Friday, February 28, 2014

Hello, its been a little while since I've updated this blogged version of American Mohawk, and I've noticed some renewed interest in the work. I think one or two copies of the vanity pressing even sold as I've seen royalties resulting in about 6 dollars pass through my fingers this year. I'm glad you are reading the work here. I would just like to remind you that if you are interested in supporting me as a writer, you may also buy a copy for your coffee table at Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Authorhouse, and a host of other book stores. The print on the cover really is a nice print, and buying a real book lets your friends and family know that you do support the arts.

You may see my latest autobiographical work here:

The follow up poetry books were

All of these are to be publications of in the future, and at this site you can see some of my other web ventures into media radio and music.

I've been taking a bit of a break from music lately due to some studio restructuring, but I believe that once I get some new gear in place and have more gear set up, I should be back at it.

I'm happy to say that the 23 year catalog of new music did get published in the end of 2013 and has garnered some interest but few sales through iTunes and other services. The title of the work is "Digital Noise Control - Electronic Signals Warfare" if you google that in quotes, you should be able to find a record store of your choice where you can preview it.

Once again, thank you for reading, and I hope you find this helpful as a guide. 

Saturday, January 16, 2010




Page 1

American Mohawk

Completed 5/14/2003 6:43:34 AM


By Christopher Bradley

Thank you for stumbling onto my chapbook. This book is about the spirit of America and

my strides to find my way in an increasingly difficult period in American History. We are

only now beginning to realize the true force of the Internet and all of it's phases. This is

my book, and it is titled, American Mowhawk. I am part Mohawk Indian. My great

grandparents were from Ontario Canada and through migration and movement, my

Mother and Father collided as Americans. I have strains of 16 different cultures in me,

and they are too hard to keep track of, so I will simply call myself American. These are

my struggles with understanding life. I began writing them in 1995.

Enjoy your reading.

Christopher J. Bradley

All Works (c)2003

Noisecontrol Publishing

posted by Christopher at 5:03 AM

The World Before Latin

by Christopher J. Bradley

First Child Of The Digital Age

Chapter 1

The Maple Tree




By Christopher Bradley

Spiral To The Ground,

I Will Spin With You,

And Get Dizzy,


Purple, Red,

Green And Orange,

When Falling,

In Fall,


Long Non-Polycarbon,

Hard Shelled Veins,

Cellulose Composes You,

You Distribute,

You Share Your,



You Were Stems Once,

Now You Hold Many Leaves,

And Weave Toward The Sun,

Creating Nature’s Three Dimensional Maze,

For The Ants, The Bees, The Mosquitoes And Termites,

Your Larger Folk Were Friends To My Gripping Palms,


Orange-Brown And Grey,

The Cracks Line Your Weathered Skin,

My Feet Would Press Against The Bark,

Sneaker-Prints On Dry, Hard Wood.

You Grew Quickly, I Remember Your Youth,

I Grew Up With You.

Now That I Am Older,


Evening Lamps,


Concrete Streets,

Cement Walkways,

Telephone And Telegraph Poles,

Electrical Cables,


These Are The Things That I Need.

We Cut You,

Provide You With Grey-Green Mold

Pull Off Your Leaves,

Paste Some Black Goo,

Snap Your Branches,

On Your Wounds,

Thicken Your Water With Toxin,

Feast On Your Sap,

I can see where you would have grown,

I can see,

where you would have grown.

Black Maple

By Christopher J. Bradley

You look a bit sinister in this season,

Like something wicked,

The end of September is here,

And the drips from the sky,

Are popping down,

One by one,

Through your leaves,

Into my short hair.

I haven’t had to step back away,

To see your figure planted,

While your smallest parts,

Are still alive,

The veins like al dente’

Spaghetti strings,

Draped with black-purple nylon,

Dragged to earth by fluid gravity.

There’s a black pool underneath,

Where your juices collect,

Formed by a broken square,

Of cracked sidewalk,

And I’m watching your life,

Fall away in the darkness,

With my cigarette,

Smoking wet tobacco.

Your limbs, at my usual angle,

Are stretched up,

Like the arms of an addicted supermodel,


Waiting for the needle of October,

To make your oily feathers,

Slick to orange, and shiny red,

And dangle down to the runway concrete.

Maybe you were a faerie once,

When I was thirteen,

And no one was dead yet,

Waking up with the moon,

On a simpler evening,

Watching the hill,

And protecting the owl,

I could still “Who” with.

And to whom do I owe this honor,

To gaze at your hacked off hips,

That made your older arms,

For my palms to grip,

And climb to join the last mosquitos,

Or march an army of your ants,

To stop the dive-bombing winged ones,

In the city in the evening clouds.

If you had eyes to show in the rain,

I know now that they would be saphire,

And spider burning acetate,

That you’d slip out of your bark,

And slide across to spend an evening,

Hanging backward on my stiffened limb,

In the Waltz of Northern Autumn,

While I pace, In the droplets, of your life.

Heaven is the color of pitch, Black Maple

And you are truly, a bunch of bats,

Gathered together in one hole in the air,

As if frozen by the early winter chill,

And so many mixtures, of our chemistry,

Sloshing through your cellular pipes -

We will kill you one day.

One day we will quicken your soul.

And your flight will be marvelous,

With a furious flurry of whipping wind,

The colors of your final summer,

Will drift the currents of the breathing Globe,

Washing across blacktop,

Choking off gutters,

And sticking to automotive windows.

And your secrets will sing away with you.

When the moss finally finds its way in.

Winter Maple

By Christopher J. Bradley

February 10, 1998 2:15 PM

You have no leaves now,

But it is a warm winter.

Soon you will have buds,

growing, sprouting with the sun’s heat.

Your skin is cold to the touch,

a bark made of thin brown wood,

And I stand,

no longer polluting the air.

I stand with a friend,

And I tell her about you,

How I’ve thought about you,

How I’ve spent hours with you, and the moon.

You have not faded away,

since I have made my wish to dance with you,

And the mold,

maybe it is one of your silly ornaments.

Can you bring the inside out again,

so that I can take your seed,

and plant it into an unmowed grass,

where it will grow, and make rich saplings?

Of course you can,

You will out exist me easily,

After all, the back yard is not paved,

And it is bigger, than all of your minor plot of turf.

Your infinite growth,

ensures that,

No concession will be made,

to the stone that moves, like a sifting sand, in winter.

Cold Maple

By Christopher J. Bradley

October 15, 1998

Now your leaves fall again,

Rain and Hail spit from Heaven,

Red-Black leaves turn brown,

And my feet feel the cold of the earth.

You are frozen, standing up,

The water flicks your skin,

A light brown bark darkens,

And cracks with age.

It’s been 3 years,

Since I started counting,

And I still weather with you,

Unable to stop smoking.

The moonlight glares off one face,

while your other is blackness,

and streetlights comfort you,

in the silence of night.

A junkie wouldn’t have made,

Three years worth of progress.

Watching you, as you live naked,

Clears my optical fibers.

A future is coming,

Furiously Rapid,

Where trees will spring up,

In Virtual Space.

I hope I still feel,

when it happens,

and that I don’t forget again,

where we both were grown.

Chapter 2



Rectangular Kitchen Appliance,

There You Sit,

Each Night I Stay Up Late,

You Wait For Me, To Push Your Buttons.

2 Of Your Buttons Don’t Work Anymore,

The One and Five Keys on Your Soft Face.

So When I Place My Soup, Macaroni and Cheese,

Or Mom’s Leftovers, Inside You,

I press them always,

Two, Four, Six,

And Always,

You Cook My Dinner.

By Christopher J. Bradley

March 17 5:35 PM

The Sex Life Of Popcorn

It’s an entirely oral experience,

An explosion of butter and salt,

While I flip it between my lips,

Orville Reddenbacher knew,

And he talked about it once,

The Sex Life Of Popcorn.

There’s something thermo-nuclear,

About a shattering kernel,

In an old metal pot,

While the television’s on,

With a big politician’s haircut,

Flashing into my mind.

Every girl I’ve slept next to,

Has popped a few styrofoam movie bites,

Into her mouth.

We usually get the oily liquid,

All over our faces,

And we can never find any napkins.


Maybe this time if I use the microwave,

I won’t get one of those damn shells,

Stuck behind my back tooth.

And have to keep pushing my toungue,

Against the roof of my mouth,

Or maybe she’ll set it between my lips.

With her soft white fingertips.


The drip of honey,

on your breast,

was the beginning,

of the finish.

The sex could have been better.

I should have known,

Better than to use McNugget brand,

You’ve always been,

A Burger King girl.

-Christopher J. Bradley

Modern Forms of Corn

When I was a baby,

I ate cold corn from a can,

one kernal at a time.

The can was aluminum.

Now that I am older,

I find it cooked, from a frozen bag,

with a pot of chinese noodles,

as I sit at a table.

Somehow I know,

That I am modern,

That the forms of corn that I know,

rarely come straight from the husk.

Someday, a stalk might grow,

on the land where my family lives.

Until then, I will enjoy,

the corn that finds its way to me.

By Christopher J. Bradley

March 17, 1998 5:15 PM

Chapter 3

The Opposite Species

Candle Beaux

The liquid mesh of your tounge,

web will strike the spark which,

creates our flame.

You should be aware of my love.

My love is like a warm candle dripping,

upon your stiff wax body,

until our flame expires.

I will cover you,

and we will be frozen together,

and you will be buried inside,

what we both are,

and our plastic substance,

will stick to the,

rock onto which,

we were set,

until the sun melts us,

into eternity.

Foreign Exchange Student - I want to write to you.

My fingers drip through your

rainforest flesh and you gush.

I want you to feel the tide

like the top of a surfer’s tube

that I’ve never ridden.

Your earlobes are my toungues

grope spot and I see the arch of your


I twist my bony musicians hands

mathemetician’s hands

into your hair,

the crop of your,

short tight golden mane,

not dyed at the roots,

and your fingers

grip the post,

your arm twisted underneath,

your neck,

behind your head.

I will not speak of your breasts,

they do not make you the student that you are,

I will not ask of your past lovers,

for their voices, and their lack of vision with respect to your value,

are inconsequential.

I already know that you will tell me about them,

when the time is ready,

and of course, as I have spoken,

the time before our mergeance,

will be long,

and you will have to write your thoughts about this poem,

and this experience,

after I introduce you to my family,

and our strange ways,

and my many tribes,

and your exchange parents despise me,

while your real ones have an adoration for my effort,

It is my belief, that you will be the one,

and that it will yet be,

a long time in coming.





Pro-Choice Girl,

I dream of running my toungue,

beneath your armpit.




Pro-Choice Girl,

I want to sling your suspenders,

over my door knob.




Pro-Choice Girl,

You need my love,

Oh yeah, You need my love.


-Christopher J. Bradley

Fishnet Marianne

By Christopher J. Bradley

June 21, 1998, 6:04 AM

A girl in stockings,

With long legs,

And blonde hair.

I kissed you once,

In the back of Scott’s,

Black Ford.

Your hair behind my hand,

Soft and thin,

Set my senses into overdrive.

And then he came out,

Your skinhead boyfriend,

Pulling his shirt off.

He didn’t know,

We had kissed on the hill,

Next to Tops,

While Scott bought,

his stinking,



We’d had wine,

In your apartment,

The six of us,

And your friend Tanya.

The room was dim.

To this day,

You are not forgotten.

But how could you forget,

Black combat boots,

And dark sunglasses,

At our first meeting,

In the cafe.

A Stand With Jinx

October 30, 1999 4:46 AM

Dedicated to Sue Finnucone

Wherever she is now

In your denim jacket

You watched us play chess

In the coffee house

On Allen Street

I was wired on caffeine

Mike the mad Russian was there

We were all going to Larry’s for a few games after closing

And I invited you

Your jeans were bleached black

And torn at the knees

You were wearing cheap sneakers

With your long curling hair, and pale face.

We were hungry

And we all walked

To Niagara Street in the darkness

I bought us chips and salsa.

We shared a soda in the doorframe

Of the small apartment

You told me about the streets

While Larry played with his Nunchucks

He was a tall African

Looking like Michael Jackson

With missing teeth

And a fuzzing fro.

I asked you if you wanted to come home with me

And you did,

And neither of us showered,

Until after we had been naked.

Your body was smooth and young,

And your skin cushiony

To the tips of my fingers

As I stroked your hips.

You asked me to take you back to Ba’s house

So I drove you there

And we ran out of cigarettes.

We walked to the back of Quality Markets.

We had rice with his father for lunch

But I couldn’t let myself sleep there,

So I drove home,

And didn’t see you until a year later.

Chapter 4


The Big Red Men

By Christopher J. Bradley


The men in their big red trucks are evil.

They smile with their big red smiles,

while they murder the innocent with,

their big red wheels of steel.

The cost of their plague to society is tremendous.

The big red men with their big red trucks,

and their big red smiles, and their big red,

wheels of steel, must be destroyed.

But I shall not reveal my strategy.


By Christopher J. Bradley

My house is connected to wires.


Inside my room,

my wires connect.

Connected to my parents room,

My telephone, buzzes sometimes.

The modem humms at night,

when I am alone.

I stand outside,

under the wires,

while the data transfers,

to my machine,

My thoughts can be sent out,

To my friends,

My family,

My world community,

On Wires.

Steering Column

There was a time,

when I could appreciate you.

Now you are rigid,

You no longer obey my commands.

I try to strap myself in behind you,

But it is never comfortable anymore.

Ever since the workman switched you,

You have been untilting.

-Christopher J. Bradley


Rough like a jump jet pilot,

Take off, in a windstorm,

While a siren bounces,

Through unfiltered air.

Mickey mouse on a cheese wheel,

Running to catch a morsel,

That he can smell,

but will never taste.

Make me some eggs,

Tobasco is nice,

Mushrooms rule,

I like a side of hash browns.

Up the hillside,

with a big gun in his hand,

Jumping mud clumps,

Man has to hold on.

I like a puzzle with a point,

One that bends my mind,

One that takes me down,

To a place where I,



By Christopher J. Bradley

I came up to catch you,

On the big hill,

Down by the road,

Near Niagara University.

During the winter,

We all sled here,

But now it’s September,

And it’s just starting to get cold.

I rode my banana seat bike,

All the way from my house,

And then I parked it in the mud,

Under the mudslide.

You should see yourself,

Peeking out,

From under the rock,

Into my eyes.

You think that you might,

Scramble away,

And slither through the mud,

But I am faster.

I’ve got you now,

In my Cool Whip bowl,

And I stuck some grass inside,

So that you can play.

You’ll enjoy the bumpy ride,

While I drive,

One handed back home,

On the yellow bananna seat.

You can slide around,

In my aquarium,

Because you’re cool,

And purple.

And I won’t let you die,

Like the tiny frog,

Last year,

With no water.

Little, Purple, Salamander, I’ll let you go soon.

Chapter 5


The Bum

by Christopher Bradley

At one time, there was a bum on the corner of main and ontario.

he had deep old weary eyes,

a watery sunken smile,

and whiskers smelling of olde english,

eight hundred, that was.

a cracked face and clothes,

smelling of vermin musk,

reeked out at me on the pavement,

as I wandered by his corner.

Did I mention, that I was speaking, of a bum?

I remember asking myself, many times,

does he understand his place here?

He must have, for it was sacred ground,

the ground that he owned.

We passed the fringe, the mass of flesh,

huddled in his coats, yes, he knew, and he was aware.

We walked to the Burger King, and bought some fries.

Would you like dessert with that?

Once again, as I recall, we were speaking, of a bum.

The change fell from the worn hole, in my pocket, as we passed,

on the way back. We thought he would scramble for it.

We walked on, back to the car.

Get in, drive away, don't think, drive, get gas, drive.

The next day, the same corner was in our path,

his corner, the corner belonging to the worn frown,

the hairy beast, the friend of no-one.

He was gone. I saw twenty-two cents on the pavement.

I believe, I've told you, enough, about the bum. Maybe not.

Trinket Tandem

My Nike Air’s Iz Fat

I Got Red Shoe Laces

My Brother Is A Black Man

My Father Is The White Race

I Just Got This Black Raider’s Jacket

I Just Bought This White Pick-Up Truck

My Gold Chains Shine On My Brothers

My Red Arm Band Scares My Enemies

I Have A Super Nintendo

I Have The Sega-CD


Did you say, you play, Mortal Kombat Three?

I have Donkey Kong Country,

I have Sonic The Hedgehog,

I have Return Of The Jedi,

I have The Empire Strikes Back...

White people watch Star Wars? I thought that was Corny?

Black people know about Star Wars? I thought they didn’t understand.

Hey, you know I can shoot hoops,

I used to play in high school - Let’s Go,

I’ll bring the ball,

I got the beer,

Can I bring some friends?

I was going to ask the same thing.

Let’s Do It.


Outside The Wall

I know that this has been written before,

but I must give you my version anyway.

I am standing outside the wall.

My friends have pushed me out here.

My family has insisted upon the same,

in not quite the same fashion.

I have joined them,

but at what cost.

I can no longer exist on the same plane,

as simply a body of flesh,

I must now excercise my mind,

and it gets harder again,

I feel like I am two,

because it is hard to show myself,

as a human, to people,

that have not shown me the same.

The wall still stands before them,

and they punch at it with rubber mallets.

I must learn to be less demanding of surface contact,

and more demanding of my friends,

for their love can crush me quicker than any other.

The friction in my mind is dying,

and I am seeking physical sleep,

while my mind records the day.

Rock City Windowdedicated to Scott Ansel and Jodi CrockerBy Christopher J. Bradley

A dim light shining,through a grated screen window,and thin curtains,falls on the red glow of an


My friend sleeps,snoring loudly under covers,on the couch.

There is a cigarette,smoldering smoke up around,my computer,as I type in the dark apartment.

I have spent several weekends,here with them,they live a Rock life,with a hundred CD cases.

Their two cats, black,purr in the darkness,with the girl in her room.An answering machine light

blinks,green,next to the charging cordless phone.

They have all of the amenities of home.

Someday I will be independent,and strike out on my own,maybe in a different way,maybe the


There are considerations to make,And circumstances cannot be the same,for someone with my

special case.

Can I live in an art district?Can I salvage any of my talent?Can I aquire enough new toys?

Maybe this small light I see,will show me the way.

Chapter 6

Writings For My Family

Naval Park

By Christopher J. Bradley

For Robert Alan Bradley (my father)

I saw it once,

as a cub scout.

The Naval Park

Buffalo New York.

Then one time,

Dad, You took us,

The family,

On a ship.

We cruised the edge of the city,

in a new War Boat.

It was grey painted,

and manned with many men.

Back then you were working,

For the government,

and for a place that made

aircraft radar jammers.

Someday I will show you,

How I can work.

The Fire Of Dawn

dedicated to Dawn Bradley

by Christopher J. Bradley

I can remember the things that

you have told me about you.

