The Collapsar publishes new poetry, fiction, and nonfiction every other month, and new culture writing weekly.

Four Poems by J. Bradley

Photo by Rob Dutcher  




In the 80s, television taught us how to breathe in space, how to flail as we fell, how to solve our hair after riding around the galaxy with the top down, how to fire but never aim. We placed our faith in catsup as the mortar of our moral pyramid.



No More Poems Involving the Ocean

Your liver laughs at the growing circle of empty Corona bottles surrounding you and the space that you want your left arm to reach towards.

You think of clenching your right hand. You wash the sand off your palms with tepid bottled water, make sure when you want to punch Poseidon in his nose, your fist won't jam.

The sun boils you into a cabana of pollution. It can't burn away all the last nights perched beneath your eyes.




There is a want. There is a want in my forearm to press against a throat. There is a want to craft a necklace from my fingerprints. There is a want to drape my organs in red cloth, place a lit tea candle inside. There is a want for yes, to make a warning siren out of a man.



Confession #6

I want the strength to grip a tanker like a baseball bat, pretend every cloud has a jawline waiting for the first swing, the dislocation of a shoulder during the second. I’ll pick the pieces out of the hull and try again until there is a god and that god becomes willing to talk.





J. Bradley is the author of the forthcoming graphic poetry collection The Bones of Us (YesYes Books, 2014). He runs Orlando's critically acclaimed reading series There Will Be Words and lives at


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