Andrea Brady

Synthesizer

for Marianne Morris

THE CITY

 
 
1.

When the state’s insufficiency cannot secure the good life.
When the state is unnatural and offers no perfection.
When home to dumb animals and gods,

++++++ interstate flies inscribe the orbit like irredeemable cargo.

+++The gods build houses in each district
+++but they can have houses here and there, high up
+++like eagles and low, moles. The gods accrue nature
+++around their houses like mantles, or padding.

This is polishing security. A digital garrison.
+++They put clips in their ears, their cars go fast
+++up the hills into the trees as the suspense burns.
+++They are in the same league as leopards
+++or granite.

The gods live without each other, like wild animals.
Sufficiency is only perfect in the moment of the state.
A spoiled hand is no longer a hand
but dinner, the hermit obscene before his rocks and papers.
The state alone can be alone
without horror or confusion. Zoo tray

++++++full of grubs and a rattler among
++++++Western ironmongery
++++++shows us appetite defying
conglomeration at the level of simple
++++++and complex structures. He sucked the wound
++++++the way they do on tv and got shot
++++++in his teeth for common interest.

The state contains our diversity of needs
like a slipper, like a delphic knife.
In the produce aisle insufficiency gleams
a wax skin must be dusted with water.

• Wheat growing at the police station, brassica
• on the railway cuttings, an archaism.
• Hogmeat and corn bread, buried hams,
• hard tack and middlin’ meat. Only in extreme democracies
• are workmen participants: they speak with their mouths.

Hideous clicking.

Insomniacs slip through the gym floor, rolled
a ball of rice, it’s all in the prefect’s letter.
+++Steady victuals. Sufficiency is a cold perfection.
A farmer gardened with rosacea
+++is beyond redemption
as he is beyond the Ludgate or the boated occipital.
 
 
2.

+++The marketplace is the divine scene.
+++A thin girl smiles thinly at a thin boy’s
+++thin excuse to touch her. Their confederation
+++is neglectful and will come again
+++and again until the state is made,
+++bursting out like a star from a welter.
First get a house and a wife and an ox to draw
and the judiciary follows, cornfed in its balloon robes.
The house is the original scene.
I’m going to put you in my pocket,
which means to sell you.

+++80s woman unclips a large gold earring
+++to answer the phone. She is only a chatterbox,
+++less discrete than a man talks to a brick,
+++twisting the knot of her idion in hand
+++and burning hate mail in the afternoon.
+++She learns to rule by being ruled: dry goods are
+++his to win, hers to preserve. She boxes up.

+++Her natural urge to propagate herself is the origin
+++of the state, state duplex, state boxer.
+++Foxes lock on under picnic tables,
+++children twist out into smokeries
+++and are furnished with commemorative cups and bowls.

The state is a container of duplication,
conservator of the basic minimum.
The phrase ‘cardiac arrest’ conceals a stupid truth:
heart knackered like a punctured football,
the heart is a working component owned by the state.
Our bodies bound to morter and decay.
The property heart, waiting for use
alongside a pop gun and a silk handkerchief
eases the load on the ox hearts, their feelings
an electrical discharge as they tow and hoist.

++++++Now the state’s insufficiency cannot secure the good life
++++++the swollen heart, myopathic, sits on an altar
++++++just free of dancing embers in the residual house.

As we relax our pulse beats
heavily on the sternum, where opening
a crab shell would make its wettest sound.
 
 
3.

The element that can use its intelligence
to look ahead is by nature ruler and by nature master.
This is philosophy, self-canonized,
televising projections since dawn.
For alibi the philosopher-king appeals
to the public fact of his chemical castration.
With immortal cunning soul
tyrannizes the body, the father bullies kin,
intelligence tempers desire like a president
kneeling on the senatorial neck. Except
no president does, having made a reduction.