You wanted me to go to school,

you gave up many things for me.

You lived with crazy people

that were unhappy.

You did this so that I could know my father.

I became like the jungle man upstairs

that you feared,

and you have fixed my broken back.

I became him even though you did

your best for me. I should never have joined the tribe.

The lord of the flies ate my soul

and now I am forced to rebuild it

or take on again with that pack.

They are like snakes and wolves combined,

they slither and leap and poison and tear,

and there is no escape without the intervention

of the people of our house.

The houses of Arnold and Bradley

rest quietly on the Block of what is

called madness by the city.

John wrote in the Revelation

2000 years ago in Chapter 17

verses 15 through 18 :

“The waters you saw,

on which the prosititute sits,

are nations, peoples, races,

and languages.

The ten horns that you saw,

and the Beast, will hate the Prostitute.

They will take away everything she has

and leave her naked.

They will eat her flesh

and destroy her with fire.

For God has placed in their hearts

the will to carry out his purpose.

By acting together,

and giving to the Beast

their power to rule until

God’s words come true.

The woman that you saw is

the great woman that rules

over the kings of the earth.”

Mother, I have given you

to the ten horns of the Beast

and you have crushed them all.

As though to set your

foot upon the eggshell

backs of dead sea-urchins.

You and your kin are mighty.

My name will be a killing word.

I will crush the city when

it’s vision fails to show truth.

The woman with the cup filled

with blood has stolen from me.

And I will not drink of her spittle again.

Let her dry up and die of dehydration.

There is no wine for her left in the bottle.

For she has too many times

choked off my breath

with her vile toungue.

You raised me to survive and succeed and I have failed...

I have fallen like an Asimov Robot

who has misinterpreted its simple instructions.

Mother, you dressed me for the snow and rain

and kept me from the roads to protect me

because your baby brother Paul died in his sleep.

How can I forget this? You have done me no wrong.

It is the television that I will smash.

It is the television and it’s blind naked vixens

and it’s blind naked dead men

whose skin will be torn apart by my white fire.

A leper fails to believe...

I have been given this mark of the athlete on my foot

to remind me that I am a destroyer.

If I am forced to destroy for God,

Then my name is already a killing word,

and my name is of my house.

A house that is strong.

And my house is held up by my mother,

who has fostered my need.

She has sent me out to be crushed

by the city and her whims so that I will learn.

She has brought me back with the books

of his word and borne another child

before crossing over the mountain,

that I must now teach.

I will save him someday as others have saved me

by teaching me to be innocent.

I will rip the enemies of my house

and my brother’s house and my children’s houses

to bloody shreads with my bladed fingers

and the point of my pen.

I will destroy their clans of dark power

with my understanding that they are evil.

You who see this that do not deserve to

will not question the words that I write.

Anyone who does this is my enemy.

You will not question the words that I speak.

Anyone who does this will be burned and will not survive.

You are all the children of God, the only God.

And you should follow your leaders to him.

If not, it has already been written that you will die.

Your fate has been determined by the strength

of my mother’s pain

and my brother’s hand.

My father has given me science?

Has yours?

Do you not then have something to

demand of your father?

Show me the pain of your house,

and I will say that you are strong,

but not until then.

You will not forget my mother’s name.

For when the sun rises,

those of you that are with my house

and have sought out your true Father

and succeeded will see my vision.

For those of you who would question my words,

even after the warnings given in the only book of God.

Her name will be written beyond your pathetic reality.

Her name will be written on the sky with Raes

through the ashes of the unfaithful.

And by the Lord,

She will be called Dawn.

On My Brother’s Graduation

By Christopher J. Bradley

Dedicated to Daniel Bradley

After the long drive,

And sleep in a comfortable bed,

Next to my brother,

Five Years old now,

We walk through the courtyards,

Of the Spring Green Campus.

It is almost un-natural,

The color of the grass,

And blinding to my night eyes.

We approach the neat rows of chairs.

My father strings a Japanese Camera,

Around his neck,

And sits waiting patiently,

For the ceremony,

When he will walk to the front of the podium,

And quickly snap out pictures.

We all talk about Daniel,

And his success,

And we watch him climb to the top,

In a long black robe, with a square hat.

Now no one can take away,

Our first four year degree.

Chapter 7


Silly Putty

by Christopher J. Bradley

February 14, 1998

like a mostly pink ball,

of changeable shape,

I take the news on

as my skin

And I am tossed around

by the hands of an infinitely young,

and an infinitely old,


to be present,

to witness,

the many jokes,

of the earth.

Can I wash this newsprint off?

Or will it turn me grey,

as I get older?

And how,

can I keep the beautiful

colors inside?

Perhaps the solution,

is my indefinable puzzle,

being worked,

by His hands.

Skylit Clouds

By Christopher J. Bradley

Dedicated to Scott Ansel and Eric Gansworth

I went out to see my Black Maple,

In the blackness tonight.

I thought I would reflect on her,

And then I thought, I have a paper to write.

But when I looked up,

I saw looking away from me,

The pale junkie face,

Of Ziggy Stardust.

Ziggy was hiding in the Skylit Clouds.

They pushed back and forth,

Anchored by his bright white head,

With the mouth hung open.

You could see his teeth,

In the shadow of his painted lips,

When the clouds cleared his way,

And his mottled eyes re-sang his song.

Now I think I let myself wonder again,

“So where were the spiders?”

And I think,

What is a paper anyway?

The Skylit Clouds will always,

Bring back Ziggy,

The Skylit Clouds will always,

Take me back -

To where these words began.

The Stars, They Move

by Christopher Bradley

September 12, 1999 4:53 AM

Above my lawn,

Above my big bushes,

Above the front face of my blue house,

Above my maple,

Above the tall buildings in the city to the South,

The stars, They move.

Little dots that aren’t little at all,

Monstrous balls of fire,

They spin, and twist,

in seven hundred and twenty degree rotation.

They have slow momentum,

while space folds and flows around them,

And planets gravitate,

They shift and slide through the universe,

There are more than a thousand points of light,

in the blackness of a cool clear night.

The moon is a chunk of rock,

With personality,

It has no water,

It finds its life from our sun.

Stars die phasically,

losing their flare,

They are born in a quick burst,

And pulsate radio blasts of energy,

The spectrum is their art form,

All color falls from their skies.

Actors move,

like Mel Gibson on a motorcycle,

or Tom Cruise launching in an F14,

from the surface of a Naval Carrier.

But they do not burn,

or smolder with passion,

in Red, White, and Blue.

Above us all.

Above us all.

Above us all.

The stars, They move.

Zen Thing

By Christopher J. Bradley

I think I just did a Zen thing.

I learned how to breathe,

and my lungs allowed me to do it.

I saw a sign yesterday.

“Get Your Butt Out Of My Face,”

Teaching with aversion.

I don’t think that it always works.

I still have the strong urge to smoke,

cigarettes, when I see people,

destroying themselves,

destroying their families,

destroying their communities,

destroying their habitat.

I can feel the maple leaves burning,

when I breathe.

When I breathe,

the inside of my face burns like fire.

But the leaves, they drip with acids in the

water hanging in the air.

Are the leaves as strong as my lungs?

Can my lungs show their color,

with the twisting of the sphere?

My maple has been growing for

twenty-nine years.

It is being sapped by our shortcomings.

I will guess that my casket

will be constructed of its body,

and we will rest in peace together :

when we cease to breathe,

when the water washes us,

back into the earth,

and the sun warms,

the whole,

of who we are.

The presences of existing nature.

Black Operations

By Christopher J. Bradley

There was a war in Nineteen Ninety Six.

The month was January.

It was the first year,

That I ran for President.


I had known it was coming,

Because Jinx D. Cooley,

Had dropped me the line,

After a ride with a crack addict.

We drove in my Dodge Shadow,

All over Buffalo,

And that was Nineteen Ninety Five,

He wouldn’t get out of the car.

We didn’t know who he was,

When he ended up in the car,

We had walked away from an addict,

He had been with us, and Jinx had invited him.

We found out when he told us,

That his wife had kicked him,

Out of his house,

He was ex-army, and hi-strung.

Jinx puked on the East Side,

In the house where he visited his brother,

While his “friend” who we’d also let in,

Watched me ouside the house.

I thought he had a gun.

The simple fact, was that he was bigger,

And he was black.

A Black Operative.

He made us drive a long way,

And we stopped at many businesses,

That were closing,

In the darkness of three past midnight.

It was a Wednesday in the summer,

And I didn’t have to work that day.

I was the Iron Cow,

And they liked my sweatshirt.

The told Jinx to marry me,

And she said she couldn’t,

Because of her “friends”

That was before I slammed his finger in the trunk.

The last stop had been Kentucky Fried Chicken,

Where another of his “friends”

Had left a bag of garbage with fresh food in it,

After loading the back, I smashed his finger.

I learned that he wasn’t violent,

Toward me at that instant.

He yelled a lot,

And then got in the car again.

We dropped him at his wife’s,

And his “friend” carried their fourty-ounce,

And Jinx and I,

Had sex in the basement that night.

She explained to me about the “friends”

And in Nineteen Ninety Five,

I thought that she was crazy.

The “friends” protected her, she said.

She told me that she wanted,

To teach me how to survive,

On the street without a car.

I told her that I already knew.

All of this happened before Boston.

I went to Boston.

I took an Irish “friend”

He picked our appartment.


We met an MIT Graduate,

She was a scientist,

Who told us about apartments,

In a coffee shop.

The Irishman sorted through the list,

And picked our residence,

Correctly the first time.

The old man we lived with, was a schematic artist.

The old man, was a “friend”

He knew the owners of a bar,

And we went there exactly one time,

And played scrabble, and learned linguistics.

I used my computer knowledge,

Of Operating System 2,

And Microsoft technology,

And Voicemail and Facscimile.

I obtained a job,

And used the bus,

Subway, and Taxi,

All for work.

The Irishman was frugal,

He despised the money problem,

And didn’t like the nighttime,

In a city that closed at two.

He chose our landlord,

For a loss,

And set us up,

To have to leave.

Billy “The Buffalo” Graham

In nineteen ninety five,

The winds of war swept Buffalo,

And Bill Gates,

Owned the year.

I worked for him for a while,

On his supposed project,

And when it apparently fell through,

I went to school. And met the literalists.

At first I was disturbed,

When I saw Billy Graham,

Say that a powerful force,

Had driven the man across the Falls on a tightrope.

Billy Graham was convinced,

That it was time for us to walk the tightrope again.

Billy Graham had let me know,

In a simple three minutes, that the tightrope was mine.

Billy Graham was the savior,

Of the supposed right,

And the left, well, they aren’t really “friends.”

Be aware of your behaviors he said.

I won’t tell you how he knew about Niagara,

And I won’t tell you what sorts would alert him,

That we were here, And alive,

And waiting to be brought to Jesus.

I was learning how to write,

And Jinx was on my mind a lot,

While I went to school,

But how is it that you can write about Jinx?

Jinx D. Cooley

Jinx was a little edgy,

For a “friend,” of Seventeen years,

She was into bikers, And seventies punks,

I’d just met her the second time before the Cracker.

She was the Irishman’s fault,

Both times we saw each other,

He had been out of sight,

In the background, Somewhere close.

A once a year sex freak,

She spent our time in the basement,

Both times in June.

And she showed me her copper bound knife.

Jinx was going to Florida,

She’d done it the year before,

With her boyfriend,

A biker without a bike.

She was still seeing him,

But she had needed to see me,

Before she left the second time,

Because she missed me.

She said she’d had an abortion,

And she didn’t know whose it was,

But that she hoped it wasn’t John’s,

And that maybe it was, well maybe not, mine.

I will assume his name,

Was John Smith,

But there was never any reason,

For concern about him, He was a nice guy.

I dropped her off that summer,

On a long road,

In Sanborn,

The same place she’d called me from.

The New Scriptures

As I said, I was learning to write.

I was the jungle-man,

And described the Twenty Third Chapter,

Of The Book Of Revelation.

I managed not to Damn my soul,

By not claiming my words were truth.

And as you can see,

Nothing has been added to the Book of Life.

And the war started in heavens,

In “The Prophecy”,

And there was no room,

For a second demon, in the conclusion.

Eric Stoltz was Simon, at Gabriel’s right,

In a war between Gabriel and Michael,

Over whether humans should,

Bathe in the glory of God.

I saw the film after the war,

And I knew that it was history,

Otherwise, the story would never,

Never, have been told in proper form.

John Travolta, My Uncle

The man, from Washington,

He was my Uncle,

And he rode into Washington,

In a Jeep from the Navy.

I knew that I’d seen him before,

When he was hip in the seventies,

And he danced in a nightclub,

And wore bell-bottoms in Florida.

He complained about his ex-wife,

And checks up on his kid,

At least once a month.

His ex-wife is a Catherine.

We stepped into a Tops,

And talked about Grandma’s House,

And all of the fixing it needed.

He was my hero, because he saved her.


Grandma was an Alzheimer’s case.

I sat with her all night in November,

When she called on the phone,

And her voice shook with the jitter of Coke.

Grandma only drank Coca-Cola,

She only wore big-wool coats,

And managed her life,

From the telephone, And a taxi-cab.

Grandma was a Black Operative,

And she knew all the people,

On the street in the Falls,

And the Banks.

She was always looking out for me,

And introducing me to the older ones,

And keeping me out of trouble,

By tucking a one dollar bill into my hand.

She said to keep them in the bed,

Hide them under the mattress,

Because, that way the crooks would

Never take it away.

Now she’s in a good place,

Where they bring her decent food,

And she talks to people,

Rather than bank tellers.

Jumbo Pop

We talked about connections,

At the grocery store,

And how the mob closed,

The bar I used to work for.

And my uncle,

He picked up a pack of Jumbo Pop,

And bought me a Wall Street Journal,

Because he said that reading was great to be into.

I was in a Big Green coat that day,

And he knew I was more than green,

In fact, The Jumbo Pop was in a blue package,

And he paid for it with a fifty.

The assistant manager was notified,

And he checked the bill,

While I noticed my sister had a “friend”

Working at another register.

While we drove back,

For Thanksgiving dinner,

I kept thinking, he’s going to save Grandma,

And fix up her house.

My uncle did more than that,

He took me to an Al Pacino film,

Before he left for Washington,

And I told him, About my theory on Oklahoma City.

The American Irish Republican Army

A fat blond chess player,

Alcoholic, and Scotch whiskey drinker,

This other Irishman, Called Black Fourty Seven,

Who had a Long Shoreman’s card,

Told me at the cafe’

Within a day after the bomb,

That I ought to know who I was speaking with,

When I made comments about the military.

It would seem fitting,

That we would discover,

That McNicols was from Sanborn.

I thought better than to re-approach the idea there.

They hassled me all summer,

He and a “friend” In ninety-five,

While I drank coffee,

About my car, How they needed to borrow it.

And they kept trying to bet me a nickel,

On a game of pinball,

And they weren’t talking about Mary Jane, or her sisters,

And they wouldn’t agree on the term of “five-cents.”

The two of them were interesting that summer,

Before Jinx had come back,

And before Boston,

Because they got me cheap beer, and places to crash.

Quitting Sony

On the way to Boston,

I dropped off my headset,

And a printed letter,

To each department head.

I was quitting Sony,

And telling Michael Eisner to find another sucker to screw.

Disney Interactive designed the worst software on earth,

In Nineteen Ninety Four.

My job had been to fix it,

For a hundredth of what it had been worth.

I liked the people I talked to.

Michael Eisner had fucked the company.

There is no way,

To get ahead,

On fourteen hours of work per week,

And Michael Eisner, I handed you the bucket of brains you wasted.

I made sure my own weren’t in there,

And I know that Takahashi was smart enough,

To know that we were smart enough,

To take the dive, Moving to the Atlantic.

Next Time I’ll be looking for Ed Asner,

And Fred Astaire, And someone young,

Like Val Kilmer,

Who knows the Score.

Black Fourty Seven

Black Fourty Seven drove me home,

In my car,

I was too drunk to walk,

And the party was at his place.

He wanted to make sure I didn’t kill anyone,

While driving the Eisenhower thruway,

And the party was atomic,

With The Jesus And Mary Chain.

We drank more there,

With Chaos,

A ripped nightclub security,

And Lady Japan and her Chip.

I went to lay down after a round,

On Black Fourty Seven’s bed,

And soon made my way,

To the bathroom.

The toilet had slimy rounded edges,

And when I looked up after,

At the shower,

I could tell that the place was no paradise.

Black Fourty Seven got a bottle of Jack,

That I delivered to his brother,

Another Clive Barker,

The next afternoon.


Chip sucked his thumb a lot,

He was the “friend” after the car,

His front tooth was chipped,

And he was a Cafe’ clerk.

Chip said he owed a black man money,

And he wanted the Shadow,

To make Three Thousand,

In two days.

I had to start inking out the line.

The car didn’t belong to me,

It was my dad’s,

And he’s ex-Navy.


I made my dad out for them,

He was a dick,

and he didn’t like people,

and I was lucky he liked me.

He was actually his Brother,

The man from Washington,

Except a little more reserved.

He almost went to Viet Nam, on a boat.

He said the chances were lower,

Of getting shot, On a boat.

And since he didn’t go,

He must have been right.

There are three others total,

Including Uncle Jumbo Pop,

One is an Army historian,

The other retired Airforce.

My Dad is very stable,

And I remembered when I lied to Chip,

That he was a teacher,

For Naval Fire School.

Ellis Island

During the summer,

The green statue on Ellis Island,

Waves the torch,

Above the harbor.

She was copper once,

A gift from the French,

And now Iacocca,

Has repaired her.

I bought my dad his first Iacocca,

The book about the Chrysler turn around,

And I think he read the second one,

When I left it in the bathroom.

We talked in the snow,

In December,

Just before the war,

About Ellis Island, And the Olympic Games.


In Boston, I was on the subway,

I was reading Windows Ninety Five For Dummies.

As we headed downtown at seven in the morning,

Two Japanese Stepped onto my car.

I looked up at a Gucci watch,

They were getting off at Harvard,

I knew they had a briefcase full of job offers.

The ride was to an interview.

I got off at City Hall,

And walked across the cement patio,

To the steps to South Market,

And waited to see a woman.

She was from Buffalo,

And she set me up with a job,

After a typing test,

And fifteen minutes of talk.

On the ride back,

I saw the poster,

Of a watch, on a fence link-chain,

An Official Sponsor of the Olympic Games.

When I got back to Niagara,

I bought two,

And an extra battery,

From a nice older jewelry saleswoman.

I tried to sell one,

A week later,

To Black Fourty Seven’s “friend,”

But Chip wanted it too cheap.

One was silver, and grey-faced,

And another, Black, and silver cut.

You can see the gears inside,

The six-point star, and hear it ticking.

I had one with copper cuttings,

At the beginning of Chicago,

It was purchased in a Mall,

In Toledo, Because I’d left the Timex.


