A. R.  ("Archie") Ammons (1926-2001) is the author of Garbage, Sphere, Brink Road and The Really Short Poems of A.R. Ammons.  One of the "really short" poems gathered therein is "Their Sex Life": 


                                                                                    One failure
                                                                                          On top of another


Ammons points out that the initial words of the two lines are capitalized, each standing for one person ("One" and "On").







Fucking Right


Nobody fucks anybody

who fucks anybody,

and anybody's a


nobody who fucks

anybody, still anybody

who fucks nobody's


a nobody, worse

than a nobody

who'd just as


soon fuck a

nobody as anybody:

on occasion, somebody



will fuck anybody,

nobody or not,

because when you


fuck anybody you

could be fucking

somebody as well


as nobody, though

there are fewer

somebodies out there,


I guess, than

nobodies: to be

somebody, you have


to be a

nobody and fuck

anybody till you


find a somebody:

when somebody fucks

somebody, it's right,


but if, having

tried hard, you

find neither nobody


nor somebody, fuck

off, you may

be bothering people.




from the Harvard Review, Spring 1998.  Reprinted by permission of Phyllis Ammons.