The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2016

All Issues
FEB 2016 Issue



Product Placement

Make orders have been transmitted.
Ports and distances will be crossed.
Nimble digits screw on my head.
My torso is like a song of silicon.
Against the surface of a thousand floors
I am tested and ready to depart.
Screaming faxes guarantee arrival.
Dials are knuckled by important VPs.
Toll booth operators are standing by
across continents. Logs contain
pixelated command strings. I am
shipped. Tools of the toolmakers
have been used on me. The million
beads of voided sweat fugitively fall.
Chemists and model-casters have
cut me down to size. Pressure gauges
allay fears of transit packaging.
Tiny geometrics plot the drive.
Carrier vans come for cardboard.
I clatter at large unloading docks
in the ermine density of morning.
Ingenious forklifts bury me in hulls.
Sweetly jammed into a simulacra,
mildewed docking gates fly open.
Rudder struts applied are tightening.
Cargos push off to sea like crayons
in a bathtub. Deadbolts drop in buckets.
Hangar bays seal my fate like manic
Disney teacups carving curving lanes.
Roadie radios facilitate my insurance.
Purchased policies don’t deny me.
Carpets sterilize; coffeemakers bristle.
Satellite spunk relays my coordinates.
Vendors clock their rushed dispersals.
Tongues become hatches hatching.
Repairs swing into being after toupees
are combed, conference calls had, board
rooms waylaid, legal pads jotted on.
Rest assured, nothing’s happening.
Winds move. Circuit boards braid
micro-guts that manage the tides of
stars, a teeming sense of definition.
Lovely human forms steer my travails.
Cleaning fluid sits in bulk beside me.
Christmas morns await. Windshields
stationed at the edge of Ohio creeks
scratch the deep belly of Nebraska plains.
Crystal points establish. Data inevitable.
Clanging horns shatter Gibraltar rocks.
Yoda Toyotas. Dehumidifiers. And I am
locked up, set loose, patrolled laterally,
gauged, shuffled, blinking, hauled off.
Near a Denny’s in Nevada, you’ll find me.
Batting rackets know my name. Nothing
richer than the rich ubiquity of plastics.
Everything has been crushed exactly right.
Bags of antenna parts. Toy walkie-talkies.
Like skin cream, I am of good use to you
along the conveyor belt of the Pacific,
the trillion lbs. of me pouring out, saying
only, only, only that my love is yours.







Dead Girls

White people prefer murder
To happen to strangers
Viewers prefer stories about dead girls
Though drowning is popular
Beachfronts are popular
Houses by the bay
Houses by the lake
Bodies of water have a long-studied relationship to suddenly passing away
The scene is a chemistry classroom
Daylight’s undertaker makeup
My boyfriend sullen and cute
There are flashbacks
To dancing designer drugs
Inside bloated McMansions
Where deodorant commercials play on loop
The detective learns how he hit me
How I wore his lost necklace
How my BFF made out with aliens   
My life a mystery
Everyone hungry
The fate of my name on the lips of the curious
Our coach encouraged me
My dad bloated with grief
My breasts small
My pelvis slight
My blue corpse is angular in daylight
Multiple autopsies are performed
Murder sleeps in our midst
A princess from Connecticut
In the middle of life taken 
Under the covers of psychiatry
But no one tells anything
When they find my body
Floating through the marsh
My mother ghosts the room
Worn to a stony nub 
The season is almost over
Blood calls to blood
The mayor and governor convene
Nothing can stop until the Waterfront Project’s completed
In my life, are you the happy girl or am I?
In the story of my life, do you mind not knowing?






Adam Fitzgerald

ADAM FITZGERALD is the author of The Late Parade and teaches creative writing at NYU and Rutgers University. He also directs The Home School. His second collection of poems, George Washington, is forthcoming this fall from W. W. Norton's historic Liveright imprint.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2016

All Issues