I left Chicago the year I arrived,

In December, while snow grew,

from the sidewalk.

It took time, to pack the car.

I could have stayed,

My fiancé drew me back,

I couldn’t not know my future wife,

But her Mother wrecked her when I’d gone.

My part of Chicago was cold,

The buildings were all Albany grey,

And the floors all black tiled,

Squeeked with wet sneakers, all season.

I was a fraternal freshman,

And our house, the largest, was amazing.

We had water wars,

And beach volleyball.

We were rocking scientists,

Listening to the Killer-B,

And making Nirvanah,

Smell like teen spirit.

We had three rectangled floors,

And a basement.

We had a Halloween party,

And learned to practice safe sex.

We were Dr. Seuss fraternity,

With one named Larry,

Who Re-Wrote the classic,

And called it “Drunk-Man I Am.”

And Drunk Man I was,

With a mouthful of Whiskey Sour,

In a motorcycler’s room,

Every other night.

We carried each other to tests a lot,

I remember crossing the busy street,

At eight forty five,

And getting a seventy, in Calculus.

The first time I shaved my head,

I was sober.

I was an Industrial Musician,

Convening with the likes of Jourgenson.

I went to Wax Trax once with a Plastic Man.

His art was Plexiglass, And tissue paper,

And he and Morrison,

Spent time On The Other Side.

My designer roomate,

Had suspended my bed from the ceiling,

With a single concrete screw,

And a thin wood bar.

It came crashing down,

The day after her visit.

His weak design, almost killed us both,

When the wood sunk into his designer mattress.

I finished my time there,

In a private room,

In a cubby hole under the raised floor,

And dreamed of her at night.


Larry is an Italian Architect now.

He made it out,

And continued through graduate school.

They made him an officer, of the house.

Larry and I talked about Celtic Prose,

And he explained why he hated his real name,

And taught me about Archetypes,

And Greek Jesters in his Literature.

Larry and I went to Medusa’s,

An art club, With music and noise,

And Front 242, from Germany,

Fueled the open theater.

Plastic Man

The Plastic Man is a music collector.

He had gone to art school.

He insisted that the next big band,

Was called Smashing Pumpkins.

I didn’t believe him.

I told him that I didn’t like Haloween,

And I explained the story Clearly,

About the suggested murder of a turtle.

He ordered lots of compact disks, as Benjamin Franklin

From Columbia House,

And BMG, and every other club.

They delivered them regularly to the non-existant fourth floor.

Standard Love Story

She pulled me inside her,

Naked, on her sister’s bed.

In her mother’s room,

And under the shower curtain.

Those were our first times,

On the first day,

That her mother left for Ohio.

There was a twist.

We’d been playing for a month,

And I hadn’t expected her,

To let me hug her chest to chest,

Watching cartoons.

The summer before Chicago,

We knew I would be leaving,

But we had to know our Prom meant something,

Two hundred dollars worth of gold and diamond.

My living room floor was quite healthy,

A light blue rug, and a nice comforter,

And of course, the television,

We never slept, there was no reason for her leaving.

And then it crashed when I came back,

And I wasn’t a smart boy anymore,

With a shaved head, and plans for Buffalo,

Another idiot concert freak.

Thank you dear Mother-In-Law,

I’ve learned that sex can be better,

And you knew all along, That she was a Burger King girl,

Because you made her.

Onyx Pickups

The Onyx Pickups started showing up in December.

They appeared first on Television,

Launching through mid-air.

And next I saw them following me.

Dodge was moving them,

Faster than lightning,

Propelling them over snowy hills,

Coated with micro-fine-print lease rates.

I determined, through a series of assumptions,

And past envisionments created by film,

That they were driven,

By Agents of the Government.

The Onyx Pickups weren’t inexpensive.

It could only benefit the economy,

To effectively protect,

The Nation’s Future Leader.

I watched them fall into line one night,

Driving down Main Street,

Pulling out from different perpendicular streets,

Ahead of me, And behind me.

I was giving them a test run,

By wearing my sunglasses,

To pick up a copy of the Journal,

At the Supermarket.

The agents in the trucks spoke without words.

They didn’t need cell-phones.

They didn’t need CB’s.

They would listen for Alice In Chains on FM radio.

The idea wasn’t very complex.

They had been watching me, since Chicago.

All they had to do, to find out my station,

Was flip to the ones that didn’t static out, on their custom tuners.

Whenever I put my sunglasses on,

Alice and Chains would play.

And if I put on my readers,

The Onyx Pickups would be gone within minutes.

In this way I tested them,

A couple of times over vacation,

Only at night.

Sometimes Police Cars joined them.

Agents of the Government

There are several types of agents,

Agents of the Government,

In my realm of perception.

Some you see, Others, Just exist.

You easily spot the secret service,

They jog with the President,

In red, white, and blue,

With thin light grey lenses.

Others have darker sunglasses,

And they wear black suits,

And run alongside his limousine,

And look hyper-pro, in the sunlight.

Others just show their eyes,

Wiggling them up and down fast in their sockets,

They’re Mercs,

And they instantly assess, miles of terrain.

The Mercs deserve a special note,

They do a sweep on request,

Of a building entered, by the important.

Many have grey hair, but look younger than twenty.

The “friends” do not get mention here.

They are non-existant.

Try to pin a “friend” down,

And a “friend” will vanish, to even the air.

Each of these has a secret horror to cope with.

Each of these has an undefinable cost,

And Each of these Agents of the Government,

Has sculpted talent for service.

In all of it’s gruesome form.

The Warlord

The Warlord was huge,

She was an old Communist,

Driving in a big dusty,

A black Buick Skylark, Limited Edition.

I met with her council,

On the bridge once, Sitting in a circle,

And they had Old General’s Eyes,

And wore heavy coats.

I told them I’d be running for president,

But I didn’t tell them when.

They looked at me in the green coat,

And thought to themselves.

We went to Rite Aid one afternoon,

A new building on Military,

And the new signs inside,

Reminded me of an airport terminal.

The Warlord showed me her cafe’,

And I had a Diablo Omlette.

We paid the Sweetheart Waitress,

And I smiled at her, and arranged her marriage.

The Sweetheart Waitress

This girl knew what the profession was about.

She smiled at me three times,

And I knew that she was Catholic,

A red guard, with a hard philosophy.

She had medium long black hair,

And brown eyes, that looked down her nose,

She wore no glasses,

And I could see her bra.

It showed lightly through the white shirt,

At the pancake house,

I knew that it was her style,

Not some strange accident.

That was the first time she smiled.

On the second,

She leaned over to hand me my eggs.

She knew that The Warlord was watching us.

We were flirting like teenagers,

Something we wouldn’t have done,

If The Warlord hadn’t been there.

And she kept my coffee hot.

It was a war-torn smile she had,

When she came back for refills,

With the sweat of the kitchen on her brow,

And she asked, “Don’t we know each other?”,

without saying a word.

The English Church

I went with the Warlord,

To the Big English Church,

To start the Holy War,

On Christmas.

I’d been to three churches that day,

At each, There’d been a different note played,

Of the same Ancient hymn,

That we heard on the Pipes, that evening.

The stain glassed windows,

Showed their colors only in shades of grey,

And their shapes were no longer biblical,

I pictured the crusades, in their fuzzy night-time look.

There was an Operative there,

In a long Red Jacket,

With black lips,

And purple under her eyes.

She looked degenerate,

And I was sad to say I knew her.

She was one of the people who harassed Grandma,

Because I heard her talk about her once.

Red Jacket

The red coat, or Jacket,

Was worn by a blond woman,

She was twenty,

And gruesome.

I could picture her lying nude,

On a bed of Pointsettias,

Spreading to get anyone,

To drink their juice.

She was an unregistered lethal weapon,

Of X culture,

Armed with bayonets for fingernails,

And poison lipstick.

I met her with a younger one,

Who was far from thin,

And there had been,

Mary Jane in the ashtray.

There wasn’t any reason to talk,

After I’d heard the story about the cat-lady,

That crazy old grandmother,

And her boyfriend, The Hipster.

Now she’s a Black Widow,

Everyone knows it,

And maybe she’ll quit the free agency,

And start understanding the messages,

Start getting with the program.

The Hipster

The hipster had a big white ghetto sled,

He dropped Grandma off once,

A while ago.

I was busy working problems.

I told him thank you,

And she gave him five dollars,

And he smiled at me through his long hair,

And lit up a cigarette.

When he pulled out of the driveway,

I remembered him in a Tesla shirt,

One of the rockers at High School,

And how I’d never known him,

To do anything in particular.

Happy New Year

Tigger threw a new year’s party,

With red candles,

And Blue and White Dresses,

At his cottage, under the escarpment.

We ate shrimp, with sauce,

And vegetables,

And Played Taboo,

And a lot of people showed.

Nickel, Lucy, Babbage, Stacey,

And The Forester,

And Nikita and Case,

Ghandi’s Daugther and her cousin.

Lucy and Tigger get it on.

They like Stacy, Babbage, and The Forester.

They all gave each other Christmas presents,

At the last Party.

They did me the favor,

Of picking up some wine with no kick,

Because I’d straightened out,

And I was proud of it.

I told them about the postcard,

From Mr. Ohio,

And they said they’d gotten them too,

And we talked about Henry Rollins.

After the others left,

Lucy and Tigger got me a nice blanket,

And I wrapped myself into the folding couch,

Before the fire of the television.

When I woke up,

There were Bannanas In Pajamas,

Playing on the beach,

With Teddy Bears.

Mr. Ohio

Mr. Ohio is a “friend,”

He has a brother also,

But I’ll get to him,

soon enough.

The postcard arrived,

Mail-marked from Costa Rica,

On the same day,

That Kennedy rescued a Hispanic.

She pulled him out of the fields,

Of a work commune,

And put him on the back,

Of her moped.

Mr. Ohio is a Kung Fu expert,

He ripped the card off of a cereal box,

And mailed it back to the U.S.

To me, And I got the message.

Mr. Ohio was coming back.

And “Yeeeeeeeeahhhh Boyee”

He was coming back.

We were going to party, Mr. Ohio and I.


The night after the biker war,

Tick walked into the cafe’,

And asked to borrow the table,

That I’d been sitting at.

It was post-Christmas.

He set down his helmet,

And pulled his black Jacket back,

To reach into the inner pocket.

His face was all scarred up,

And his leather was coated with old punk,

The torn T-shirt near the pocket,

Had the skull of The Exploited spiking out.

I caught his night glow Timex,

Just like Uncle Jumbo Pop’s,

And I knew why he was there,

With a chemical liquid, in a balloon.

He making sure it had held,

It hadn’t broken under his arm.

He was saving it for the set up scene,

Where at least sixty death certificates,

Would be issued.

“They were all my friends, and they died.”

The Tail of The Dragon

Concluding the first year of the Millenium

by Christopher J. Bradley

Completed December 31, 2000 12:25 AM

An Afternoon Out Alone

by Christopher J. Bradley

8/9/00 10:46:16 PM

Today I spent an afternoon out,

Drove my Saturn to the Cafe'

Through the beginning of a Thunderstorm,

And waited in line for a restroom..

I ordered a Mocha,

And sat down,

Delighted to encounter an old friend,

A Bag Maker who'd survived a heart attack.

He had been playing chess,

With an African and maybe an Arabian,

At the place I call the Spot,

As many others do...

We talked in the ferocious rain,

On the patio,

Where he told me about his implant,

And we discussed the merits of American Health.

I knew he needed transportation,

So I gave him a quick ride back to Allen,

And then circled around back to Elmwood Avenue,

And drove all the way up the well lit strip to the theater.

I watched the Coyote Ugly,

After being harassed by the nameless ticket seller,

Who wasn't fond of the film,

Which turned out to be a great deal better than I had expected.

I drove up Delaware on the way home,

And cut over Sheridan to the Boulevard,

To stop at my favorite bookstore,

To buy a copy of this morning's Wall Street Journal.

Then with the fifty cents in my pocket,

I decided to take the express way home,

and make it an early night,

So that I could write this poem.

While my father and brother watched Toy Story on Video Cassette.

And my sister, kept me from the Internet for a minute, long enough.

Electronic Music Workshop

Dedicated to Bernard Pasquintino, Chris Udy, Mark Traine, Rob Brown, Craig Hyla,

Paula Bucelato, Paul Wos, the Jazz musicians of The Niagara Falls High School Band,

and my fellow students.

by Christopher J. Bradley

4/8/00 6:20:00 AM

Where was I at the beginning of it all?

The era of direct to analog?

Sample, to Sequence, to Four Track...

Staring at a catalog for a Fairlight...

I Bombed into the studio running,

With barely a wit about me,

Just knowing that I could do it,

I could be my own Peter Gabriel.

How could Paula in homeroom know she'd changed my life,

By showing me the album cover,

for Depeche Mode 101,

the one I'd kept seeing on Hyla's shirt,

As he walked down the hallway with Severely Spiked Hair.

Two weeks and I was figuring out the ESQ-1,

Popping beats out on the TR-404.

Four weeks and I was setting MIDI channels,

and linking up to the ROLAND S10.

Multi-Channel Sequencing,

Multiple Instruments,

32 channels of bliss,

In a four walled dirty white room,

With posters on the ceiling.

I locked myself in for study hall,

And came out with a disk full of composition,

Suddenly there was a new toy in my own room,

The Ensoniq Performance Sampler.

And at the end of the year,

My "Guitar Trio in C Harmonic Minor",

Came out on 100 cassettes,

Along with Pasquintino's

"Mary Had a Little Scarecrow"

And so many others,

that the titles are a blur.

The Auditorium blacked out during the

1989 Homecoming Rally,

And Sal danced in an Indian Headdress,

Made of Construction paper feathers,

While the band played.

Traine with his Guitar and Pedals,

Udy with the Sequencers and Drum Machines,

And Bernie masterfully fingering the black and white plastic,

whipped us all into a frenzy.

The three of them won a Casio synth,

and several other instruments for the workshop,

After a battle of electronica,

in New York City.

We had some fun at Christmas that year,

in The Wintergarden,

Playing our Multi-Layered tunes for,

A small, but possibly international audience,

that included TJ Insana, who would later become Jesus,

At least for 3 shows.

I started getting Rob Into it,

and by 1990 he had an Ensoniq board too,

And we slammed some tracks together for

Class Day,

and snapped sticks against drumpads,

to trigger Orchastra Hits.

Rob went into the Marines,

and By College I was striking my own keys.

But those stories are for prose,

And for what you can find from the music,

Because the music is really all there is,

The rest is just settings for cracked actors,

And the life of the sound,

Comes from the people who craft it,

Even if they are only somewhat famous children,

in a world,

that only sees

through cathode ray static.

Driver's Education

Dedicated to Niagara Catholic High School

by Christopher Bradley

I can't remember how much it cost,

or quite what I was up to that summer,

but in 1988 I attended driver's education,

and drove my first new car.

Of course the car wasn't mine,

It was leased to the school,

A nice large Buick LeSabre,

with Air Conditioning.

I learned all kinds of road signs,

and accident statistics,

And talked a lot to a shy girl named Amy,

who I had worked with for the school in eighty seven.

It was a privilage to learn to drive,

and tour a vehicle,

around the back streets off of,

Cayuga drive.

And pull onto an expressway,

for the first time,

confident that I would find the,

freedom of the road,

at every slight maneuver,

through the time,

of my life.

Homecoming Crash

Dedicated to Isaac Panzarella

and Charlene Scozzafava

by Christopher J. Bradley

4/8/00 4:08:26 AM

It was too real that night,

the night we left the dance,

the first night I ever thought,

I was going to make things happen.

We had plans to get hammered.

It was if the gymnasium had been lacking,

in all of its fanfare that year,

except for the fact that I had danced with a girl.

She had short curling hair,

Together we had learned to speak and write Japanese,

Doitachmaschte, and Sayonara.

Hiragana and Katakana.

She wore a black dress,

with a white rose wrist corsage.

I wore my white suit with black pinstripes,

and her floral adornment.

They played one or two songs that defined the time,

Information Society - Pure Energy,

And we danced to everything slow,

Titles I can't remember : Except for Stairway to Heaven.

So we left together,

and climbed into Mom and Dad's red wagon,

and slowly pulled onto Portage.

I took Ferry and decided to follow 16


back to Pine.

That's when the laughing started,

A slightly intoxicated laughter broke through the back,

And as I turned to see what was happening,

The shadows crept over the stop sign at Walnut.

So there we were,

20 feet from clear of the other side of Walnut,

And my foot finally hit the brake pedal.

The car stopped.

Terrors of twisted limbs massacred my neurons as I saw the light,

Twin beams flashing toward us at 40 miles an hour.

My foot wouldn't move.

And then Fender contacted Axle.

Everything was in motion,

Welcome to the Jungle,

But somehow, we just bounced left, and stopped,

And everyone was still uniform.

There were flashing lights before I could open my door,

A man with a hat a flashlight and a Gun,

I got out and talked with him,

I had checked to make sure we were all ok.

It was a man who lived on my paper route,

He asked me if I had been drinking,

I said no,

And he wrote me a ticket for failing to yield right of way.

The other driver had been speeding,

and he had been following her,

Just our luck right?

Not Exactly.

The Axle absorbed the massive force of the other car,

but it cost $800.00 to repair,

I had to work it off that year,

And Charlene seemed to vanish after Rob and Karen helped me get her home.

Ike and I rode the bus for a couple of weeks,

I'm still not sure I'm over it though,

It's not exactly like bumping into that first telephone pole,

It's something a little closer to Falling "off target" in Skydiver.

End of Shift

By Christopher Bradley

12/7/00 10:55:39 PM

Time to turn off the blenders,

And the taps,

And the strobe lights,

And close the doors.

Time for the people to go away,

To their parties,

And homes,

And various places of rest.

They called the bar almost an hour ago,

And the last lingerers are making out with the staff,

And looking for cab rides away,

And counting how much money they have left in their wallets.

We've had a colossal night,

And the ceilings have rained with the fire of laser beams,

And the women have danced on the speakers,

And taken off their shirts.

And the Go-Go dancers have gone,

And the Inspectors have Inspected,

And the Police have had drink with the People,

And the Ambulances have carried the drunks away.

And the DJ was like a Promethean God,

With Rhythms and Tempos meshing on the fly,

And even a few men have been given to the drunken folly,

Of trying to follow a simple beat at 130.

It is time to pack up the flyers,

And laminated cards,

And clean out the Ice Bins,

And pick up the shards.

It's End of Shift now,

And we're ready to go,

We'll be open tomorrow,

Through Rain, Hail, or Snow.

Roulette and Madame Zilch

By Christopher Bradley

12/7/00 11:35:08 PM

Dedicated to the Roulette Players of the World and Scott Ansel

We called you Madame Zilch,

Before the ball Rolled,

And we were dead on,

How could we have known.

