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The Late Parade

LOST COLONY

Laconic (but not lazy), this time the lights stay on.
__The formal fields have their wanton way; cherubs
____go drooling in posterior exterior, dimpled afresh.
____Generously, music unzips, points square to path
__token by no occasion; in need of jetties and sweeties
on some barren arm, a strap for each remembrance.

Gradually recipes and petite orders trade hands.
__Waking ones prepared for in urban-most fashion
____come with speeches: momentary political unrest
____faced as it is fraught without irony or earnestness
__to keep it aside from lurid delicacy where waterfalls
continually re-brush themselves, perennially silent.

As so much can go wrong, a frontier of possibilities
__comes as resultant factor. Chances preen themselves
____on the abstract aftermath of carrying on: slowly
____the scene of one man in his own mental house
__opens onto juicy lawns, each memory perfidious
as the malodorous color green, sharp and stable.

In order for this to work, then, the scene one imagines
__morphs into a scene one already had: its misericord,
____the slightly novel, definitely designer-boutique of it,
____or the special way someone felt about an onion ring—
__devious architectures that assume no new raw stripe
until you can’t go back, though covert looking’s allowed.

Morality: in excess of shoe stores and such penitent
__lecture circuits, oblong muscled people, their highrise
____indiscreet charities, redoubled fence preoccupations,
____garrulous fact-checking; in all of it though that was
__what you were after. You wanted the thing real enough
to redeem pungent exercises of Victoriana: cream slacks

and the cherry lordship one could try to freeze in
__a tunnel with forensic goggles, those motley items
____significant because rumored derring-do passed
____over them. Little by little, breath had (or hadn’t)
__shaped them. They encountered the room. Suddenly
you’re face-down in perfunctory December. Content.

One with figurative hardship, sawtooth pay dates.
__Gambits are taken. Galleys are bound. Minister
____divas swap seats, not so much interchangeable
____as finalized: like a permutation’s shirt sleeve.
__The rigor of sleeping reassumes its low position.
Infant tresses are bartered out of habits of thinking

and patterns not so routine overtake any old body
__in the missed journal-entry of existing. Public
____furniture becomes our very own social worker
____doing overtime for affordable comforts: Teflon,
__engagement rings, vaguely spiked luncheon drinks.
If you look out on the world in its sizable wet chunks,

what had been boggling fairgrounds show wrinkles:
__an orphanage becomes single-room-occupancy
____after being a hotel or some industrial hang out—
____the jive spot for motor tourists in a motorless city.
__Daffy light strings a certain body, one beautifully
at ease in its command of easy absent-headedness.

Gazillions of people evaporate onwards, as they like.
__To begrudge them that would be worse than not to.
____Only a few are thinking of the toolshed, the heavy
____way that formalized manners elect themselves
__in slushy openings, grafted onto this day, the next.
Your job: to murder each while no one is watching.

__________________________________________
Adam Fitzgerald is a New York City based poet and founding editor of the poetry journal Maggy. In 2010, he received his MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in A Public Space,Boston ReviewConjunctionsThe Brooklyn Rail, and elsewhere. He teaches at Rutgers University and The New School. His debut collection of poetry, The Late Parade, will be published by W.W. Norton/Liveright in June 2013.