Kennelled by reason, a free body
is erect and useless, suited
for the life of a citizen, divided by war
and peace. The slave body is of course.
The use of slaves is not a form of knowledge
that has any great importance
or dignity. A morbid fat woman
whipped us a little, but only with buckbrush
and only around the ankles. It is diminutive
and feminising, deteriorates the squires
the house is the original scene of tyranny
as prophylactic against female hunger.

My father’s tyranny is imponderable
in the political realm: the red mist of a house burning temper
enables his own emancipation as he rolls in from the suburbs.
He is speaker of the house, house a pork barrel.
How he acquires human properties
is a skill for soldiers and hunters,
raking it in the year of jubilee,
taking dogs to the base of all trees,
forcing runners into muddy shallows.
To be muddled with lime is a sin against the clear
proportionality of his race now he’s
having trouble keeping anything down.

Slaves are tools made for action. Diptherial robotics,
cogs in their hipbones and tightly wired
phalanges nipping at bobbins. If shuttles
could fly and a plucker play a tune all
self-moved, then masters would have no needs
and the cabins, empty, become national trust.
Watch them dance to heaven like the tripods
of Hephaestus shuffling into the assembly of the gods.
However by nature you can
and therefore do belong to him.
You participate in reason so far as to recognize it
but not so as to possess it, for possession
is barred to you are possessed so thoroughly.
Your speech, approximate (I’ve put
the breaks in):

++++++I ’members de time when my mammy was
++++++alive, I was a small child,
++++++afore dey took her to Reems Creek. All us chillens was
++++++playin’ in de yard one night. Just a-
++++++runnin’ and a-playin’ like chillen will. All
++++++of a sudden Mammy come to de door
++++++all ’cited. “Come in here dis minute,”
++++++she say. “Just look up at what is a-happenin’.”
++++++And, bless you life, de stars
++++++were fallin’ just like rain. Mammy was
++++++terrible scared, but we chillen weren’t
++++++afraid, no we weren’t afraid. But Mammy,
++++++she say every time a star fall,
++++++somebody gonna die. Look like
++++++a lot of folks gonna die from de looks of
++++++dem stars. Everythin’ was just as bright as day.
++++++You could a pick a pin up.
++++++You know de stars don’t shine ++++++as bright
++++++as dey did back den. Weren’t
++++++long afore dey took my mammy away,
++++++and I was left alone.

I make the dead work.

++++++The element that can use its intelligence
++++++to look ahead is by nature ruler and by nature master.

In the year of jubilee we will have transformation.
Money that grows on bushes, squirrels
and wild things, cotton for free
and good calico, shoes lined with dog fur.
Corn, rye and goober peas, mush and milk,
pepper pot from the cook shack
everyone down at the frolic and nothing partial
such as sleep, warmth, or skins.

++++++Do I know this, your names, your prices.
 
 

THE POLICE EYE

 
 
1.

The day bluelighted to an infirmary.
Take myself off to conjure
thoughts of dogs
rioted up a tree in the dark
and a silly rotten stick liquors up
the other hand. Fear is a powerful
inducement to club up: clear the backs
sentinelled, looking for freedom
portioned and in regard of: every rut
Ocado may be able to deliver.
I’m heavily pregnant. The horror film
I come into shot they come in crying ‘Meat, meat’
Rhiannon covered in puppy blood
a claw reaches in through the stable window but that’s
the part of the story nobody questions
is a threat to fealty on the island of the mighty.

At the return of relief
– all fields squarely – and the modern houses
I apply at a gate shackled by a deliberate block.
A paddock with deer, too docile and thick
among nettles and rusting gear
boiler pots and winches to make this
place than mortal foreboding. Eaters
nearby, scanned by the rolling monocle
that twitches its history of terror
from only one side of a monumental face.
No wilderness here, even for fodder
coruscating inside their commodity hides
their hips and shoulders move through ragout
the muscleman is hiding his pointed ears in the long grass.
Everything I see is the state. More dogs.
Their owners.
 
 
3.

