Damaged Good

By Andrea Brady, 9 September 2007

In the clearing smoke scours
the photographs, hiding the animal
labour which moves insects and their
information all over the face of the earth.
I arrive in kind by light rail 
transport rough and undependable, rocking
sideways with a peg of metal to make
it ring eratogenically like spraypaint in a cylinder.
And get my tag up on the boundary stone.

Apprentice to the art of uniforms.
Off the peg on the make, blush to be
at ease among gillyflowers where I toss
suffering to be carried back by animals,
the cabbage moth, the ordinary bee.

Chances start out anthological, and are re-
distributed by rationing, for loss looks better
and is altogether better an ethic.  I am who
ties together the navigation menu
all the compassed interests of Variety
all three corners of the fading earth.

Watch all day the screen in ratio, facing
its light and movement with more affect
and concentration than the branching
face of a lover, as these spaces slip into degrees.
Two move abreast the loan of specificity
keeping an eye on the melancholic
hourglass, poised beside the leftward arrow,
of the machine asking us to wait some more.

We share one hope, and it infuses even
the green-lipped mussel we eat sickly, the curl
of green-fringing kale.  It bolts up the sky
and our assertion that there will be a future
clearing the smoke swings from its rootless peg.
That the blood will root, and take turns
through all the living work done on the earth
to divide and return to us intact.  Ours is
the most abstract, and furthest from the truth.