five Osama lies.
The blue-chip Dow industrials rise.
Who is the United States?
A snail paces by the Golden Gate's
anti-swan-dive hotline sign.
The snail is going to be fine.
Disabling a suicide
detector is prohibited.
A snail searches a starless sky
with the bionic arm he calls an eye.
The stars have got the bee disease.
The disappearing colonies
are no longer buzzworthy.
So ferry cross New Jersey.
I'm a black kid in a hoodie.
This land's the place I love. Et odi.
Who is the United States?
A grief agoâI'm bad with datesâ
our fathers brought forth a queer
shoulder in a convex mirror.
I find it hard.
It was hard to found.
Unscrew the lids from the jars!
on Aeroflot follows the Moskva
down to Gorky Park.
I'm proud to be a terrorist.
Mistakes were made at Plymouth Rock.
You might not be aware of this.
The ant's a centaur, more or less.
After the first sex, there is no other.
I stick my gender in a blender
and click send. VoilÃ !
Your new ex-girlfriend.
You cuckold me with your husband.
I move a box with Ludacris.
The captain turns on, we begin our descent.
Be gentle with me, I'm new to this.
I say the wrong thing. I have OCD.
My obsessive compulsions are disorderly.
I say the wrong thing, did I already say?
I drive my dominatrix away.
The coyote drives her in a false-bottomed van.
He drops her in the desert. The bluffs are tan.
She'll get a job at Chili's picking up butts.
I feel ya, Ophelia
, I say to my nuts.
And there is pansies. That's for thoughts
I will pull an airplane with my teeth
and I will pull an airplane with my hair.
I write about cats. Cats, when you read this,
write about me. Be the change you want to see.
I've legally changed my name to Whites Only.
Changed it back, I should say.
O NOT TRY THIS AT HOME
the man I am today.
That, and the University of Phoenix.
Old man, take a look at my life.
Charles Simic, in the gloaming, with a roach,
take a look at my life. I'm a lot like you.
A man stands up and says I will catch
a bullet in my teeth!
He eats a sword, hilt first, and spits
up a million people persons.
A dolphin pulls an airplane with its blowhole
and keeps the black box for itself.
Bottleneck dolphins don't even have bones,
yet here we are, giving them medalsÂ .Â .Â .
This is my ass. And that is a hole
in ground zero. I know which is which.
It's the one with the smoke pouring out.
This is my handle; this is my spout.
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
A cheap knockoff, the night
proved to beâ
on the touch screen.
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
it!) a fiasco. I am small,
I contain platitudes.
Says here to burn the rich and take their shit.
I'm paraphrasing. I'm barely grazing
the surplus. Do the rich have inner lives,
like little lambs and Antigone?
They never give me their money.
Bill Gates, the great humanitarian,
stands upon a peak in Darien.
I said Bill, I believe this is killing me.
A sculptor sees the statue in the slab,
the shiv in the toothbrush. The stab.
I plump for Red October. Sink or swim
or wade or creep or fly or soak
it all in kerosene. Miguel HernÃ¡ndez,
tell me, if you know, why there's a darkness
on the edge of credit. My student loans?
Forget it. Burn it up. Let's go for broke.
Watch the shares go up in smoke. Nostalgia's
just another word that starts with
Du Fu, you dufus, that's not
a goose. You're drunk.
Please allow me to introduceÂ .Â .Â .
no, that's not your horse.
(No, nor woman neither.)
Into every life a little
Freud must fall. I'm a fraud.
I stole that pun. Like I said:
I'm afraid. Into every light
a little moth must blunderÂ .Â .Â .
Cue power ballad.
I don't know what to call a spade.
The sky will lately swish stuff.
I open my barbaric yap.
Du Fu joins me on the veranda.
We are old and full of crap.
The millionaires across the way,
their homes are all ablaze.
We like it when those homes collapse
like moths before clichÃ©s.