Man is an animal who needs a master
who is an animal who needs a master
that is an animal needs that master
who is a mastered animal, mastering
the animal of his master who is animals
and needing a master is an animal master
for the animals who need a master and a master
of animals is also an animal among animals
who need masters there is an animal
and masters for those animals are animals
who need a master who need a master
animal animal animal master animal.

The duty to obey. The duty waits it out,
down at the mouth and pitifully small indoors
and governed in lesions at the big-box stores
with a woman in pain as the standard bearer
who begs the latch as court-appointed carer: but she
represents no one juridically,
her talent’s symbol. And her nature
restrains her litter at two, as otherwise
she would have as many tits as a pig.
You think they’re numbered to match your eyes?

So quantity is a function of necessity, and
for grundnorm take the tyranny of the family.
The forest regards its infant oaks as luxuries,
silva lisp a word for tender:
the merciless criticism of everything existing.
The thumb is just long enough
to pleasure the mouth without choking.
 
 

Domestic Interlude 2

You remember the rowan tree, light
++++++filled apart as clarity
+++swinging down became a fixation.
A multitude devised as one, brided as one
++++++eventually but not yet.
Still summer with bright gold appearances.
Heavenly grasses. Work spread out
+++++++++on the table
specie piling up with the ashes of letters

to map your body traditionally to own it.
Food. Irony. Music piped into the ears
+++that otherwise tripped over birdsong
+++and otherwise halted in the future.

For you
+++were everywhere. No material
+++a likewise possibility. Great tips
and chords, even the bottlenose sighted
++++++a celebratory sleeve for Curtis Mayfield

Spending money on other things like sweaters.

Some drinks in the distance
the muezzin and other dawns
++++++blood loss. Occasional pinches.

+++To march, to peal and wish nakedly
++++++feeling nothing and/or an excess
it came up at the cinema, there was a book in it.

Then there were the children

But not yet.
Rummaging. Appears on the doorstep,
+++extracted from her bicycle. Teapot hens
puffy for dawn in Paradise Park, slappy,

fish in the sink,++++all the shelves taken,
+++home a home for recording sessions.

Your body spread out under the pitching.

An excess of luxury soap. The thing
we both knew would be lost to each
++++++if we vanished

And a building site, the plaster all blown
rendered and made good

breakfast up there, under the plants.

++++++What kindness, circled
++++++by your unprepossessing
++++++sky

Coming back, coming back
coming back and coming
back (wild combination)

Listening as the night-bloom
jasmine listens,
+++and the dealers in their parked cars
+++and the invisible man behind the partition

for baking, strumming. Squashing. Speaking
always with very great interest
+++how the multitudes devised one.
++++++A retro design

beautifully done, lively. The children.
The house and its work. The children.
Where they came from. Suddenly

++++++over time turns into history

too much to talk about

eating the bread I made in labour

they learn to speak, and then they speak
and everything they say begins to finish the puzzle for us which they are
just beginning

++++++suddenly

I feel old now, the day

++++++bright gold appearances of all your faces

this is what my life was, and becoming

++++++how we wake up when we have been there

bracketed to your body traditionally
no other

++++++oh my profound heart

the days work and the nights of knowledge
which has turned out to be knowledge
only

++++++of you everywhere, and there
++++++and here
++++++and here
++++++and here
 
 

THE PRINCE

 
 
1: Holland

The electors of Holland dance to bronze music,
spin the Victorian dynamo in the modified foodmart
chocka with maize, decaf peace, prosperity.
This so Fed-Ex home town commo
freeze the liquor licence with moral temperature:
children cluster and spatter the streets
with taffy goodbar, good in pastel
sugar shades of salt water. Give’m
enough spank to get the job done
take shelter in the urgent and compelling
which is a blank cheque drawn on endless government.
They will always hear your footsteps,
offering plausible deniability for food
and aching corporatist bullyboy spirits for hush money
in Kolleen Park, in Abu Nuwas.

