Andrea BradyAndrea Brady


Working Note

The opening epigraph is from Skelton’s poem “Speke Parot,” about a multilingual import who goes to school with ladies. The reflection of language as mimicry, a physical activity divorced from semantics, refers me back to considerations of prosody as a kind of physical cognition — though Skelton’s imputations about women’s speech are obviously a keen instance for critique. I’m hoping next to work towards fulfilling the promise of occasional poetry, to extend beyond occasion into the perception and celebration of shared, communal time, through form and prosody, not just through simultaneous recognition of events, news quotes; but don’t yet know how.


To learn all language, and it to speak aptly.
Now pandez mory, wax frantic, some men say


Ramy delivers at last. A golden calf looped and branded
tilts its jughead toward fence, pile of decadent matter
includes bones and field work.  Her form is finished.
                        Mined from the interstate
                        bridewell and bloodwell, with emeralds
                        and silica, shellfish and landbridges
                        mined breaking into a hand
            and breaking off all cont.
                                    act, seen, abridgement.
Acacia leaves bound together with carrot:
we worship a finished form, his neck weeping
in the thorn and sun loam.  On them thorn, tying
            Afghan lips to the outback
                        and the lips to pleasure they suck
                        up another blow from the fascists;
            that new low is nothing new.
With the burnt end they can scratch grammar
or anatomy in harvested animal form,
seal up surplus to the harvest by striking
                        punishing bargain or compact.
Uniform project for a history of civilization,
that barrel end smoking against appropriate
dawn targets and smaller game: what have we
                        here unearthed, the shabby form
                        and the blank looks as film
                        wraps up in celluloid opaque
and brimming that girl target.


Yet I brought the calf here because her blank
eye triggers our milk to come in, venus blood
frothing over as dairy goodness, back and white.
            Ramy delivered the news into
                        my private drawing
                        room enclosed in bitemarks.
            His tenderness was another trademark
                        of the stoa, the meat market
                        where we sheltered from the onslaught
            of Israeli bullets and dumb propaganda.
            I held my breath in the bus shelter, and drew
                        in more asphyxiating beliefs for want
                        forward-thinking about fresh air.
Now, maybe the levels are better: iron droplets
in saturation, gold in the Czech drinks and blood
in the French letters alerting
another woman at last.


Between the sheets I dawdled in wishfulness
that came to smell me, regranulated sugar
from toxins I allow myself crusting
            my lips and my cunt.
                        The plane, flight’s unbearable
                        fervor pooled in hollow bones
                        made an act of musculature,
            I see it bounce off the water strip
and I set us free by recognizing fantasy.
Ramy part of the clear sapphire that blinds
and comforts this clouded eye, comes out of heaven
and sits on my desktop.
           Our exchange is morbid, a free state
                        and social being loaned out
                        for patterned conversation,
                        the law traded for an idol
                        precarious as a standard yet
                        saved from slaughtering by
                        a finished form of calf and binding,
            that simile informant who smiles as he ascends
stairs to the second landing.  Who will write a new
formula for addressing these locations earth
just material dispersing with wave motion,
            petty freedoms of living bodies,
when all is lost in the reflex.


Bio: Andrea Brady was born in Philadelphia in 1974. She now teaches Renaissance Literature and Contemporary Writing at Brunel University, and is a co-publisher of Barque Press ( Her first book, Vacation of a Lifetime, was published by Salt in 2001: details available from, or PO Box 937, Great Wilbraham Cambridge PDO, CB1 5JX, UK. 

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