Three Poems By Michael Robbins

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

Use Your Illusion

It’s a gorgeous day, not a bat in the sky.
The topography’s square with the recon.
Contents may have shifted during rapture.
Let’s put the Christ back in Xbox.

This baby is disgusting. Fuck you, baby.
Get a job. You have the worst taste in art.
A real Winston Churchill, this one. Your lot’s loss?
So lose. Lose the attitude. Lose the dress.

I was saying something about a baby.
It had eleven dimensions, kind of
a dim bulb. The last of a tiny race.
Just a shadow on a milk carton now.

I saw myself in half then make myself
disappear. Maybe the other way round.
Let’s hear it for my lovely assistant.
She’s the lower half of my body, sawn.
I open the cabinet and poof she’s gone.

Human Wishes

Last night a DJ almost killed me.
I’m as alive as you can possibly get.
The ash at the end of my cigarette,
who put it there? My wife is asleep.
I hoot like an owl into her hair.

That was a joke, by the way.
Don’t get your feelings in a bunch.
The Bible says, Shawty, you must get loose.
Augustine cautions against taking this
literally. Its exegesis is abstruse.

Story of my life, my sexual abuse
hotline. One leg at a time, I say.
If you cannot afford a leg, one will
be abandoned on a hot tin roof.
Now you must work a mysterious way.

I never promised you a unicorn.
But still. What is it like to be at bat?
Just having T.M.I. tattooed on my balls.
The heavy lice that hang from them
run in blood down palace walls.

Black Wings

I eat wings. I’m such a pain.
Blue fly, butterfly, airplane, crane,
and everything in between.
I think you’d better hurry.
I think I live in a gooseberry field.

Two hundred miles wide, my mouth!
All these teetering hemlines, college-bound!
I still want — how shall I put this — cigarettes.
It takes a strong storm to blow over Man-Pig.
Suddenly I begin speaking a language.

It is one I’ve known from childhood,
the only one, my mother tongue!
Hey, Señor Potato Boob Gun,
you are just so goddamn free.
You’re taller than I thought you’d be.

Eleventy-thousand degrees outside
with a heat index of kablooey.
The tastiest wings of all are Satan’s.
But enough about me
is one of my favorite sayings.

Michael Robbins’ first book of poems, Alien vs. Predator, will be published by Penguin in April 2012. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The New Yorker, Poetry, Boston Review, Fence, and elsewhere. He is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Poetry at the University of Southern Mississippi.

You will not believe just how much more poetry is available right here, in The Poetry Section’s vast archive. You may contact the editor at