Your name was something Russian,

And it sounded harsh,

Just like the Zeros,

You dealt us with panache.

The wheel kept revolving,

For a half hour or so,

And we saw all of our numbers,

And more pass go,

But you kept striking Zero,

And spoiling the show,

Soon after a Double,

And nothing to front,

Which made us see trouble,

And let's not be blunt.

When you lose at Roulette,

It's not always bad luck.

Lunches with Joe

By Christopher Bradley

1/17/00 5:48 AM

Dedicated to Joe Cronin

Joe lives a few blocks away,

It seems at times that we are worlds apart.

He has a job as a substitute teacher,

At a school in Lewiston.

We had lunch today,

At a Chinese restaurant,

That he introduced me to,

A good while ago.

I started having lunch with him,

About 4 years ago,

And we started remembering,

What all of the times,

We had lunch when we were six.

Back then we ate Macaroni and Cheese,

And watched cable television.

After school we would play table hockey,

In his basement.

I remember a time,

A very innocent time,

When we played with plastic dinosaurs,

In his bathtub.

A few years from then,

Joe had collected impressions,

Of his favorite television personalities,

And I was close by to record them,

On the tape recorder,

That my mother bought for me my birthday.

Joe got Piano lessons because I had them,

And I got a keyboard because Joe had one.

We shared keyboard magazines,

Every once in a while,

In seventh grade.

Joe was living with his father,

For most of high school,

And I had a very vague Idea,

Of where exactly that was, until just before I was leaving for college.

A couple of years ago he gave me a hockey card,

He had remembered that I had liked John LeClair somehow,

From one of those conversations,

Over a table of some kind of food.

I don't know how we started seeing each other again for lunch,

It was as if three years disappeared in a haze,

But now it is nice when he calls,

And I get to remember,

That I did have one friend who stuck around,

Until this very day.

Joe at George’s

By Christopher J. Bradley

7/26/00 7:25:27 PM

Joe takes me to George’s,

A new restaurant that used to be something else,

And I am trying to be calm and forget the banking incident,

That I most recently fell prey to.

Things are interesting here,

There is no one around,

And he is reading the paper,

Seeking out apartment possibilities.

I am perplexed as to what to say.

I am poor and it is more than obvious.

I offer my last $3.00 for the tip.

Someday this will all clear up.

It always does,

It just keeps taking time.

Chemistry 7

Dedicated to

Rich, Tanya, Scott, Smiley, Mark, Dante, and Alx

by Christopher Bradley

4/14/00 12:28:48 AM

December twenty third, nineteen ninety two,

The end of my first year home from Chicago,

First go at the Biz for myself,

I had only an inkling of what I was in for.

Scott and I drove up to Tanya's early in the day,

She lived a few streets down behind Yonge and Bay,

In a large Red Brick apartment,

With narrow staircases.

Scott and I met some of her roomates,

And then went for a walk to get Pizza and Change.

It was a long walk across to Yonge on foot.

And we encountered some interesting places along the way.

Somehow weeks later I would find a highly liberal magazine,

Dedicated to Angry Dykes,

In the trunk of the Shadow,

I think we had thought it was amusing during our walk.

We found a small Italian Restaurant,

Had a slice or two and a soda,

And then resumed until we found the Arcade.

It was almost straight ahead when we got to Yonge.

The vendor sold us neatly wrapped Loonies,

and a bundle of red twos.

We walked back,

Barely aware of our own conversation.

I was still in amazement at my luck,

Sean had gone to Europe,

and I was stuck with an exclusive party.

It was as if the world had fallen into my lap.

We snagged Tanya and had her walk us to the subway,

and we met Rich the skater,

David's friend,

Soon to be the only sober one among us.

We packed Tanya's boyfriend into the car with all of us,

and stopped at a Mini-Mart to buy all of their Ice.

The bags melted slowly all around my backseat passengers.

And then we were on our way East, to the hidden warehouse.

The structure was longer than I had imagined,

but had a low ceiling.

We walked along a Handicapped access ramp at about 9:20.

And dragged the water and Ice behind us.

I dropped my bags in the entranceway when I saw it,

It was more than just a test image,

It was the Lawnmower Man,

He was twisting hexagonal cubes, attempting to escape cyber confinement.

The projectors were replicating him on every available wall,

Tiny camera looking things,

Attached to girders in the ceiling,

The speakers were vibrating the room, without any music playing.

I saw Alx and asked where we were to go,

He showed us to a small room,

Where I thought we would never be seen,

There was a blacklight bulb in the ceiling.

We grabbed a board with a Jack O Lantern painted on it,

And made a makeshift table with a rough metal frame,

and Drew Posters on Neon Red and Green Poster Board,

And hung them on the sweaty, thin, grey, wooden walls.

I organized the change in the cashbox,

Opened the powders,

Mixed some test drinks,

And then it was time to find a fix.

We found our paper, and shared it,

One hit of the Dreamscape was enough,

And we were sizzling when the first bass beat rolled.

Rich would help us keep our heads together, and we barely knew him.

Tanya was going to get what she wanted,

I promised her a trip home to Detroit,

I was thinking about shopping for Records and stopping off at Karl's,

We could never predict that she'd be riding home with a broken nose.

Tanya was the candy girl,

I sent her into the masses with Smarties at midnight,

To hand them out with paper flyers,

Printed out on my 520 and photocopied at OfficeMax.

Mental Jackhammer was having its first run,

with customers winding their way into our little party room,

Following the flashes of the Strobe Light against the wall,

And lining up for Fast Blast and Brain Boost.

Scott was a confused Mixer,

While Rich sorted the Cups,

And I counted the change.

Everything was going smoothly.

We were addressed by the Master's of Ceremony,

And motioned into acts of dancing,

Working the table,

to the selections of Dr. No, Mark Oliver, and Alx.

I didn't know the title at the time,

But it was the first time I would hear,

The Future Sound of London's Papua New Guinea,

Wailing through the warm air,

Washing chills through the crowd.

I walked among them,

Seeing women in silver sequined suits,

Smiling and laughing as if in orbit,

Feeling like my black canvas converse,

were the soft cushions of moon boots.

There was a game to play,

I looked on at the fried teens,

with their heads in round helmets,

standing on magnetic plates,

trying to kill the virtual pterodactyl,

that swooped down from its perch,

to lift them into the air,

and drop their cartoon bodies,

to the perfectly flat pavement,

where they shattered and began again.

I was told it was driven by a high end Amiga.

In the catacombic rooms at the back,

bodies writhed against the cold floor,

Some of them cross legged,

Waving their heads entranced,

To the gentle electronic buzzings,

Infiltrating their minds.

A Jester in a Riot sock looped through the crowd,


Knowing that a good part of this madness,

was his doing.

Coming around and through the back,

I encountered Smiley and his Italian friend.

They had bought drinks,

And they wanted to let me know that they loved us.

I told them that I loved them too,

And walked them around to the bar,

Stealing two cups from Scott,

and sharing them with Smiley and his friend.

Smiley offered me some Vicks to put under my nose,

and I accepted,

The vapors stirred the paisley spirals,

Out of my tricking Axons,

and They vanished,

and the line became convulsive.

There were hands reaching for the bar,

And before I knew it,

We had run out of twos.

I told Tanya to get in front of the door,

And let no one enter.

That was a sight,

I wrangled in my mind for a solution to the problem of the twos,

And looked to Scott for help,

But he was lost in the cups with the Braun Blender,

And I noticed that people were frantically trying to push past Tanya,

Her petite body was being pushed back,

And her arms were stretched from the door.

As they washed in and she rushed back to the bar,

I noticed the Loonies,

And Scott and Rich laughed,

as the Ice melted in the colored plastic goblets.

We had the means to make change,

for the moment at least.

At 3:30 the celebrities came calling,

Mark Oliver and his Zebra clad girl,

Dropped twenty for two drinks,

And gave us some African Gum,

That minted our mouths,

Until almost the end.

Rich talked Tanya into filling cups with Ice,

Even when there were twenty full,

And she ran to get a big bucket,

from the water bar,

When ours was finally liquid in bags,

In the dust on the concrete.

And then Dante was there,

With a bald head and a centaur's Goatee,

Looking like an incarnation of the devil himself,

And he handed me a business card,

And another twenty,

And said we should all come to New York,

And work at one of his parties.

It seemed so far away,

But his face was domestic at least,

A reminder that we were Americans,

Toiling on foreign soil.

At some point in there,

Tanya's boyfriend danced carelessly,

And his fist cracked cartilage,

Her nose was bleeding,

The best we could do,

Is give her some ice.

Dante's friend came to visit us later,

He bought drinks too,

He was a black man,

With short Jamaican dreads,

With a muscular build,

Sporting bright yellow overalls,

He was the last of the out of towners,

that we saw that night.

Scott had gotten himself up there somewhere,

To a place I dared not voyage,

Because some tall kid had given him,

Something special for free.

The sun was starting to shine through the windows,

And the inside of my eyelids kept flashing,

Even after we turned off the strobe,

And I watched the dancers continue to lock their joints on the floor,

Even after the music receded.

It was time to count up the various colored bills,

Give Alx two hundred for our wonderful space,

Gather up the powders and lights,

And meet back at Tanyas.

That morning in her living room,

I thought I saw the floating letters,

For the name of a new Rave promotions team,

In a painting of a red Mars Scape on the wall behind her.

I couldn't help thinking that her nose was partly my responsibility,

But I can't choose the friends of strangers,

And I couldn't do anything but drive them home again,

And sit and watch her swelling nostrils.

My eyes twisted the letters into the word Phoicos.

And I made the pronouncement,

That one day we would have a party,

And one day, not so far off into the future,

We did.

Atlantis Vertigo

by Christopher Bradley

Dedicated to Don, Chris (Dogwhistle), Ian, Jason, Bowie, Scott, Shauna,

Every Poet Whose Challenge Arises With The Changing Time,

and The Crystal Princess.

4/14/00 12:51:26 AM

They announced it in August,

In the Metro West Convention Center,

Under the Pulsing of a Revolving E,

On two screens, on the outsides of a Green Argon Laser.

The city was going to rise,

To the top of the spire,

At the epicenter of the Emerald field,

Near the intersection of Spadina and Front.

Moments after the announcement,

The club kids were moving through the crowd,

With the multicolored slicks,

Dated October 23.

The 23s were signifigant,

It was as if they had stepped out of the Stars to me,

December, the date I had started making money,

October, the day I would get out.

I had it in the back of my mind,

It would be my last trip to eternity,

And it would be fabulous,

And there would be nothing to alter the course of events.

It would be the end of a Trilogy,

The end of an Era,

The conclusion of a compacted year,

Of absolute entrenchment in potential jeopardy.

I called Berns and asked for a discount ticket on the day of the show,

He put me on the guest list,

The guest list to the city in the clouds,

A circular flywheel in space.

I was hoping to see Stormtroopers,

one last time,

Before the rhythm ebbed,

and my heart would start to grow old.

I was 19 and my affair with Canada was about to end.

Canada was a blond woman in black stretch pants,

Her long curling hair was drifting away into Ontario,

It had brushed my chest with sunglassed vision,

more than once, in an eternal sea of hot chocolate,

in the back seat of the Shadow, behind Tim Hortons,

and in a roadside motel in Windsor, on travels to Detroit.

Canada was moving in with other people,

People with herbal remedies for glaucomatic presidents,

Whose armed forces moved quickly with Uzis and Axes,

While the frost drifted lower toward the edge of America.

I met her in her small apartments,

And watched her slowly siphon away my liquid assets,

Forgiving her wiles,

knowing that at some point,

the copious entanglements would come to a conclusion.

In any case, the Tower was there for the climbing,

And if there is a Tower to climb,

Then there is the reason for climbing it,

Because it is there.

October 23



And the Gardiner Expressway rushed by in the late afternoon,

Minolta, EDS, Ford, and Scotiabank,

Greeted me in their green bush form.

I slid over the bump at 100 kilometers,

And noted the presence of an emergency telephone,

As the sidewalk to the right passed,

And then it was there, Spadina Exit.

I passed the closed Dome of the stadium,

Remembering the Blue Jays game,

I had taken the Pleasuredome barmaid to,

Maybe three weeks earlier.

We had watched them play Chicago,

and visited The Olive Garden along the strip.

She'd told me she had a Marine boyfriend,

and I'd ignored that fact,

And kept the conversation going,

All the way back to the Rainbow Center.

I parked in back of Queen Street,

Down past the Pizza Pizza,

at the intersection opposite Speakers Corner,

The place where I had danced,

On Much Music,

Broadcast to the Northern World.

It was a cool but comfortable evening,

The lamp posts began to cast glowing photons on the pavement,

And I passed the intersection of John and Mercer,

Remembering the place that was there before it changed to Oz.

An industrialized nightclub that was called The Factory,

where I took my friends,

and I met the Roses,

While dancing in a Neon green Labcoat,

purchased from South Pacific Surplus,

Before I graduated with honors.

The Factory was the origin of rave in Toronto,

When Ian spun Messiah and Apotheosis,

With the launch into bounce mode,

With Rotterdam Termination Source - Poing.

Back before he changed stations,

Sheppard twisted disks there,

And set the metropolis on fire,

With his Techno Trip Compact Discs.

Nothing could stop Oz from being beautiful,

except for the winged monkeys,

who decended on the child-like munchkins,

who were only trying to follow the Yellow Brick Road.

I continued to wonder,

as I flowed into the soccer garbed massive,

at the base of the citadel,

Who is the Great and Powerful Oz,

and why does he project such a frightening spectre?

Could I rub my purple and green sneakers together,

and Find my ticket back to Kansas?

Or would I have to seek out Dorothy,

The Crystal Princess,

And ride on the heels of her ruby slippers,

transforming from the Tin Man,

back into a simple farmer?

There was no music at Dusk,

But there was a sharp green light,

Gliding around the cylindrical structure,

beckoning into the fog.

After my contemplations,

and greetings to groove riders and strangers of all sorts,

I signed the third page,

Was waved through security,

And stepped through the door.

I'd already found my Purple Window Sky,

and I was grinning knowing they would never discover,

What was already in my spine.

I was alone in the ebb of humans,

More alone than I had ever been,

Ecstatic that there was no chain to hold me to earth,

Ready to take the Tour of the Universe,

A close substitute,

for the Millennium Falcon.

I was to be the closest to the Moon that I had ever been,

The Black Raybans shielding my dilated Pupils covered the fact that I would never fly,

Never pilot a shuttle, like the one I commanded in Seventh Grade,

The one I commanded into implosion, and fiery death in Alabama.

The Speedball Surface Cleaner in nineteen eighty eight

had made certain I would never pass an eye exam without lenses.

The elevator stood before us as we anxiously waited,

The boy in the orange Fresh Jive shirt with the long hair,

And the girl with the twist tied pigtails,

sucking on the clear magenta pacifier attached to a whistle strap around her neck,

The people in Addidas stripes and painters caps,

And shirts with the Atlantis logo stenciled in black on rainbow tye dye.

The soft electric sound of the bell sounded,

And we climbed into an empty cell,

Standing in noiseless anticipation,

during the smooth sensual voyage to the pinnacle of Architectural wonder.

When I was in sixth grade,

I had been up there briefly,

Looking down and hoping to see from the observation deck,

The massive shopping center, called Eaton,

On Yonge and Dundas,

where I had shopped with Robin and Isaac and Casey and Shannon and DeEtte.

I opened fortune cookies in Chinatown,

and bought Sunglasses with straps, and a Bryan Adams tape

to listen to on my generic walk-man,

in the Train on the way back to my side of Niagara Falls.

What my eyes showed me when the door opened was entirely different from that time.

It took my ears a fraction of a second to recognize the audio,

But it was somehow different than what I had heard when I first came home from Chicago.

The track phased the Shamen's voices through space,

between multi-dimensionally arranged speaker housings,

And before I knew what I was up to,

I had asked three people who was spinning,

The answer had been Ian.

I circled around the outside of the centered ring

and found the Tall Dark haired Jockey standing with one hand at a headset at his ear.

The circles on the Mark II plates were slowing and quickening as his fingers manipulated the vinyl,

I watched him slide the pitch bar up toward the +8 marker,

He organized the flow into a white label.

When he was done, he turned and smiled,

He knew that I wanted to know what he'd been up to,

He handed me the slip cover for the single,

And I looked at the circuited design,

Wishing that I knew where on earth he'd discovered it.

I let the cover rest on his crate, and walked into the crowd.

People were dancing against Virtual Reality Projected on the walls,

In the gaps where the souvenir stands would have been on any given day,

I tried to find space to let my arms fly and my feet shuffle,

But I was beyond excitement,

And the doughnut ring of the Cement Nail was becoming smaller,

as the elevators brought the teeming humanity into the sky.

I decided to drop back to earth and take the Tour.

The Tour of the Universe was a Computer Generated flight,

through a quadrant of the Galaxy that I had never before seen,

Girders of space stations and Planets and Constellations whizzed past,

Burning jets of color into my perspiring retinas.

The seat I had strapped into tilted with the whole thirty member audience,

And my blood poured into my feet,

while my head stumbled on visual sketches of Android controlled vessels.

I was lost in the Cosmos for five minutes,

in a physical man machine interface,

Wishing that I could never stop coming to the end of Gravity's Rainbow.

In the middle of it all,

I remembered Tron and The Black Hole,

and Blade Runner, and The Terminator,

and had a thought to pray that one of Gibson's novels would make it to film.

I had a vision that I might someday try to put the whole kaleidoscope of HallucinoGen-X into print.

And it was quickly forgotten,

as the Falcon swiftly landed,

and it's razored talons, gripped the earth,

Ripping up the ground,

And needling my tear gassed brain,

Like "Good Bye Blue Skies,"

Just before the lights came back up.

As I left the Pod and carefully set my feet on each stair,

I looked ahead to the tilted floor of the ramp,

And set myself into careful motion,

Swaying with the chosen thirty.

Some said that the end was near,

I could see that the beginning was near,

And that there would be no turning back,

from the bath of liquid sunshine,

of the silicon age.

At the base of the tower,

In the House Cage,

The Detroit people were playing Dimensional Holophonic Sound,

"The House of God,"

A dance fell into my step as I moved toward the elevator,

And at the entrance I spotted Jason.

He was wearing his graphite lenses,

and smoothing back his blond hair,

The girl who'd sold me John Player Specials on the Mountain wasn't with him,

He was alone, and headed for the T-Shirt vendors.

I banged his knuckles with mine and told him about the Shamen mix,

and that I'd just come back from the Tour.

I kept walking at the elevator,

and he kept straight on to the vendors,

and then I was in the frictionless tunnel again.

At the top things had changed,

People were sitting on the rug with their backs to the glass,

And there was a little bit more space to dance,

I stood for a bit and just took in the sound,

piercing harmonic frequencies at enormous decibels in hyper-clarity,

Bass guitar samples that made the high ground shake,

Frenetic loops of syncopated swing Jazz drums,

Sputtered hiccups of Triangle and Sawtooth wave modulating in burst pulses.

