Sung to Sleep

By Andrea Brady, 15 August 2007

Our country’s enemies snore in the safety catch,
dream about owning everything, like achenes
in the neighbourhood which is just their accessory
they take to the air to advertise their species.
What viewer could believe them
that a locum spirit floats life through it, 
connecting all in death and harmony,
that there is a god for forces: in spring
he’s allergic to their fuzzy fertility, a diverse country
blots moving randomly in vacuums
which are actually everywhere full of water, and so full of life.

In a second they will open their anthers
and leave the carcass of their companies in process yellow
up to insurgent stalk.  In each punch
bowl of vegetal fibre, sunk nearly to dripping
over the edge of its singularity,
the line,
what have we come to expect a little fruit
for ornament: cool, paralysed, crispy,
waste of cells going crazy on the tongue.

If anything happiness is 
our common predicament, not
knowing how to live in the bulge where our lives
bottom out, unelected popular incumbents, build capacity 
to make good choices from
a given list.

What gives to the raider, and to the day
blistering with tropical smells and agitations
against the double glaze to get inside a cool study,
to the patron or the slumming trader, means
tested but no uncertain exchange: as the cycle
trips back along the path strewn with interest
no small wonder,
who will deny her
that happiness laces together all the emulsions
on the cover she can’t shed, sticks her
together; that it is most like damson
liquor in the morning, runs
in trunks throughout the videophoned day

and hardens as it cools for supper.  See it up there
gold lamé and orange powder
stooping to get you, tearing down the street.  So happy
I would be sung to sleep by the noises.  That capacity
hovers unyielding over us, whatever we take 
to prevent it.  It’s the force of matter as extension,
and will break us, or us it.


Andrea Brady <> teaches at Queen Mary, University of London, and co-runs Barque Press. She is the director of the Archive of the Now, an online repository of recordings of contemporary British poets: