Anthony Madrid

...lives in Chicago. His poems have appeared (or are about to appear) in AGNI Online, Exquisite Corpse, LIT, New England Review, 6X6, and WEB CONJUNCTIONS. The name of his unpublished manuscript is The getting rid of the that which cannot be done without.

Nay, but this dotage of our Generals / Ore-flowes the measure

The story behind those two poems is this.

In January 2001, I started writing my first book. I had been fantasizing about it for years, and so I had lots of bright ideas about how to make the structure of the book a pleasing thing in itself. One of my working principles, on the level of the individual poem, was to set up a form (or a method or a tonal palette) and stick to it until the pressure to mess it up became unbearable. At that point, and at that point only, I was to let go. The dam would instantly spring a leak, and the jet of water that came through the crack would be a nifty thrilling thing—and might even become the whole show.

Not like nobody ever thought of this kind of procedure before. Anyway, for all kinds of arbitrary and uninteresting reasons, the original design of the book called for six sections. I held to that for a long time. But then it occurred to me that it might be sharp to have a seventh section, unnumbered, simply called "The Additional Verses"—which would serve as the jet of water for the Whole Operation. The themes from the earlier parts of the book would come back, but at some further ironic remove . . . . Maybe that seventh part could serve as a parody of the first six . . . .

So, bottom line: the two poems here are from that seventh part. They are the last two pages of the book. In order to properly appreciate the "parody" element, you'd have to read the sixty-eight poems that precede them. For anyone who's interested, the latest issues of 6X6, Copper Nickel, and LIT all include poems from the manuscript. There's also stuff on WEB CONJUNCTIONS and AGNI Online.