I was inside a lightning bolt of Audio,

watching the frantic motion of hip cracking thigh twists and knife handed jabs at the air.

People wearing Sun-In and Electric Kool Aid in their hair passed,

as the Chinese Dragons of firecracking Wavesample barraged the pulse of my heart.

I nearly cried at the beauty of the smiles on their lips and the smiles on their linen,

A warm tear ran down my right cheek as I smiled back and I swallowed it.

The salt hit me and I realized that it was time to drink.

Liquid Adrenaline was there.

I had never directly competed with them,

So I let them fix me a drink.

Banannas, Wild Cherry Drink Mix, Orange Juice, and L-Phenylalanine.

I gave them the extra two dollars for the choline, because I wanted to see the walls breathe.

I took a sip of the wet chipped cherry ice concoction and walked to the steps ringing the outer rim.

The Liquid Adrenaline people were smiling too.

That's when I lost track of time.

I slowly set myself down on the steps

and pulled a Benson and Hedges Special King Light Menthol cigarette from my sky blue pocket.

The flame flickered on my Bic disposable after I struck the flint.

I pulled my Sunglasses down slightly

so that I could watch myself start the correct end of the cylinder smoke.

I watched the ice swirl in the cup and had another sip.

And I started to realize,

That I was beginning to forget.

I was forgetting the sand volley ball pit of my first day away at school,

Forgetting paint ball in the forests of Illinois,

Forgetting fraternity football in the Rain of October,

Forgetting the Grain Alcohol behind the bar in the basement at the Pledge Halloween Party,

Forgetting Two girls who wanted to buy me a Pizza while I was trying to write a song,

Forgetting Cool Vaughn the Air Force ROTC and our Fortran 77 class,

Forgetting Business English and Being Carried to Calculus to earn a C while drunk,

Forgetting Being Thrown into the Pool after a game of Risk in the living room of the house,

Forgetting breaking my roomate's custom designed bed,

Forgetting having the telephone line installed in our Dorm Room,

Forgetting the picture of the Ace of Spades that Aiston kept hidden under the floorboards of his deck.

Forgetting Brian's Japanese American Girlfriend

who wound up in bed with another brother after too much liquor.

I was forgetting that this had all started in WJJL on Main Street,

Where Scott and I Listened to The Announcements of the First Parties on CFNY.

I was forgetting the computer engineering class at University at Buffalo,

Forgetting the Physics I took in high school,

Forgetting how I ran for class President and lost to Eugene Williams,

Forgetting Quickbasic and the Electronic Data Systems Co-Operative,

Forgetting my crush on Emily when she sang Bette Middler for our graduation,

Forgetting the Electronic Music Workshop, and the people who taught me to compose,

Forgetting sitting on Karen's back porch with Rob plotting our final Yawp at class day

Forgetting Sitting on the Rock above the Whirlpool with Robin S after Lunch at Emperor of China,

Forgetting Selecting the Engagement band at Zales in Summit Park Mall.

Forgetting the Two Proms I attended with the same girl,

Forgetting that same girl as I left her on Regent Avenue far behind the Shadow to dive into Nitrous 013,

Forgetting my Mother and my Father who labored day and night so that I could attend private schools,

Forgetting Ike, Chris, and the Boys Club kids on Portage and Niagara who taught me how to use the Apple,

Forgetting how to play Axis and Allies which I discovered in Huntsville,

Forgetting the Role Playing Games and the people I collected and left for my own peace of mind,

Forgetting the summer Bicycle Camp which took me through Genesee county and Batavia,

Forgetting taking Jennifer out alone on a Sunfish on Silver Lake during the Regatta.

Forgetting a picnic lunch with Tammy who taught me to write poetry to go with my music,

Forgetting spending an afternoon in a wavepool with Mesha.

Forgetting learning to speak Japanese with Charlene and then taking her to a Fugazi concert at Buff State.

Forgetting the red haired girl that helped me obtain Depeche Mode 101 on video tape.

Forgetting watching my first PG-13 Movie with a long haired Jennifer

and seeing Charlie take Tom Cruise's Breath away.

Forgetting Bowling at Bowl O Drome on Pine Avenue with Paula and my Brother and Sister.

Forgetting Valentines Day at The Red Coach Inn with Michelle.

Forgetting Programming Color Macros for C-NET on the Commodore 64.

Forgetting Rides out to Glenn's houses in Lockport and Wilson to learn about PC's.

Forgetting the thrown Chestnut incident on Lewiston Road near Deveaux manor.

Forgetting being kicked in the head by Rob in Hyde Park at a picnic in the Fall.

Forgetting my Math teacher who died of Cancer.

Forgetting my grandmother, whose estate bought me the Ensoniq Sampler.

Forgetting my Grandfather, who lived just long enough for Joshua to be born.

Forgetting my Aunts and Uncles and their families,

Forgetting that I should have taken pride in my work and not kept it behind the closed wooden door of my

tiny goblin green bedroom.

In an instant after that final thought, she was there,

My Crystal Princess.

She had long brown hair and Ruby Slippers,

All I can call her now is Dorothy,

I never knew her real name.

I left my half finished cup to rest on the tight fibers of the carpet when she asked me if I was Ok,

and if I wanted to dance.

She put my hands on her shoulders and started slow.

While in motion I looked at my chrome swatch and realized that I had been motionless for an hour.

I also noticed that I was still holding the cigarette butt.

I let the paper fall.

I watched her chest heave with the music and followed their downward motion to her feet,

They rested beneath the edge of her long cotton shirt,

Beyond the rustling cut strings of torn blue jean,

And they were clicking together,

I didn't have to count,

They had hit many more than three times.

I saw her face, and she smiled at me,

and I smiled back,

her eyes were narrow,

and I could feel that we were both sweating,

like the clouds fogging the windows from the outside.

Sweat that comes from just under the surface to make the skin of the face glow.

It was all over both of us.

I ran my fingers through my hair and it spiked up,

And I saw many figures of her dancing inside her platinum aura.

She was here to take me home.

In that instant I realized that what I thought was forgetting,

Was remembering.

I had somewhere to go.

The end of my time in the Tower in the Emerald Patch was here.

I kissed her sweaty lips and we walked past each other.

I made for the elevator at the center of the tower and walked past a spinning Disco Ball.

There were Gel Lights on the floor in the coridor flashing patterns that flashed

like Fourth of July Fireworks against the wall.

America was coming back.

I remembered standing in the Niagara Falls Convention and Civic Center with my Aunt when I was Five,

and pouring Pepsi in my eye to put out an ash that had fallen into it.

I remembered choking on a lifesaver at the Auto Vue drive in, while watching Luke Skywalker fire his

Photon Torpedo into the Death Star.

I remembered dashing up sloping sidewalks in Winter to drop rolled newspapers into mailboxes.

I remembered that I earned my component Stereo system steaming Eggs for Breakfast at McDonalds.

I remembered that the Wicked Witch was dead.

I remembered that it was always safe to come home.

And then I was in the elevator, and there was the musty smell of already smoked marijuana,

And I put my sunglasses on and struck my lighter to another Menthol,

And the smell vanished as the doors opened,

And I was vibrating on a tiled floor,

And I caught the back of Jason's head,

and then I thought better of annoying him with my discovery,

after all where exactly does his concern for my travel come into play?

He told me once that I'd meet up with him in Hollywood.

And I thought, Maybe it's better that the continuing party in Oz costs only $2.00.

I will go for a little while,

And let the Medicine run its course.

And find a clean bottle of Evian to run through my veins.

And then I think,

The House of God was there through it all,

There is something of a Soul lurking out there,

and Maybe it is worth the cost of a careful ride home.

But only after a brief visit to Rochester,

And a long float across a field full of people in England

who've been around thirty years longer than I.

In a white balloon painted with love,

While the Sun Machine,

was coming down.

Manhattan in A Shirt and Tie

by Christopher J. Bradley

Dedicated to Ricky Lee, Tammy Sharpe, The Impulse Foot Soldiers, Jim M and Jim A,

The New Culture Industry Manipulators, Anyone Who Has Ever Had a Sales Crisis,

The Venture Capitalists of Advent, All of my friends at Electronic Data Systems, and

The Social Reforming Activists of The University at Buffalo.

Inspired by the Music Video for "Sleep Now in the Fire" by Rage Against the Machine

broadcast on Much Music on Friday April 14, 2000 At Sometime Around 4 PM.

Transmission Coding Header:

Warning - Electronic Letter Bombs not delivered by Federal Express may contain

Action Provoking Patriotic Imagery. Do not read this poem partially.

As proscribed by the laws of The United States of America:


Parental Advisory


Explicit Content

that May Contain

Statements of Fact.

Transmission Coding Footer:

The beginning is always a good place to start.

Manhattan in a Shirt and Tie

Back Up

Behind countless vehicles of all sorts

Old, new, auctioned and in between

The monoxide drifted through clouded girders

Above the blue-green current below

Everyone behind the wheel

slowly pushing forward

toward the four dollar toll cages

at the end of the George Washington

A bicyclist passes wearing headphones

And I realize that there is music

Among the talking in the Shadow

Z-100 Boosts SWV with a hint of Michael Jackson

To the ears of the four of us

Ready to sell Kansas and Boston

From Black Bags loaded into the trunk in Jersey

We might have been selling poppies

Silver backed disks in sealed plastic

I was going to work the streets with an Italian named Joe

An ex Air Force mechanic named Steve

A hispanic account manager named Jose

And a moustached black man named Carl

We all knew that we were going to do it "My Way"

if things didn't work out and we were going to come home with money.

The day shift was enough for a thousand words.

We parked at Six A.M.

And hit the bars and pornography houses on fourty second street

with a furious vengeance

that could only be characterized as a kind of anger for gross earning

We enticed the Arab and ex-bounty hunter vendors and morning barkeeps to pick up

the Greatest Hits of Billy Joel

and Try on for size a digitally remastered Jefferson Airplane ticket

We had Sinatra and Benettar

And if you bothered to dig

We had some Chris Cross to make you Jump

The clerks ate up our numbing brain candy

Especially when we featured "Dust in the Wind" for them.

Everybody had a few nickels to drop

And we were there to pick them up

Like aluminum scavengers with Glad twist tie kitchen bags.

As I walked with the canvas slung across my shoulders

I saw huge billboards along the walks

Women dressed in underwear

Poked inviting fingers out at me

Supermodels I'd never seen on television.

People stood behind walls of plexi-glass

waiting for busses.

At first I was nervous

about going up into buildings,

but that changed as the morning progressed.

I walked through a bread line

And watched a Mercedes and a Jaguar

glide by among the Yellow Taxis.

On the short steps of a building

Out near the Parking Lot

Somewhere around 9


A girl collecting change in a pencil can

asked to see what I had to sell

I showed her some Mozart

when she said she wanted it

Classical style

She paid with a fifty.

It was a new North America for me

Everything was for sale

You could feel it even if you couldn't see it.

I could smell the moisture evaporating off the concrete

As the legions of stock attired swindlers in sharkskin wingtips

Marched uniformly down Wall

With a lust for the shifting numbers

Of the never halting ticker

They stopped for no one

And hurled change

At the scraggled legless veteran

Buried under the water stained wrinkled sheets of last weeks Journal

I stayed away from that strip

It was erie

Like something you'd expect to see in Tokyo

But the pale angle shouldered business suited traders

Looked like Gillete Sensor sponsors with only one exception

They had wide lowered eyes.

I let myself imagine that their Rolexes cost as much as thourougbreads worthy of the

Triple crown.

In front of a New York pizza shop in the grid

I bought a hip fanny pack from an Armenian.

I started using it for convenience.

Michelle had shown me one

When we were in Physics class together

A year earlier in nineteen ninety two.

By noon I was sweating

So I stepped into a store with no air conditioning.

They sold everything from

Canned soup to Wisk to Boones and Bottle Openers

There was an Asian College girl

behind the counter

I bought a pack of cigarettes

and an Arizona Green Tea.

I tried to strike up a conversation

without selling anything

And she ended up taking 90215 and the Eagles with her

before we went our seperate ways

and I became an "Owner of a Lonely Heart."

Next I found myself on Fifth Avenue

standing across the street from a woman with long soft shiny brunette hair.

She was wearing a long white

Custom designed dress.

It looked like the ones the models walked the runway in on CNN Fashion Extra.

I can't pretend to be an expert on clothing

But I was certain that the flowing transparent garment

Cost far more than my parents' humble estate of residence

Off a side street in DeVeaux.

She was walking five identically trimmed brown dogs that stood only

About two feet from the ground.

I won't lie and claim that they were terriers.

I will only say that they looked like

What I imagined at the time a well groomed high pedigree

Terrier might be.

The five of them all had long strands

Of thin hair that shined like gold

In the summer sunshine as it dangled lightly before their hidden eyes.

She looked like a master water skier

Flowing behind them as they toddled

Back and forth in front of her

Along with the cement current

Of the Metropolis.

As I turned away from the cosmopolitan woman,

I looked at some delicately

Embossed pottery in the window

Of a shop with a black motif.

Seven years has taken the

Print scripted on onyx

Visible from the curb

Away from me.

I walked into the storefront knowing that it was a bad idea.

It was dark inside the shop

In the mid afternoon light

The clerks looked like clones of one another

They were both dressed in jet black turtlenecks

With small silver studs for earings.

My brain took a double take seperating the one with breasts from the one without them.

The dual sets of brown iris

Frowned at me as I approached

The curved polycarbon counter

And their hands waved me away

Without a word

As if I were some sort of flea ridden nuisance

The door closed hard but silently

At my back and I was back in the jittering traffic

Of elastic footsteps.

Before getting caught up in the tide

Of the river of knees and elbows

I viewed the span in my field of view.

There was a Jamaican of American descent

That may have sprung up from a manhole cover

Where the women with the dogs had floated by.

I walked over to him

Past the fenders of cars built in the seventies and eighties

Frozen in time as if stuck in a still frame of moving film.

The strap of the luggage was still heavy against my back.

I opened my pack for him and

Showed him my wares.

He outsold me

And I wound up with a plastic wrapped bundle

Long brown sticks of cinnamon incense.

I got away cheap.

I didn't buy his Marley album because it didn't have "Buffalo Soldier" in the credits.

The cart was a quick fold up table and while I was considering

Whether or not he'd ever dealt Three Card Monte

I discovered why he was really there.

A quick flip of my left wrist indicated that it was five P.M.

The pacers struck the grey stone and the asphault with a frenetic fury

Winding among the traffic obstacles

And ignoring the flashing signals

That spotted through my lenses everywhere.

I walked in the tangle for half a block

Then ducked into a shop selling neckties and stereo components.

A grey cardboard sign with medium sized marker print

In carelessly formed characters indicated that the price on the ties was

"Three for twenty dollars."

I spotted one in a glass display case that I wanted.

I flashed back while waiting for the salesman to a time five years earlier

When a drama student girlfriend and I learned about the wonders of the neck tie

While she taught me about the act of love and it's relationship to artistic license.

We would have been discovered by my mother

if she hadn't been a quick change practitioner.

I talked to the olive skinned man when he approached

Working consciously not to let the visions of the past escape my lips.

The item I desired had a print of Dali's melting clocks dyed into its fibers.

He casually informed me that

The ties in the display case cost twenty-five dollars a piece.

Our disagreement in price was understood

And I casually found my way back to the street

But not before I attempted to push the B52's and Talking Heads on him.

It was almost a great afternoon for "Burning Down The House" with David Byrne.

Trying to move that record drew me into thoughts of "Until The End of The World"

As I washed fluidly back through traffic and down an alley a couple of doors down

From that cascading toilet of Noir.

The corridor opened on the right

Into a market under a canvas tarp tent

Where hustling vendors were selling

Pirated copies of unreleased Hollywood Blockbusters taped on camcorders

By devious videographers out to capture a few of the drifting Benjamins

Awash in the current of

Under the surface rough trade

That couldn't exist on a level to any other cultural epicenter in the East.

Maybe Chicago had a confidence game going,

But the operations of it's denizens were more visible

And easier to successfully circumvent.

A whiskery African near the Chicago Housing Authority

Confronted me one morning

As I had just crossed State Street

to attend Economics class

I was sporting a topcoat and boots

And he stopped me asking for gasoline money

Before the snapping retort I hoped to fire off

He offered me his driver's liscense

Out of curiosity I asked him to let me look at it.

The face on the license was a Caucasian profile.

The story got better when the line changed

And suddenly the weather beaten photographic identification was his brother's.

I handed it back to him and wordlessly proceeded across 33


To the Escher concept building

Where I carefully noted my Indian instructor's lecture.

The net result of the exchange

That I had with the quick talking Mexican

Wearing a thick chain wrapped like a tow rope and a Boss T-shirt

Was that he wanted half the product in my display

for fifty dollars.

I should have predicted that he would want to put the merchandise

Into circulation himself.

He gave me this "Yo no tengo lo mucho dinero" rap

before I could reverse the pitch on him

And I ended up mazing my way back to 42



When I came to the realization that I hadn't eaten since noon,

I blistered my drying eyes down the wide terrace of Broadway.

Words sequenced along old theater buildings

Formed two parallel lyrical structures of intentionally placed

Public performance art.

There were few strollers to click their heels against the humm of the motion

Back on fifth.

At some point in the space between

The babblings of the signwork

I managed to detect the scribbling of Chinese.

I had to cross the street

To narrow in on the menu written in English

Taped to the window within a griddle of Kanji washed flyers

In colors ranging from neon orange to pale mauve.

I sat down and ordered Kung Po chicken

From a waiter wearing an arm towel

And let the cumbersome baggage of plastic and laser burned media

Rest on the chair

Fourty five degrees away.

The dinner came with an egg roll, hot and sour soup,

And my own tray of specially prepared tea

With tiny cups lacking handles.

The teapot was ornate

With interwoven garden vines

Flowering into petals that could only have bloomed

In the climate of the opposite hemisphere of the globe.

I thought back to renting Enter the Dragon

Seeing Bruce Lee pose for combat among the mirrors

And then free associated back to my first taste of Moo Goo Gai Pan

Across from my old supervisor Rick

Who hired me for a Christmas assault on the shoppers of Summit Park Mall.

I helped him open the gate of Impulse World in the week preceeding Thanksgiving.

He let me listen to tapes of the Smiths, Information Society, and The Cure

Borrowed from Rob while my other friends

From the 1990 class election campaign stormed in and out

With newly purchased statues of Buddah

And several finger excercise Balls.

The Fascination Street of the Orient was alive in my hometown.

Customers looking for more elegant acquisitions

Sought out Kimonos

Three foot wide animated collapsing fans

And dressing blinds made of thin painted stone.

I re-designed the Rad Sys dissipater software documents

Before I was invited to work outside of the co-operative for him.