The Free Companies are the scourge of Europe,
their ideal bivouac in motorland,
al fresco on Windmill Island, flush at Tulip Time
with republicanism and Jean Calvin.
The Duke of Ferrara held with no less effort
principality crated to the Great Dismal Swamp:
a day’s drive from Khartoum to Port Sudan,
check my look in the mirror,
lipstick blandishments go alchemized harrier
vanity up corporate warfareground and her precious
pins in L’Eggs and her precious deconfliction
hour in Calgon. Dominions
either accustomed to live under a prince, or to live in freedom,
the pin switch stay where you are with your hands.
Aere perennium the crater mouth
of mainstreet sidewalk of the stars’
general pow chicken and the starry ears.
God’s own infantry linked to
white-side seals, armed tap dancy
from the DeKlomp factory
to Route Irish via the BIAP.

For when Christian men, take not
their Christian Sovereign, for Gods Prophet;
they must either take their owne Dreames,
for the Prophecy they mean to bee governed by,
and the tumor of their own hearts
for the Spirit of God; or they must suffer
themselves to bee lead by some strange prince.
The prince. A theocon master of the universe
poured in China into plastic:
six kids, Roman Catholic, ex-Navy
who appreciates the smoke and bells
and the facilities (confession),
blooded on gays, wombs, cord banks,
Hillsdale’s volunteer firefighter
swimming through ice of an inland sea
in search of the dead, sniffy
oh my dear profiteer pater.
 
 
2: Moyock

Blackfaced to a jungle dark medlar swelling
under the black peat of Camden and Currituck,
this is the dark sticks river, gallons charged with
forgetfulness and the memorandum of notification.
The ghosted native swings on a palindrome,
going oogedaboogeda from the loblolly bay.
The digital natives check in 140 characters,
walk-ups with grudges whose intel can be checked
by solidarios milites only at the hot
point of a drifted metal.
Dyed with tannins, fringed with berries
for the foraging mascot bears, the cloth stapler
a reversible feedbag and containment unit
for the pure fire of platonic eyes. On the MRE
boxes of sassafrass and pin cherry stand
two wet feet, the Peppa Pig water-wings
slipped off far back in the pocosin stage.
They unclamp the jinga trucks, lock
and load arrears for policy as the oaks burn
giant candles like heads with livid inflammatory hair.

They’re the biggest employer around here
so we can’t diss them, 250 folks
in the steel target factory and on the ranges.
Moyock / mock city near the Jeremiads
are arising, pistol in one hand trowel
in other for an archaeology
of third-country nationals (screwed to the pallets).
RU Ready High, SWAT tango studio teens
scream their gutless piercing illegal Twilight.
Milites ad adorem pacis peiora molintur quam in bello.
Wan. Snooted. Friendlies cast
with hundreds n thousands light the sky for relays.
This fake city as diorama: anatomical displays
showing the gestation of a mil-bird,
from broken avionics and the works
to berthing in foreign service, how we build a state
from components of foreign manufacture.

Teaching that there are three courses for those who wish to hold them: to ruin them, to reside with them, or to permit them to live under their own laws, drawing a tribute, and establishing within it an oligarchy which will keep it friendly to you.

Elsewhere airstrip
and oceanliner for pirate practice
remote-control kill authority is the real thing
where the deer and the antelope play.
The Praetorian Guard in the summer of 69
drew targets for an extraction
plan by intrusive metal
and intrusive thoughts, while others
cashiered out and found themselves
at loose ends their venomous expertise. We are paid
to outsource blame, a poison ricochet
tamped to the market
instead of the congressional record
building a ‘coalition of the billing’
aka plucking the Durand Line like catgut.

That was a real ass-puckerer,
the Anabasis of Xenophon,
in a circle makes the red arc of an oil dash,
is shot-put, is hockey-sticks
in the comfortable lunge of the Black Bear.
Soapmakers and their sons for silver
have been made into knights,
sheep-dipped green badgers
who align teams as they align stars.
The warrior constellation winks his nakedness
turns lithium and gibbets to flesh
in a flash of an air asset, oh company dog.
 
