Summer 1982 • Vol. IV No. 3 Contemporary American PoetryJuly 1, 1982 |

A Guide for the Perplexed

One madman laughs at another, and they each give enjoyment to one another. If you watch closely, you will see that the maddest one gets the biggest laugh. ERASMUS There's nothing about despair worth celebrating.At best it's a luxury of good intentions gone sour.Right now, outside my window, first blooms are catching fire& soon Mama Nature will overwhelm us with her old magic act,expecting us to applaud wildly. But I'm tired of her heavy-handedinventions, tired of the whole dreary show. No more forced recognitionsthis year, Mama! I've paid my dues—I worship only at the altarof the good god Pain. Disappointment has finally won out. Hereon the brown couch, I fold my hands behind my head & stareat the chipped ceiling, sighing so profoundly each rib snapslike a violin string. Let Papa Fate & Mama Fats go off together& damn them both! The 20th century is through & I don't careif the Republicans bury the whole decade in bad debts.I'm fed up with the twin demons

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PHILIP SCHULTZ’s latest books are Living in the Past (Harcourt, 2004) and The Holy Worm of Praise (Harcourt, 2002). He founded and directs the Writers Studio in New York City and lives in East Hampton.

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The Magic Kingdom

By Philip Schultz

One madman laughs at another, and they each give enjoyment to one another. If you watch closely, you will see that the maddest one gets the biggest laugh. ERASMUS There's […]

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