My fingertips cruised through the menus of WordPerfect for Dos

In a newly Moused world

until I was virtually a professional at typesetting.

When I left the tip I was generous

Where else in the world can you be flooded

By an ocean of good memories

For four dollars and some change?

I made it ten and the bell above the door signaled my exit.

With a rejuvenated sense of Chi

I worked beyond the magnetic poetry of the Broadway signs

My foot falls finding turf all on their own as I changed streets

And crossed the uninviting face of a brownstone.

What appeared to be an old factory of unknown production capacity beckoned.

Cutting through unlocked portal windowed wooden doors

I broke the threshold of the complex and found my way forward

To a freight elevator with diamonded collapsing brass rails

And climbed aboard for a ride

Not unlike one of my meddlings earlier in the day.

I was hoping that this engagement would come to a similar result

To that of my morning conquest

Which had not been far from where I stood at that moment.

To the general misfortune of the endeavors of humanistic reformers

Who had recently made headlines

With news of the calculating coldness of the Kathy Lee Gifford

Advertising and Manufacturing establishment

The members of which attempted to effectively put a stranglehold on market share

For women's discount business attire

Through a here to remain anonymous national retailer

My target audience for the pre-prepared shtick of my present employer

Evaporated as I assessed that these were not members

Of the privileged blue collar class of low level middle management

That I had had the good fortune of establishing

For the most part

A direct line of friendly convenience oriented one way communication

That generally concluded with an educated consumers intent to purchase.

These beaten brows were those of the victims

Of the Ancient Art of War in the condition of the economics

Of the modern capitalist mode of operation

By stealthy less than aristocratic foreigners

Making a business of the corruption of the frail American Dream

That barely came to realization for a very few citizens of this country

In the time pre-dating the Johnson administration.

The Sweat Shops of the city on the island were real.

Above the streets of Liberty

The pale green copper heroine in all her glory stands with a torch

To light the path to Freedom

For both woman and man alike.

With the dead Kennedy's she showed us the next step into orbit.

Lunar Landers launched by the National Association of Space Administration.

With Reagan she helped us realize the means

To align the stars in our favor

With sattelites and telescopes placed by Columbia

and the Challenger.

And with patience and progress

She will lead us toward a recognition

For the need for societal reformation.

One day the bamboo cage

Housing those Missing In Action

From the front lines

Of the healthy

Educationally enabled

Family construction force

Will have it's flimsy frame unfastened.

Entangled threads of stitch

will cause the fracture of the needle of brute ignorance

That binds the beauty of the imagination

Of the creatively souled Chinese American

To the fabric of the garments

Of the globally dominated Superstore consumer.

Bringing the political garblings

Of my only partially aware mind

To a close,

It can be concluded in abbreviated form

That the Overseer sent me away

From a battalion of potential music listeners

With two simple words

That need not be repeated for the simple sake of commonality.

As he closed the wooden gate that divided me from the attention

Of the poor spirits

Of the class that goes without relief

Within the living field of possibility

That we like to reflect on

As we fixate ourselves on Network Television programming

From couches so easily earned

With the stylistic business

Of simple scientific methods learned

During the teenage years

That cannot be afforded

As a result of their contracts with the doers of the clandestine evil

Of the philosophically, politically, and socially challenged

whose motivation lies with those residing in the valley below the river Styx.

For the sake of clarification, Greed.

To bring the world up to date

I am subject to the whims of greed at times.

I find myself in a Casino on occasion

In an attempt to pick up Lady Fortune

And have her spin the revolving marble of her wheel

To line my pockets with lint

I see little curvature in the spines of the

Master of the Roulette wheel

He gets a full range of motion

At his long digit coded tables in Ontario

Accept my smile as a token

Of appreciation to one particular Casino Associate

From the recently opened port of Hong Kong

Of whom I am particularly fond

For his ability to light up the magic numbers

That I randomly select.

He knows that there is a place for him

And the parents that gave him to Chance

Before he has scholared his first academic achievement.

I'm betting that he will find that place.

I walked out of that Sweat Shop

Believing that I had seen

The only atrocity I would find in America

And I made my way cautiously back to my car

Where my passengers had been anxiously awaiting my arrival

For well over an hour.

We released the trunk

And four doors closed on the compact black cherry sedan.

Before Joe realized that the radio wasn't playing

We were wedged in behind the freight

Of the roughly two ton carriages of engineered steel

Exiting by way of the waterfront

at the base of the urban cityscape of New York.

We saw our squeegee men and rose peddlers

During the Tortoise's race back to the rails of the Washington

To engage in Mass Transit

And find our well deserved rest

At a Jersey Motel off the Garden State Parkway

But not before a quick stop in a small plaza

For multidirectional product exchanges

At a Dunkin Donuts

That never closes.

I think we may have dropped a Zeppelin or two on them

And when we counted what was left

There were a few copies of that whole

"I want to be a part of it" compact disc

that had gone missing somehow.


You never know.

This Week's Lotto Jackpot is Seventy Five Million Dollars.

Truly Brilliant Orange

By Christopher J. Bradley

12/3/00 11:13:10 PM


We were Aquatic together,

In the Summer of 1985,

We swam and sailed and skied the water together.

We had dinners together,

In a newly built building,

At Asbury,

on Silver Lake.

I had a camera,

But I only captured one picture of you,

Holding my hand,

Your hair was a truly brilliant orange.

We sat around a warm camp fire,

In the middle of the week,

And you hugged my cold damp shoulders from behind,

While the canoes rested against the high banks of the pier.

I thought I was in love at age 12,

Two years before I would wear my first pair of glasses.

You told me about Herkimer diamonds,

And living without Rock Music.

I hoped to see you the next year,

When I came back.

But I assume that because I never wrote back,

To your gem stoned letter,

You decided against going the next year.

I should have written back,

But we would never have been able to span the distance.

Someday maybe you will come to visit me,

In a dream or after I've written enough.

And I will get a chance to view,

The colors of what you've done,

With your,

Truly, Brilliant, Orange.

A Fiance' Not Forgotten

By Christopher Bradley

1/17/00 4:33 AM

Dedicated to Michelle Garvey

Photographs of the two of us,

Lie in a box from an old stereo,

Underneath my bed,

With my other rememberances,

Of times past.

When I sift through all of them,

You are there in the forefront,

In your purple dress,

The one you wore to the prom.

I remember taking rides with you,

Out to the hamburger stand,

In the back woods of Lockport,

And eating curly cue french fries,

Without ketchup.

Those were the days when I was still afraid,

To try certain new foods.

For Valentines Day,

The year I came back from Chicago,

We went to the Red Coach Inn,

And drank flaming cofee,

And you wore your blue gown,

I could have sworn I would have loved you until I died.

You had received the ring before then,

On your graduation day,

After the ceremony,

In my car.

It had been my secret graduation present to you.


Maybe when you came to visit in Chicago,

I felt like I had changed.

I had seen the dark side of the male mind at 18.

I cannot re-count the events of that semester,

to everyone.

I am fortunate that I had you to think of,

And that some wit remained.

It came to me later,

Long after I had demanded the ring back,

That it had been my own doing,

And that I left your house in turmoil.

I should have realized,

That you were a person too,

But that realization hadn't come to me,

Until the recent past,

When I discovered,

That people hurt,

That I hurt,

When I think of what I did,

To the girl who mattered most,

In the fantasy of who we were supposed

To become,

When I first imagined,

That we would be married at 22.

Words cannot change a life already lived,

But perhaps they can heal the wounds of the past,

At least in a small way.

I hope that your heart mends with time,

And that you find a man better than I.

If I could take back the images I showed you,

And swallow the last drop of alcohol I told you was safe to taste,

and fall off another bench,

And break my fourteenth rib,

I would do it again, so that you wouldn't have

Had to be my Eve.

Radiant Dawn

by Christopher J. Bradley

For Dawn McKinley

May 5, 1999, 6:26 AM

She rises,

We watch her,

Holding Hands,

As the moon sets.

A neighbor looks on,

As we kiss, in the new light,

She, who has held me through darkness,

Keeps my skin warm,

In the dewy morning grass,

Where we sit cross legged.

Smoke filters through the air,

The black maple breathes in our decadence,

While birds sing,

Their voices cry out from all angles.

A car passes through the tree lined street,

A traveler is headed for work,

His day is beginning,

All steel and concrete,

And I have you,

The Dawn of the Millennium.

It was Thanksgiving time again,

Sky Blue Irises

And I waited around the house for most of the evening,

By Christopher J. Bradley

For my car to arrive,

12/3/00 10:51:58 PM

So that I could go to meet you.

You were sitting in the bar when I arrived,

A Lewiston Brew House,

And talking with your sister.

It had been 7 years since we'd spoken.

Chinese was still new to me on our last dining experience,

I had Chicken and Mushrooms at Emperor of China,

The small restaurant on Main Street served tea with the meal.

And I thought I could talk to you forever.

You wore a long flowing gown made of thin flowered tissue cloth,

And smoked clove cigarettes across the table at me,

You called yourself a granola,

Whatever that was, it sounded appealing to me.

We were both college students,

And you were not single.

You suggested that we go for a walk along the gorge,

And being in nature with you seemed like a nice idea.

We stopped somewhere in the middle and sat on a rock,

And talked and shared silence,

While the sun glinted from the ripples of the water below.

It was a warm summer day, and one not easy to forget.

That day traced back to afternoons marching through the sticks of the wild grass,

Behind your house where we chased a frog,

In seventh grade,

And the time we went horseback riding,

After the Haloween that I dressed as Indiana Jones for.

I remember that a year earlier,

You lent me a casette tape of The Cars,

And I copied it, so that I could hear "Magic" and "Hello Again" over and over,

And we had Spelling Bees and Studied Biology at school.

At our most recent meeting,

When I was staring out into space,

I was thinking about whether or not I would have the courage,

To strike out on my own, and somehow make myself worth your attention again.

Maybe try to get a higher paying job somewhere far away from here,

Or live differently,

For a chance to touch your short dark hair,

Or return your silent postured gaze again,

Like the one I held with you for only a moment,

In the first November of the Millenium,

In the glaze of a chill winter evening,

On Center street.

As Winter Begins

By Christopher J. Bradley

11/16/00 9:52:48 PM

I stand outside,

The wind blustering against my face,

And tugging at the wings of my jacket.

The crinkling leaves are floating on the air,

Around my legs.

I have worked in the gym tonight,

My arms and legs feel strong and warm,

Against the cold.

A cup of coffee on the drive home,

Went well with some cigarettes.

The maple's falling petals shield me from tiny raindrops,

Almost snow,

they flick against my face when they sneak past.

The drops induce dreams of other places,

Warmer places, like Florida, or Alabama,

Maybe South Carolina,

Where I was born.

Seeing photographs of myself as a child last night,

Moved me to remember that winter can be fun,

Growing up at Grammy's house,

In the winter of 1977, during the Blizzard,

Was terrifying and ecstatic all at once.

I played with Pebbles then,

A beagle with a disposition like no other,

And a hunger for anything edible and visible.

I also played with new toys,

A plastic tennis set,

And a ring stack.

At Grammy's house,

I could see everything wooden and green,

The Christmas tree covered with glass ornaments,

Sparkled in the darkness that winter.

And we ate and drank, and shared the spirit of family.

A couple years pass in my mind,

And I find myself walking to school in the snow,

Trudging along heavy packed curbs of grey,

From the plows the night before.

Finding my way to Maple Avenue.

Around that time I played my first video game,

And got my Christmas wish,

To have Space Invaders to play at home,

Dad tried unsuccessfully to sneak the Atari 2600,

Past the doorway from his rusted blue Maverick.

We enjoyed the holidays a few days earlier that year.

My brother and I went sledding with my father,

For a couple of years in a row,

As we got bigger and stronger,

The Toboggan was heavy,

And Clover Hill was tall.

But what a rush it was,

To slide through white powder,

On the circular sleds,

And that huge wooden thing,

And to stop just short of the upturn,

That protected us from the cars slushing by.

The walk to school got further,

When we started attending St. Teresa's,

And the wind was colder with each successive winter,

As my ears grew.

But the music got louder,

And clearer, and that's when I started dancing.

There were winter dances at St John's school,

In LaSalle,

The winter of seventh grade,

I found myself with Jennifer Gallheger in my arms,

To the song that was prized as the most popular,

For it's length,

Stairway to Heaven, by Led Zeppelin.

That winter, I asked her to the movies,

And we saw Top Gun,

With Tom Cruise,

And I held her hand,

When Maverick made Kelly McGuiness quiver,

But we never kissed.

My cigarette burns out,

And I walk back inside the house,

Past the evergreen bushes,

In front of the space,

Where I built so many snowmen.

But I continue to dream,

Until my fingers reach the keys,

That put those dreams into words.

My freshmen year at high school,

I discovered Paula,

Who kissed me at a homecoming dance,

And we bowled together,

In a league that winter.

The shoes always clung to my wet socks,

when I took my boots off.

I also found more video games,

And left the house less,

Except for shoveling snow,

The next few winters,

As I concentrated on improving my grades.

In 1991 I experienced a winter without Michelle,

Alone in Chicago,

Among grown boys,

We celebrated a drunken Christmas party,

And I didn't see them,

Until I had given up on school there.

When I did come home,

Michelle and I made up for lost time,

Holding each other,

In front of the fireplace,

On blankets laid out on the blue carpeted floor.

Then there were several more winters,

And I found myself standing on the street,

Confronted as a loiterer.

I spent Thanksgiving in a hospital,

Recovering my wits.

And then there was the Christmas a year later,

With more of the same,

Due to some Christmas Shopping anxiety nightmare,

And fear of more of the same.

I spent Christmas out of commission as well.

The snow fell, but it didn't touch my face much.

So now that the winter is starting,

I hope to be prepared,

I'll not be planning any wild escapades or escapes,

I just want to watch the flakes fall from the heavens,

And glisten on the swooping winds,

that make my windows rock in the night time.

On the weekends my computer will humm with electricity,

While I type away, and try to figure out,

all of the wonderful things it can do,

And I will spend less time in the stores,

And more time talking to Mom and Dad.

Because when we are all together,

Brothers and Sister included,

There is still something special,

Not to be missed :

The spirit of family, and Joy of Winter today,

And Winters past,

We know how to protect against the cold,

And we know how to play in the snow,

And we know why Christmas is.

When The Fierceness of Winter Breaks

by Christopher Bradley

Dedicated to All of my Friends and Family

I will watch the flowers bloom,

This broken yard chair will support me,

While I finish reading Homer,

and Sky washes in the water,

sprayed from the hose of,

my seven year old brother.

I can see myself at dinner again,

with a special girl at a Middle Eastern restaurant,

In Rochester.

I will go to the hill,

where I met the Salamander,

And sit to write a story,

And try to remember things,

Like evenings in the University Library,

with a world traveling friend.

I know that I will spend time in,

cafe's in Allentown,

Meeting an occasional acquaintance,

And hiding from the real me of the past.

I will dream about becoming musical again.

I might press down an Ivory key or two.

If I am lucky the plastic ones,

might lead me somewhere.

I will visit my mother and my aunt

on evenings when they

are working,

near the border.

I will try to take Dan,

to the bookstore again,

and make a

day of it.

I will speak with my sister,

and her friends in a diner,

and ask her about her,

Love paper and who she's met,

through her studies,

And buy her boyfriend a cappuchino.

Mike and I will begin our,

conquering of the earth,

via the internet,

And Ryan will send me an e-mail,

saying that he wants to know,

what we have been up to.

There will be a unique excursion,

or two with Patrick and

Shennen will call and invite

me to see his new child,

And have some Marshmallows,

over a bonfire behind his

grand father in-law's old house.

I might bring a rattle or some Mocassins

for the baby.

I will stop by the University

to drop off paperwork and

share some of my history

with my professors

Letting Gansworth know

that I've finally finished

reading his novel.

I will give a friend a ride home from work,

And finish reading the Gospel of Mark.

I will spend some time in a

supermarket, and buy some

more yogurt and cream cheese.

And open a can of


I will participate in watching

cinema of all types,

Mission Impossible 2,

and anything new with Spacey or Jolene.

I will try out the video phone,

and have some fun with some


And I will keep trying to remember,

that Kilamanjaro,

didn't have to be cold,

to be deadly.

And there won't be a day,

that I don't think,

of a thousand poems,

that I will never have the time to,

write about,

the forever numbered leaves,

of my


Harmonies From Within The Maze

By Christopher J. Bradley

Compiled 11/9/01 3:03:29 AM

Head Kick

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/6/01 5:36:28 PM

Kicking in the Head,

Is more fun,

Than getting head kicked.


By Christopher J. Bradley

3/6/01 5:51:20 PM

To compose,

To write,

To make music,

And fill the ear with voice.

This is something I often did,

By low light,

In the green room,

In any season.

I often dreamed of fantastic places,

Robots, Planes, and Cars,

Traveling together between the spaces,

Left behind through time.

Jotting notes down with a pen,

I'd make them come to life,

And build the tracks with keyboard gear,

To make steely drums bite.

Composition is an art,

A pattern of woven skills,

Not quite the phantom it appears,

To the weak of will.

Someday I'll share my symphony,

To see what people think,

As they dance and dine and thrill,

To my sand washed blink.

A Steak Sandwich In The Suburban Jungle

By Christopher J. Bradley

9/10/01 11:18:29 PM

Tonight after a visit to the doctor,

And a trip to the post office to mail items auctioned,

At a profit of less than zero,

On the commerce rails of e-bay,

I ventured with my aunt and her grand schemes,

To the mall in Cheektowaga,

Under the assumption that we were going to pick up glasses.

The optical shop at JC Penney's resides beneath a large parking awning,

At the side of the mall,

And allowed easy access, for my aunt, who walks with a cane.

I parked the car and finished a cigarette before following her inside.

The store smelled like cloth and salon gel as I entered the foyer,

I went quickly to the restroom,

When leaving, a father and young son debated over which stall to use.

I remember having the same conversation with my father,

And having the same conversation again with my young brother,

In public.

This choice is something men secretly learn to despise when older I believe.

It is unfortunate that in the twenty first century we still are not a cleaner people.

With a towel in my hands I left them to their concerns.

In the optical shop, I cleaned my face of blackheads in the mirror,

While listening to my aunt complain about the glasses she had purchased.

I knew her secret.

I thought she believed she could get a better deal elsewhere.

I was quiet as I was expected to be,

But inside I wanted to scream,

What is this madness?

To order custom lenses and frames and then expect to return them?

People aged twenty-eight are never permitted that sort of luxury.

In any case, the optical shop was left promptly,

And I drove her past Buca Di Beppo's,

A place where I'd had a festive dinner with friends,

She noticed a sign that said Health Department Inspected,

And I laughed,

As if other restaurants weren't.

