Michael Robbins

Penguin Modern Poets 2
  • Penguin Modern Poets 2

  • The Penguin Modern Poets are succinct guides to the richness and diversity of contemporary poetry. Every volume brings together representative selections from the work of three poets now writing, allowing the curious reader and the seasoned lover of poetry to encounter the most exciting voices of our moment.

    ". . . by the bollocks I mind, by the virgin I'm like,
    by the smell of teen spirit, the punch that I spike,

    "by hydro and chronic and eight-legged sparks,
    by G-strings and tassels, by bummers and narcs,

    "by the temples I razed with a swish of my tail,
    by the models of Jupiter I built to full scale,

    "I am a man of few words, each one a thrown switch.
    Shall I name the mouth-breathers at whom I pitch

    "with superstitious loathing these excretions oozing bile?
    Then pull up a chair. This could take a while."
    - MICHAEL ROBBINS, 'Space Mountain'

    "I was born as a woman, I talk you to death,
    or else your ear off,
    or else you to sleep. What do I have, all the time
    in the world, and a voice that swings brass back
    and forth, you can hear it, and a focal point where
    my face should be. What do I have, I have absolute
    power, and what I want is your money, your drool,
    and your mind, and the sense of myself as a snake,
    and a garter in the grass . . .
    Why do I do it is easy, I am working
    my way through school. Give me the money
    for Modernism, and give me the money
    for what comes next."
    - PATRICIA LOCKWOOD, 'The Hypno-Domme Speaks, and Speaks and Speaks'

    ". . . we just hugged, sat on a high up bench
    somewhere not that secret really
    off the Lewes road, afternoon of gold
    and magpies on a cusp. But no wholly

    "depth-charge branch is too white, padded
    shot a mushroom cap a cheapened rink
    ice age glass of frozen, uplit tongues
    unleaven how I never meant for you to drink

    "a glass of day-old wholly sincere
    spit who under maketh spring sew
    tongues into my pocket tongue
    of day-old really salt-sincere snow

    "bell ring
    lhude sing
    and not just sitting on a bench
    how much we want to fuck in circling spring . . ."
    - TIMOTHY THORNTON, 'Broadcast'

Michael Robbins was born in Kansas during the Nixon Administration. Some time later, he received his PhD in English from the University of Chicago. His debut poetry collection, Alien vs. Predator, was published in the US by Penguin in 2012; it was followed by The Second Sex in 2014. His poetry and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, Harper's, and many other publications. He lives in America with the best cat in the world.