 
3: Baghdad

The labourers descend from little birds
scuff up on the sandbox, go hoodless
to the Dry Sea / And come home via Qara Na’ur.
Our teams are not cooking meals
or moving supplies. They are taking bullets.
The prince, with little reluctance, takes the opportunity
of rebellion to punish the delinquents, clear out the suspects,
and to fortify himself in the weakest places,
the strategic chokepoints. You draw the shells
in coloured pencils cascade with rain-sounds
from their casing. This is the lethal finding,
drawn down straight from the imperial grotto:

he offends a minority only of the citizens from whom he takes lands and houses to give them to the new inhabitants; and those whom he offends, remaining poor and scattered, are never able to injure him; whilst the rest being uninjured are easily kept quiet, and at the same time are anxious not to err for fear it should happen to them as it has to those who have been despoiled.

When duty-honour calculations
are displaced by cost-profit and the benefit
shifts like oversight to the executive,
the acceptable face of pain gets masked up
and booted up till the money literally soars.
Jose Cuervo protecting the agave fields,
Zapata engineering the ammo stores:
they quadruple the army payout;
the bouge et gages du court seductress,
the outlivers have the correct figures
but the kickers a life without security
of finance, transport, interiors and health
made into an error against life set to zero.

So the lobby in Holland is marked out
for a private transport times event,
tradecraft walls swicker and rupple to a fervent
catacoustic grunge of election. Triple Canopy
swooning full cash for incredulity, for burning
the log-book and the model detonator.
Outside, through the shifting of the garrison
up and down all become acquainted with hardship
as a kind of burning.

Ramiro taken on pretence and executed
on the piazza at Cesena: the people at once
were satisfied and dismayed.

‘Cofer told him he would have flies on their eyeballs
within a week’. The recipe includes
only bad guys, cooling, stymied, deletable,
good fortune and great energy are needed to hold them
in a loving and deeply sexual embrace as
proof of the muj strategy with passion
fruit pudding ridge road.

Who leave out dog hits, we sniff
the traces, slip up on nitrates
and sink our dearly booted feet
into the hacksaws to cut the switch.
An own-goal, delivered in a handcart,
she wakes up to the smell of premonition
and her new heroic part. There is no uplift.
Disposable muscle and steel and packaging
of Hawkwood’s White Company blown up
to nightmare proportions.

The blades on the Bremer detail
who twitch like eyes remote in their sockets,
slid back behind plastic, routed to semtex
and get jumpy off the X
scoot, shoot, as the stovepipes, shirt rips
on a quick twist and miscalculate a flight risk
they aren’t nearly fast enough off
but swish, one says, behind order 17.
This ilke worthy knight hadde been also
Somtyme with the lord of Palatye
Agayng another hethen in Turkye.
And everemoore he hadde a sovereyn prys

Raven 23 pins down in Nisour Square,
drop tackle on a hard site,
budgets rattle in the offertory.
They stuff into the BearCat, carbines across their knees,
Von Steuben’s children
Set off in soft-skins, heat-sought
behind a dirt berm, unapologetic.
Evan Liberty among the tard venus
endorsing Camp Ganci, Father of these Ravens.

“And this failure was due to the Naussicaans
being…” he looked up as
he searched for the words, “…beamed away?”

Editors’ Notes

Andrea Brady

Andrea Brady Andrea Brady was born in Philadelphia in 1974 and has lived in the UK since 1998. She studied at Columbia and Cambridge Universities and now teaches Renaissance literature at Queen Mary University of London. She is director of the Archive of the Now (www.archiveofthenow.org), a digital repository of recordings of poets performing their own work, and co-publisher of Barque Press. Her books of poetry include Vacation of a Lifetime (2001), Wildfire: A Verse Essay on Obscurity and Illumination (2010), Mutability: scripts for infancy (2012), and Cut from the Rushes (2013). Dompteuse is forthcoming from BookThug in 2013.