The Missouri Review 27.2 (2004) 27-28
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The Telemarketer Basically Enjoys Talking With Goldbarth, Though it Ends Too Soon for Her Preference
Is the man of the house at home?
I can't believe you just said that, your throwback euphemism
drags up a past to lament and praise, supernova twice, bigness
a narcoleptic paradox running down the lice-ridden rungs of time—
—so you're the man, er, the head of the household.
You could say that.
Excellent. I have some questions?
Is it excellent? Do you know what you're saying? Or are you like
the loquacious cockatiel, your exuberance a feathered haste,
chit-chat scattershot like rejected millet flecking a shag carpet.
We discuss you, you know, over dinner, over grilled fish or
a burger flame-plump and greasy, while the moon, at once pale
and thick, opaque as sperm, like turned milk, looks nailed
to a frail horizon, and we complain, bitch about the everyday
invasions, grudge and shrug to admit some utility in the cubicled
greeting mills . . .
[This is easily the best call I've had all day.]
put up with coy asides and pomegranate
scatters of salesmanship, of salespersonship, of the multiple
mutations of commerce, while some of us raise the specter
of a forgotten conquistador whose arrival on palm-sotted shores
in 1570, rifle-pricked and steel-cowled, cowed the first native
he saw with a plea for water, for anything other than salt,
anything other than the lexicon of distance and its flat
horizons, and in effect exercised the great prerogative [End Page 27]
of free markets, or free enterprise anyway, sans the lovely
parting gifts of affected tele-purchasing by simply getting
to the fucking point and asking, right out there, crackerjack
simple, for exactly the thing he wanted and nothing more.
Okay. We're running a special on appliances.
Don't need any. See ya.