Poetry: Four Yelp Reviews by J. Bradley

Yelp Review: Boy Scout Troop 43

You will hold a flag, march through sweltering nervous systems: upper arms waggle in salute. There are patches for activities, a business card thin license to wield a knife: this is a tool for picking teeth clean, a magnifying glass to play God; the fire never answers.

 

Yelp Review: Stonewall Jackson Middle School

Dignity is strung up the flagpole, flapping against the wind of rumor. Your name is no longer your name. It is a slight plank of wood hammered above every threshold you cross, a warning, a threat. Resist consulting the Steve Urkel playbook of love; “no” becomes easier to swallow as the esophagus calluses against edge, vinegar, and salt.

 

Yelp Review: Grand Bohemian

Once, our virginity used hotels as a means for it to molt, for walls and walls and walls and walls to collect our best regrets. In you, disappointment is unaffordable, credit ratings abandoned over best intentions.

 

Yelp Review: Orange County Courthouse

With enough money, the blacksmith will craft a set of lockpicks out of anything: the sleep from your eyes, the absenteeism in his cologne, the broken record collection  jangle of her bracelets; ask yourself after whether it will be enough to escape what shape your bed takes the next morning.

 

 

***

J. Bradley is the author of the poetry collection Dodging Traffic (Ampersand Books, 2009), the novella Bodies Made of Smoke (HOUSEFIRE, 2012), the graphic poetry collection The Bones of Us (YesYes Books, 2014), illustrated by Adam Scott Mazer, the prose poem chapbook It Is A Wild Swing Of A Knife (Choose the Sword Press, 2015), the flash fiction chapbook No More Stories About The Moon (Lucky Bastard Press, 2016), the novel The Adventures of Jesus Christ, Boy Detective (Pelekinesis, 2016) and the Yelp review prose poem collection Pick How You Will Revise A Memory (Robocup Press, 2016). His flash fiction chapbook, Neil, won Five Quarterly‘s 2015 e-chapbook contest for fiction. He is the curator of the Central Florida reading series There Will Be Words.

Image: kconnors, morguefile.com

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