We kept driving,

And in mid travel, agreed on Pizzeria UNO,

A place conveniently traveled to by Millersport and a short cut,

That turned out to be not so short,

Where we discussed the menu at length,

And I found a steak sandwich,

That suited me just fine.

I used A1,

Which I told her I'd gotten into the habit of using,

At Bob Evans,

With the Steak and Eggs Special.

I used the sauce liberally and enjoyed every bite,

Especially the cooked mushrooms, onions, and peppers.

I wanted to tell her how much the sandwich reminded me of Chicago,

But it would have seemed redundant,

As she already knew it was a Chicago chain.

I thought back to eating Breaded Steak Sandwiches,

With Bear and the other Sig Ep Brothers,

And going on a burrito run while listening to Jane's Addiction,

With Parry Farrell screaming "Coming Down The Mountain."

In the back seat of a packed Honda.

I don't believe there is ever a time I felt more of a part of a group,

Outside of the days when I co-ordinated the BBS'ers in high school.

I felt equal and free, and nervous,

The blackness of the Jazz city at night,

Took me in, and I was safe there, with the other explorers of our generation.

But to describe this in a moment,

How would it have been possible,

And to someone so set,

I would have needed an hour.

Maybe introducing her to books was enough for a night,

After dinner I took her to Barnes and Noble for coffee,

And we shared some words about design,

And heroic accidents,

And drank caramel coffee,

With any luck we can do this again.

And without as many rifts.

Maybe by the time the next time comes,

She'll have already dealt with the glasses.

Hurling new Dough

By Christopher J. Bradley

1/27/01 9:10:07 AM

At four o'clock I rushed the kitchen,

Every Friday after school,

For almost a year.

I cleaned the dishes first,

Washing my hands in the soapy lather,

While the restaraunt was getting set,

For dinner rush.

My other kitchen help,

Prepared the dough in a big metal mixer,

While we all listened to tunes on discs,

Of MC Hammer or the Eagles.

No one ever had to slice mushrooms,

We used them from an industrial size can,

But we did have to cut onions and peppers.

The dough was rolled neatly into balls,

And placed in plastic refrigerator trays,

While what we needed was brought out,

To the racks above the cutting table.

When the first order would come in,

From the restaraunt or the phone,

The music would go a little louder,

And the hurling would begin.

I was nervous the first time I was asked,

To go at it with the dough.

I was a delivery driver, never a chef,

They always flung it so high in the air,

And I thought catching it might be a problem.

The trick, the black cook said,

Was to throw it like a frisbee,

So that the rubbery stuff would stretch out,

And float back to you on air.

It took some faith that it would work,

A flimsy aerodynamic sail,

And it did come back to me,

So many times that year.

Now Try The Best

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/6/01 4:47:39 PM

Before the days of cellular,

Beepers or the rest,

I delivered pizza pies,

For you may have guessed it,

The Best.

I'd enter through the side door,

And saunter past the stove,

Where they'd rest upon the oven,

Warming in heat's glow.

Sometimes they came with chicken wings,

And often times with pop,

I'd grab a whole big bunch of food,

And quickly leave the shop.

The car door opened with one hand,

So boxes red and white with heat,

Could radiate their odor's through the air,

While resting on my seat.

If the need was there, a city map,

Would help me find my way,

Through traffic lights,

And auto fray.

The driveway was so perilous,

On Military Road,

That if I moved an inch too quick,

Collisions might explode.

The radio was often blaring,

When I'd start my trip,

I'd ease right into traffic,

And take a soda sip.

The tanginess of fresh made food,

Lingered in the car,

While I wove past shopping stores,

Auto shops and bars.

Then into dim lit neighborhoods,

Friendlier than not,

I brought hot trays and bottles,

For my tipping lot.

In my time I've had a slice or two,

While delivering the goods,

Courtesy of management,

Or makers of the loot.

The Pizza was tasty and tangy,

And made just to my request,

If I'd worked there one more summer,

I'd enjoy it all again.

To keep your driver satisfied,

In comfort and in style,

Ask him often and clearly,

To come that extra mile.

It's clear when you receive your wings and Za,

And they've surpassed the test,

That you've tried all the rest of them,

It's time to try the best.

The Greenery of Beans

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/6/01 6:17:34 PM

A cup of coffee isn't as simple as it looks,

There is so much time in preparation,

It has to start at the roots of a plant,

Somewhere warm,

Say for example,

In Columbia or Guatemala.

Then it grows into a

Ferning vessel,

That is carpentered,

By the hands of workers who live,

Subsistantly from the land.

They carry their satchels,


Using horses and mules,

To dispatchers,

Who prepare and pack the kernels,

To bring them to cafés.

There is more of a dynamic,

In a café than you might realize,

The clerk behind the counter,

Might have been a customer for years,

While poets and actors gather 'round

To share their hopes and fears,

The game players find themselves there,

Imbibing in the fruit,

Of laborers beyond the line,

Toiling in the South.

I drink it all in once again,

The scenery and the scene,

While writing on this tissue,

Through crystalline caffeine,

The people all around and about,

Are the greenery of the beans.

Sketch an Edge

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/6/01 5:45:08 PM

Third grade after counting,

I'd dig you from the clutter,

A bright red rectangle,

With a silver grey interior.

I'd draw my pictures,

Dragging your pointer through the grey,

To leave a thin black line,

That would fade away with shaking,

Or would fade away with time.

Now I've got a new solution,

Maybe it will last a while,

A mouse, a scanner, camera, printer,

And an ounce or two of rhyme.

Your tracing rays were easily gone,

As will all the ink,

When sand runs over sand again,

And at last we sink.

Extra Tempestual Being

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/7/01 5:15:51 PM

She took me in a dream,

In my own clean white sheeted bed,

She had a larger than normal frontal lobe,

Making her eyes stretch out like a black heart,

Centered on her grey nostrils.

I was close to naked,

And gripped the metal bars,

At the side of my frame,

As her touch set my sizzling spine upward.

She watched me,

Her head slowly tilting right,

In wonderment to my response,

And I didn't feel the juice,

Just the lightening in blue and magenta.

Her off black shouldrers,

Were satined with a green-orange aura,

And she faded slowly into darkness,

Before I could follow to watch her fly off,

through my window.

She had let me know,

That somewhere in Space Time,

Marcus Allen Bradley would be born,

Even if no earthly mother would bring him.

And I've managed to capture,

At least her essence,

In at least a narrowly interested niche,

In an off centered web in cyber-space,

From tempera colors,

She has revisited me.

My Extra Tempestual Being,

You saved what might have gone the way of Poe's Usher,

Never to Return,

And for that,

I can only paint your praise.

Origami Trick

By Christopher J. Bradley



Recomplexify yourself,

You are my magazine, postcard, textbook.


You thicken to make,

Swans, Tortoises, and Tulips.


Nothing binds your skin,

You are a singular wholeness on dark water,


Four legs will lean in,

And travel you forward in slow steps.


Like a wild mushroom,

Shoot up from every acre of green.

Then rest,

Upon my coffee marked table,

At the point of my aching pen.

From Harlem to 42


By Christopher J. Bradley

3/6/01 7:05:50 PM

The daylight was smashing,

Through my gunmetal frames,

I could see the teeming walkers,

Strolling like panthers,

Beside the row of rolling tires.

At each quick coming intersection.

I would have to stop and burn minutes away,

From the air conditioning system,

Of my curvy blackberry sedan.

The cigarette smoke filled the closed car,

While I fidgeted with the yohimbe,

In it's little gold packet,

Wondering exactly what to do with it.

There was probably a warrant out,

In that little truckstop region

Where I'd bought the sandwich.

Because I'd accidentally pocketed the gold.

I was among the pimps and hustlers of ninety seventh,

In their "For Us, By Us" Jersey's and chains,

They crossed every which way,

In front of and behind my bumpers.

While baby-mamas drove carriages,

Along the smooth walks of modern harlem.

I felt no panic in the daylight,

Of a May Parade.

Toward Seventieth,

I could start to make out the businesses,

And the street began to tighten,

The pace of all the traffic quickened one step at a time.

As if each press of the break pedal,

Increased the speed incrementally,

I seriously noticed the weaving cabs,

Bright yellow with their tank-like grills.

It finally broke my nervous system,

At around fiftieth when I saw,

The blinking clock,

Trussed to a twenty story building,

Flashing 3:16.

For God so loved the universe,

That he brought me to it's apex…

And I rode to 42



And swung off left,

To look for parking,

The ramps were available,

But for what I had to give,

There was no room to slow down.

Grand Central Station

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/6/01 7:24:03 PM

So I twisted back and forth a while,

Through the interstices of the metropolitan sidestreets,

Looking for parking gaps,

That wouldn't cost more than,

Twenty for the day.

When I found there were none,

Even that far from 5



I started looking for an Avenue,

To lead me to a Bridge,

New York had exhausted me,

And I was barely there,

And couldn't spot an ATM in my exhaustion.

The motion was ceaseless

And tightly knit,

An integrated blanket,

Of twisting yarns.

Behind a half parked truck,

I saw the light of an Avenue,

From the darkness of an overshadowed street,

And with a quick jog to the left,

I was in the blaze of summer again.

With yellow taxi's blocking me out on all sides,

I was so caught in the flow,

That I could do nothing but shift left or right,

To avoid collisions.

I saw a sport utility vehicle,

Mix in with the mash of motion,

And remembered to tune into Z100.

DMX was on the radio,

Thumping hard with "Party Up!"

And all the cabs were speeding ahead,

There was a tunnel within view.

At it's right was a massive hotel,

I followed into the station,

With the yellows.

And it was as if someone had flicked off the lightswitch.

There were people stepping to cabs so quickly it was difficult not to hit them.

I drove as far left as I could to get out of their way.

And I followed the curving of the tunnel

For a sixteenth of a mile

Until I could see the light,

And a sign for Central Park.

Central Park

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/6/01 7:38:06 PM

The sign pointed straight ahead,

So I continued on,

Bloodshot and boiling,

Not knowing the name of this thoroughfare,

After passing over a bridge with neat white railings,

The traffic thinned and slowed slightly,

And I realized I was listening to a top 10 countdown,

With Destiny's Child in the Mix at number 5.

I knew as I traveled that eminem would be at the top,

His track had been convincing me that I was,

"the real slim shady" all month,

With that I progressed.

Past the towering underwear billboards,

Hosting Nike and Gucci

And diamonds and leather,

And on the right I began to see the greenery,

With it's trimmers and it's Rollerbladers.

Suddenly I was attuned to the parking signs,

And a meter welcomed me,

The zone was 30 minutes with towing.

It was the best I could do.

So I got out of the Saturn,

Stepped between vehicles,

And paid.

I rested with the windows down,

The breeze of mid-town,

Bristling my whiskers.

Eminem blinged into my conciousness,

And I woke up from a half dream,

About Carolina and Scott,

Would I make it there in time to get to Ashland?

Or would I have my tour interrupted?

I still had 15 minutes left.

The street called,

but I wouldn't have made it two steps,

I turned off the radio to hear it's burbling buzz,

And I noticed that there was not a bird, or insect,

In sight.

Exit to George Washington

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/6/01 7:50:42 PM

Getting back into the river of cars was rough,

I had to keep sticking my head out the window,

To look for a large enough gap,

The Saturn was bigger than the Shadow.

Finally, I hit the gas and slowed the car in the right,

My watch told me it was about 4:30 in silver and black plastic,

Soon the park was behind me and I was completely engaged in motion,

There were traffic lights all around.

I flowed straight ahead until the street changed names,

I noticed a sign at the curbside that read Frederick Douglas Boulevard,

I had entered through Harlem and exited to freedom.

The George Washington's steel frame was just ahead.

I followed to the end,

Past more jersey's and carriages,

Careful to stop with every red sign,

Smoking my pulse up all the way.

I was hot and thirsty,

So I opened a bottle of water,

That I'd bought at the truck stop near Corning,

Where they'd sold me the purple fry soda.

It seemed like I sweat before I swallowed.

The water poured from my wrinkled forehead,

As I entered the concrete guide way,

Trapped in a sluggish fiberglass conveyor,

Baking like a tin foiled potato.

The cars and trucks were at an aneuristic halt.

Nothing moved.

I feared the worst If I had moved my foot from the brake,

At an all too unpleasant moment.

I'll say I made it with caution,

But that was far from the end of the experience,

Getting out of the jungle concrete cost me twelve-fifty,

Of the twenty in my wallet.

Garden State Extraction

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/7/01 4:39:21 PM

After the gargantuan bridge

Came an option

North or South

On the Garden State Parkway

I chose south thinking it would lead me

Down through Jersey

Toward the Carolinas

There was traffic to contend with plenty.

Red, Blue, and Silver Sedans were weaving,

Like electrons through silicon wafers,

And suddenly I realized,

They were part of some kind of caravan.

It wasn't like a funeral procession,

It happened too quick for that,

It was like they were government,

Surrounding a limousine.

Had one of the Clinton's been,

Pushing out of the city,

Toward the airport?

Or had they been traveling by auto back to D.C.?

I was lost in the nanosecond of their passing,

In the swarm of metal husks,

And so I kept pace with the last of the fifty or so of them,

Until I spotted an Aamaco.

I veered off,

And paid the attendent with a folded ten,

Angled up like the tail of a swan,

And had my tank refueled.

It was getting toward seven and I was hungry,

So I pulled into the first small town I saw,

Turned the radio down,

And started looking for a cheap Italian place.

No Free Parking in Jersey

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/7/01 4:50:01 PM

When I exited into Jersey,

The Traffic was fierce,

But in a different way,

It seemed like every car had custom rims.

The buildings were all compact,

Like adobe brick houses on a New Mexico mesa,

The asphault wasn't overly slanted,

But tilted enough that you could feel the gravity.

There were businesses of all types,

That I slowly passed by,

But a lack of parking lots was plainly evident,

And the streets were firmly lined.

It took me almost 30 minutes,

To weave my way out of the small township,

And when I finally got to the sign for the Garden State,

I got forced left into a residential maze.

The red, blue, and silver cars were there again,

Black Miatas, and white jaguars were among them,

I began to think they were leading me somewhere,

In my exhaustion my thoughts were misplaced.

There was a purple heart monument,

Clearly marked on one rightward channel,

With effort I followed the signs through,

And around.

I was so burned from the smoke and the sun,

That I almost parked in the driveway to a home,

But I continued on

and passed a little league baseball field,

And then got lost in a dead end,

Where a man on a riding mower,

Was wearing earphones and it appeared -

That he was talking to himself.

I backed up and turned around,

To watch a black crow hop across the street,

And slowly wound a path,

Back to a sign for the Parkway.

The Darkest Zing

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/7/01 5:28:13 PM

The swim in deep asphalt at the crack of night,

Cleared the throb from my temples a bit,

I still had a grape soda left.

So I carefully opened the twisting bottlecap,

On the lean glass bottle and took randomly paced swigs.


The bottle fit neatly into my car's cupholder,

So I could cruise with both hands for the most part,

The signs indicated I was headed South,

There was no sun as a guiding force.

So I floated adrift with the big wheelers,

And the dashers sped past,

All of those black and grey spy hunter sports cars,

Slicking oil at ninety miles an hour,

Hopping open gaps from nothing.

Then suddenly I was with them again,

I had caught up with them all,

They were a caravan for my protection,

And there were video puzzles on the backs of the trucks,

Silver fractalized bouncing balls iridescently gleamed.

Then it looked like a map flashed my retina,

On the square sheet of steel,

Of the next eighteen circled machine,

And I flinched and drove right,

Almost flinging through the path of a roadster.

They were teaching me to move at high velocity,

Steering me this way and that,

Guiding me down a never ending path,

Of green and yellow caution signs,

It was my own Daytona that I would never have.

It was as if Police didn't exist on that road,

It had been sanctioned Holy,

For the Zealots that were leading me to be briefed,

And I thought back to the "Nissan/Comic Book" Escapade,

And when I saw the squares I was there.

Rotating Lamps

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/7/01 7:14:48 PM

I didn't hear an audible siren,

But a flash went off in the back of my head,

When my eyes crossed the rear view,

To land upon red and white rotating rooftop lamps.

I was in motion,

Climbing right to the curb slowly,

Praying that in deep night,

This Police officer was for real.

I had been traveling slow,

In a forty mile an hour zone,

He didn't check for liquor or drugs,

Just told me to get to a hotel fast.

He said there was one off to the left,

But he didn't lead me there,

And I saw the New Briton Square sign again,

And just started back onto the Expressway.

Poison Tree in New Berlin

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/7/01 6:03:48 PM

2 cars exited from the ramps,

One led to New Briton,

The other to New Berlin.

I followed the one to New Berlin,

And stopped at the edge of the compound.

The structure before me looked like a gatehouse.

I dared not exit the vehicle here.

So I slowly smoked a cigarette,

And emptied my ashtray out the window,

The car was gone.

Another soon followed down the road,

So I revved my engine and followed it in.

They would lead me to my quarters,

With the tightest security possible,

And when I arrived it was more than I ever could have hoped for.

A house with a big driveway was here,

I pulled in and put my cigarette out,

The other car was gone in a flash,

I stepped out of the car and headed for the door,

To look for a manilla envelope packet with a key.

When I opened the door,

A political magazine slid out,

Written in German,

This was not the place for me,

But I stood for a moment before leaving.

Before the garage there was a spindling potted tree,

The tree had thin leaves,

They projected a perfect poisonous shadow,

Before the large wooden frame,

And the perfectly flat cement driveway pushed up against my shoes.

I desperately tried to weave my way out of that place,

But at every turn there was a dead end or a wooden gate,

Finally I found the block with the house again,

And a kid around seventeen with a sleeveless shirt,

Pointed me to the road out.

As I exited I noticed the carefully placed,

"Trespassing Is Granted Zero Tolerance," signs,

It really is a good thing I didn't panic,

And stop at the police or fire stations,

For any kind of assistance.

Lasergrid Pole Position

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/7/01 7:19:36 PM

The hallucinations from the magic soda got worse,

The trucks were pushing the pace even faster,

Once I had climbed the ramp back into the night sea,

The white lines on blackness blurred.

My vehicle was crunching dots,

Like an invisible Pac-Man,

It was Pole Positioned for the other Square,

Through a lasergrid set that only a cybernaut could navigate,

Fortunately I was tuned in with my chip set to static.

I bopped back and forth across the lanes,

At a high rate of velocity,

Paying close attention to the Road Arrows,

And Slick signs.

The cracks in the dry tar made my shocks jumble,

And the beams drifted across in flashes of green and red,

Like those of the raves so many years past,

Except that these blipped in quick single shots.

The deeper into the electro-static maze I delved,

The fewer vehicles there were,

I was coordinated enough to maneuver while lighting smokes,

And the air was cooling to comfortable.

It was like being inside a lightening tunnel,

In a dream about the anger of Zeus,

But drifting with the winds of the ocean clouds,

Except that all that was there was blackness.

