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Jacket 20 — December 2002   |   # 20  Contents   |   Homepage   |  Catalog   |

Andrea Brady

Song (for Florida)

... from Parataxis magazine, Cambridge
Back to Parataxis contents list

We hover over pimp flats and microbrews, push
credit cards between practical slits toward gluttony.
             That everywhere we are smacked
             with human energy, muscled in on
                        romantic construction sites and whatever
                        became of the new economy
             that expedient coaxial dream;

            That in the local route’s conductor
             kindness becomes a force
                        of nature and thunder
                        on the mountain rolling
             stock into Market East in hundreds;
makes tags twist and buckle in commercial exhaust
from Shop Rite to Lord & Taylor. That’s not right.
                        Weary people find an in-
stance to disarm their interferers. How to be gentle
standing on a lower platform, waiting for the unconducted F.
  Exhausted under the stars attached
             to street lamps they don’t buy it.

Here the uniformed classes may show little will
to abandon their corporate script, shop under duress,
sign efficiently; but who’d spend breath
                         on a loose-stitched idea
                         and diamanté flak jacket,
             keeps their council. Who’d tangle
tags of routine transactions in their cuff links anway.

Oh give me a home where the friendly exhortation throbs,
offers up its smile for a tip; that’s just belief in primacy
and a manifest destiny to tender. Oh from their porches
             in Orlando a nation’s vacationers wave,
             happy voters. E-shares keep
                      baby in handcrafted toy-lets,
                      float the SUV out on autopilot.
             All resting with peace of conscience in them,
             the new Israel. Armed with the best money
                        can buy. And anyway their idol
                        candies everyone with his
winsome, secretive smile, the good looks
of the likeable schmuck stupid as a neighbour,
the mild innocence of an orphan. James wades
                         through a hundred stations
           looking for a tolerable script, sucked in
                         to the prayer channel tagging
                         35 dollars as market value for Christian
                         slaves; buy one for Christmas
            from militant Islamic dealers
             in their criminal Sudan.

I can’t answer out. Trust has no tongue.
Moses packs his mitten from the floor, heads
toward the road the leads out of the country
             club back into the city, gets lost and dirty.
             Between feeling and thought is a script
                                  for conflict, choose
                                  to surrender
                                  to happiness
or dissolve it in a bath of cold ideas. How much
can your credit buy before the cashier cuts up
the transaction, turns your precious accident
                          of language into nothing
         but races your heart? The girls are live
in the booth, where your choice lies. If you know
where love falls to earth, naked, or real stars can be
seen by working people. You may be called
                                            to testify.

Check out this author’s work: Bookstores in Britain, and in the United States

Jacket 20 — December 2002
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