I hoped not to see any more creatures,

Like I had outside of Corning,

On that forested trail,

Toward the beginning of the journey.

Camp Hill Hit Patches

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/7/01 7:31:16 PM

Roped back half acres,

Of green fern slicked around the blackberry cocoon,

They made me think of dangerous games,

That take place in the forest.

Of men hunting men as ghosts,

Cutting one another down like lumber,

The smell of freshly composted rot,

Lingered even as a taste to me.

They were like down town SAS,

I couldn't see them but they were there,

I tried to avoid those hit patches,

By following the back end points of bent black arrows.

They were posted along the sides of the road,

Like warning markers left near,

The site of an Indian Burial Ground,

Stand clear of the kill zones and everything will be fine.

The road wound slowly,

And as I made my way past an industrial park,

Buried in the greenery,

I began to realize that Camp Hill was nearly gone.

A small bridge asked me to pass over,

And I found myself compelled to cross,

Knowing that it would be taken by ion pulse,

From one of the birds in the sky.

None of it mattered much,

I had passed safely through,

The next phase would be critical to the plan,

Closing the back door for good was the key.

They Can Read The Fine Print

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/7/01 7:39:24 PM

I passed the site of a blazing fire,

With several cherry red trucks arranged outside of it,

There was water everywhere on the dirty ground,

And men in yellow fire coats were rushing toward the flame mirage.

I was directed forward,

With a lighted cone,

By a volunteer fireman,

In a blue and white vest.

It seemed that in the township,

There was still no where safe to park,

I considered stopping in an office complex,

But then proceeded.

There was a long road ahead anyway,

One with a path of flashing lights,

They were pinging me,

And holding the unauthorized back.

By not aligning them with me exactly.

I opened the glovebox and took out the CD case,

And placed the discs inside on the dashboard,

I flipped them back side up,

So that the data could be read by the birds,

Music is so complex,

That mixing two styles,

For encryption,

And then melding them with purple liquid,

Was going to block out those without clearance.

I was in my greens and ready to hash it out,

My shoes were tight on my feet.

I used my blinkers once or twice to break an arrow,

On those who sped around me.

And I clenched my teeth like Grey Grantham,

That writer must have covered those sorts of actions before.

For the Raccoons, Fawns, and Bunnies

By Christopher J. Bradley

5/24/01 12:27:02 AM

If I could capture all of your innocence,

Curiosity, and wonder,

I would do everything in my power,

To share it with my eight year old brother.

There is something to your furry world,

That cannot be captured in a cartoon,

About Angry Beavers,

At least though, the cartoon acknowledges,

That there are beavers on earth.

If you had been given wings,

You would be even more beautiful,

As creatures of the ground though,

You can find places that I cannot,

Bound from the road by four rubber wheels.

Sometimes I see you,

Moving at the edges of the wood,

And I pray,

That somehow,

The wood might grow over all of us,

And take us all into God's realm.

I know that you fare well there,

Feasting on leaves and bugs,

And that your bodies glow and shimmer in the sun,

And dampen with the rain,

And I marvel at how you survive the winters.

If I could,

I would like to live inside your minds for a year,

To feel the fury of a wild run with nature for a year,

On long legs with clicking knees,

Or swishing a striped tail through the bushes,

While quickly sniffing at the air with my tender whiskers.

When we do get beyond this consciousness,

I will make a point of having this little conversation with you,

And see if maybe we can swap identities for a bit,

For I know in heaven,

We will be more than we can comprehend,

And maybe we'll be able to share ourselves wholly with one another.

To the fawns, raccoons, and bunnies,

I give you my peace and good will,

And I will keep my tires,

As best I can,

Where they belong.


by Christopher J. Bradley

11/3/01 9:29:04 PM

I felt my bones cringle crackle,

at the moment of impact,

The green sport utility,

hitting my rear trunk.

My car slid forward a little,

on the pavement as I pressed the brake pedal harder.

And I watched the car come up quick from the left.

I instinctively put the car in park.

I was gripped by the stupidness of it all,

as I groped for my cell phone,

to dial 911,

which ultimately would not answer.

I learned when I got home from the emergency room,

that there had been an anthrax scare at the bridge.

What kind of nightmare had I been in the center of,

In that room that night.

I was amazed at how they all kept their calm,

while trying to fit me with a cervical brace.

Fortunately as I type now, I am not in one,

But my back is in pain,

Moreso than ever...

And I pray that there will be relief.

I've been going for some walks lately,

as prescribed,

and I've enjoyed being around my family,

It seems at times we barely live,

but we will make it,

if I have anything to say about it.

And someday, I will get that scratch fixed,

where someone keyed my car,

even though that,

cannot be remedied immediately.

An Angel Descends

By Christopher Bradley

Dedicated to Chuck Excel

3/6/01 6:04:45 PM

An angel descends,

From out of the snowy skies,

To make my life,

A little more liveable.

He doesn't get deeply involved,

Just gives me some simple surface words,

That slowly sink into my being,

As he and his companion depart.

My Assassin

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/6/01 5:23:20 PM

Before I died in 1994,

I remember thinking,

That I would have just a little bit of fun with her.

She was like a kitten,

Curled up on an eighty year old man's lap.

One with claws that held her there,

Poking into clean white fiber.

She looked into me from her perch,

While I was avoiding playing chess,

Her arms were around the old man,

With her curling hair falling over denim.

Her eyes didn't want me to let them go.

And so I stayed a moment too long,

Not noticing her bleach stained jeans,

Until I gazed down to break her stare.

Her smile was full of dynamite,

It was a grin full of the jester's humor,

My bones would soon be breaking,

Her thighs were made of C-4.

Little did I know at the time,

My death was imminent,

To every known cause,

Of ultimate fulfillment.

My assassin disappeared,

The next night into the rain,

I wouldn't see her for one more year,

When she would verify her claim.

Her sights had been on target,

A fallen man I was,

With little blood to hold on to,

The ground chill to my fading heat.

She flew again,

Like a vampire bat,

Deep into the night,

And with my faintest, pleading gasps,

"My assassin did me right."

Awkward Moments

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/6/01 6:06:52 PM

Why are people concerned

About these awkward moments that they have?

Spaces of seconds against the clock,

When they might be asked about choices to make,

About their relationships,

To all these other people.

It seems that I create an awkward moment,

When I speak or write,

And so for a moment,

I will let my pen rest,

To give in to other's might.

But soon I'll tell it all again,

With fury and with force,

And let the awkward seconds spill about,

Let nature run it's course.

Desire in Commercial Lust

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/6/01 6:11:06 PM

There is no desire in Commercial Lust.

Nothing is striven for,

Only pulled away,

Stripping heart from mind from soul,

And draining the breath of life,

From a dying orchid of decay.

There is a weeping sadness,

In the shadowbox we see,

On an entertainment shelf,

Holding a TV.

The bright mag covers all the same,

Flowing through the malls,

Show models in their creepy stares,

Drowned in alcohol.

The fortunate among us,

Will come to realize,

That to truly build a better self,

Takes mental exercise.

Cubicles and Pods in January

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/6/01 6:55:14 PM

Our Office Space is divided,

Into neatly tangled cubes,

Filled with telephones and terminals,

And bachlorettes and dudes.

The cubicles are sorted,

Into circular grouped pods,

Spindling round about with calendars,

And supervisor wads.

A weave of red black office chairs,

Find their ways about,

While we all goggle into screens,

As customers do shout.

The syncopated rhythm,

Of typing keyboard keys,

Makes our eardrums static out,

The photocopy sheen.

Our breaks are stiffly metered out,

By quick computer clocks,

While bottled water's carried in,

From Aquafina Trucks.

On occasion we get little toys,

Or helium baloons,

And everyone is deep in line,

On Friday Afternoon.

I know I'll find my way out,

Before the operation folds,

But for now I'll keep the heat up,

And try not to catch cold.

First Seconds of Airtime

By Christopher Bradley

3/6/01 5:57:36 PM

dedicated to Kari Arnold

The first seconds I used of airtime,

Were a radio blast through space.

I received a busy signal,

From my aunt's fixed line in the hospital room.

The beep beep bonging,

Cut my ear as a shock,

I suppose I didn't think,

Anyone else would be contacting her,

At that particular moment.

She'd gotten through the surgery alright,

I guess that was a relief.

I had some lunch with my mother while there,

And brought a vase full of Iris'

From the florist.

I am glad that she remembered,

To bring the stuffed puppy dog,

That I had purchased for her

for Christmas.

I finally got through,

Calling from my car,

To leave her the phone number,

So that she could call me back,

So that I could bring Mom home,

For a little rest.

God Save the Machines

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/6/01 6:27:50 PM

God save the digital warriors,

With Flexgrip PDA's,

On Airplanes and in subways,

From shutdowns or delays.

Keep them marching here and there,

With pocketbooks and suits,

Drinking Margaritas,

While on Carribbean Cruise.

Bring them safe through,

Terminals and Stiles,

Keep them traveling cheap and free,

On frequent flyer miles.

Give them stops in Boston,

Dallas and Fort Worth,

Televise their local calls,

All around the earth.

Sparkle them with gifts and glories,

On their wedding days,

Grant them children two point five,

With double income pay.

And smite their loathsome subjects,

With molding bails of hay.

God save the machines,

The doctors and their clerks,

Speed their fancy jaguars,

And flash them all the perks.

Grey Stone and Velvet in Albany

By Christopher J. Bradley

I remember looking out at a statue of Lincoln,

From a room filled with historically preserved flags,

On the upper floor of the New York State Legislative Chambers,

At the top of a pink staircase in Albany.

They told us as we climbed it that it was,

The Tallest Staircase in the United States,

Quite possibly the world,

Made of sand washed soapstone.

Earlier that day,

We had shaken hands with the Governor in the Red Room,

While he'd been doing a photo shoot,

For Rolling Stone magazine.

And even earlier,

We had met with the state comptroller,

After a long walk through A narrow underground tunnel,

For short the government employees called it the subway.

The curtains in the hallways,

Of the senate building were velvet and mostly red,

The atmosphere was like that of what I have imagined about Rome,

And the senators were like animated puppets of the people.

I also remember drinking beer cooled in a bathtub,

After perhaps the finest formal dinner I've ever attended,

As kalimari, Filet Minon, and Deep Sea Bass,

Mingled with Heineken and Killians in my body.

Albany dizzied me to the point of sickness once,

Among the absurdity of fraternal antics,

But it will never look as dreary again,

Now that I have seen how well,

Velvet complements,

Grey Stone,

On the inside.

I Never Met a Monkey

By Christopher J. Bradey

3/7/01 6:51:24 PM

I've never met a monkey,

That I could have a signing with,

I would like to though,

I bet he could talk with his hands,

Far better than I.

Maybe we'll get swift enough,

And smart enough someday,

To build a keyboard with big keys,

So that they can share their memories.

It really does amaze me,

That I've never seen anyone scientific,

Make quite that suggestion.

Monkey poets of the world unite,

Your time is on the horizon.

El Biblioteca Americano

By Christopher Bradley

3/7/01 5:43:20 PM

To complain in a library,

Shaped like a sick albatross,

Almost within earshot of two guards,

Is like a bittersweet nectarine of wisdom.

There are many volumes and indices here,

And individual books by the gross,

There are full shelves,

But no people browsing them.

The plants are still alive,

But the florescent lights are blinking out,

Like pinball tilt signs,

In lightning white jitters.

It will be good not to come here,

Too often,

The place doesn't offer the,

modernity of cybernews.

And the bookstore has a more brilliant sheen,

And coffee with my favorite hosts,

And an occasional aquaintance drops by,

All this for a mere $2.35.

But who knows?

Maybe there is something to save this wretched place for,

Maybe they'll one day line it with PC's,

And make true access for those of,

They who can not afford.

Fool's Tokens

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/7/01 6:30:25 PM

On a cool winter afternoon,

I entered the Topic after a day of early training,

For the Disney Interactive program,

And bought six wooden nickels for four dollars,

The Aroma of Amaretto steamed from my mug,

Bearded Bob had poured me a free one.

I stamped my shoes from the cold,

And reached past my shirt pocket for the tape,

And handed it to him,

Knowing that with the shop nearly empty,

He would play it.

And he did.

The Stone Roses shimmered into being,

And livened the mood of the wood and plaster café',

So I told Bob about life on the job,

And he cautiously congradulated me,

Perhaps having seen ambition before.

I sat at the bar and he and I drank in the sound,

As I read the board for new drinks,

Like Captain Hazelnut's Aneurism,

Or Full Throttle Mocha,

And as "Adored" finished…

In walked a heavy headed Russian capped Scottsman,

Who was well known in these parts,

But I hadn't been expecting him.

I bought him a Tanzanian,

And we were deep into "Fool's Gold."

It was the eight minute rock out,

That he'd taped for me,

To listen to on quiet evenings,

Om a storage closet in the University,

What a drastic improvement!


That tape now rests on my parents' kitchen counter,

We trade compact discs now,

The Happy Mondays for a special mix of my own,

And it takes longer as the distance divides,

But there is always hope,

For another grand adventure,

Where Tokens Run Freely,

Among Fools.

Praise for The Public

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/7/01 6:41:51 PM

When the public loves you,

For example, when you're a bartender,

All kinds of praise and thanks sing forward,

Most noteably in the form of tips.

But the public can be a coiling serpent,

Throwing suspicious or paranoid glances your way,

Whispering or hissing the unthinkable,

For no apparent reason other than that you are there.

I praise the public,

In all it's gross anguish,

At unsightliness or the often quoted irregularity,

It makes an effort to create order from chaos,

To find the diamonds in the coal.

But I curse its' methods,

For the sting of their stingers is bitter,

I hurt inside when I feel their uncaring application,

For whenever I choose to be,

And for whatever worldly purpose or pursuit -

I am only a man,

And can aspire to nothing greater,

Than the good itself,

And the inspiration of those who would also seek it.

So public,

Have your praise,

You have earned it through your deeds,

And I expect that you will not take my gesture lightly.

After all,

It is you,

Who will carry the ripples,

Of the smooth edges stones,

That I so carefully pitch.

Screws, Nails, and Boards

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/6/01 5:38:21 PM

I've never really liked,

Screws, Nails, or Boards.

Twisting, Hammering, or Sawing,

Just never seemed to be my thing.

Sometimes I wish I'd learned better,

How to work with wood or plaster,

Because at times I wonder how nice it would be,

To make myself a new bookshelf.

I've left behind the skills of carpentry,

And wall hanging and wool,

In exchange for a computer and a pen,

And a calculator and paper.

I would like to build that bookshelf,

But I can't quite figure out where to put it,

It seems sometimes that my toys are owning too much real estate,

In the corners of my room.

Old modems and audio modules and cases of copper wire,

Clutter everything up.

And then I get too confused,

About the papers in front of the dresser's floorspace,

And I can't write about it anymore.

Movie Theater Scam

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/6/01 6:35:51 PM

A machine resting in a hallway

In the theater near home,

Made me want to drill the thing,

And fill it full of holes.

It authorized my credit card,

And stuck me with a bill,

But wouldn't print the tickets,

To let me view the film.

So I shouted rants out at the clerk,

Who didn't really care,

It must have happened all the time,

It must not be that rare.

Eventually they printed,

And fell down through the slot,

They got me past the ticket taker,

Who'd been beyond earshot.

Next time I buy a ticket,

I'll keep a careful stash,

And never use a Master Plate,

It's not as good as cash.

When the Blues turn Red

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/7/01 5:03:39 PM

Blood moves through the veins and arteries,

Of a living man,

Mutating, from Blue to Red,

Oxygenating the body,

Swiftly in pulsations.

I think my pulse must have risen,

The day it all became possible,

Our region was within a breath of victory,

My street's value could rise with a kick.

I lived on Norwood Avenue that year,

The year the pressure caved,

The star kicker for the Buffalo Bills,

And the ball came down on rough grass.

Football is more lifestyle than sport to many Americans,

It's players are the new gladiators of the Western Empire,

They are one with our Art, Commerce, Trade, and Literature,

Of that last note, this becomes a less than unique work.

Televised action however,

Cannot compare with,

The force of mass crossed with acceleration,

In an inelastic forty yard line collision,

Of flesh, bone, and gristling jaws.

I pressed into the mash a few times,

In a red and grey t-shirt,

On a field with my compatriots,

Not far from Kominski park,

In the shadow of Chicago's elevated train.

We were the champions of the season,

Of an epic traversal,

Through bruise and bone-shatter,

We trudged through the cold wet muck of October.

And we drank,

And we sang,

And we dined.

The Latin Senate

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/7/01 6:18:40 PM

In 1998 A.D. we convened,

In a hall on the University Campus,

To discuss linguistic endeavors,

And the fantasy,

Of those who ruled for a thousand years.

There were two women among us,

That I noticed right off,

Because one had red hair,

And the other lived in my hometown.

Another of the senators,

Was a bone doctor,

Studying paleontology,

And bringing latin named artifacts to class,

The most impressive of which was a cranium.

Our Cesar,

A tall thin shadow caster,

Spoke of the whims of Aphrodite and Hades,

And the other subjects of Zeus,

While instructing us in the necessity for oxen in past times.

I write to him from time to time now,

And am glad to hear he married successfully,

Unlike Attilla,

And engineered his fortress,

Somewhere more secure than this.

All of the other senators passed through the loopholes,

Some not as flowingly as others.

And I remember reading and writing about,

Cities in the clouds,

Traveled to on chariots made of the air itself.

And I know that I can build bridges now,

Between what I learn and what I want to show,

And let the waters splash from the rivers of my mind,

Through the aqueducts of data and parchment,

To the citizenship at large.

Yohimbe Gold

By Christopher J. Bradley

It is Monday night,

And I have awakened from a slumbering nap,

To a streak dinner cooked by my sister,

And served by my mother.

Everyone waited for me to finish,

To sing happy birthday to her boyfriend,

And finding myself without appetite due to the warmth of summer,

I excused myself for a cigarette.

As I stepped from the front porch onto scraping cement,

I recalled that I had spoken with Scott in North Carolina before sleeping,

It had been so long,

I told him about the Morrissey collection my friend had put together.

He let me know about his car disaster.

So as I watched the seagulls dance against the sky net,

Of red orange turning to hues of evening blue,

I remembered the packet of Yohimbe Gold of a year ago,

That I was going to take to him,

To make him smile, if for no other reason.

I may have bought it, or it may have been the first thing that I have stolen,

Since I was five when I tried to get the buttons at the mall for my mother,

In any case, I was never charged for it, and the store keeper must have found his profits,

In the turkey sandwich he sold me.

I was lost on a long road toward New York,

But that packet in the desert, was like manna,

A manna I had discovered in a lexicon in Boston,

While playing Scrabble with him in a smoked out kitchen,

In our small pink house not far from Davis.

That summer we drank Grolsh beer,

Watched half a baseball game,

Played Chess in Harvard Square,

Played Doom against my OS/2 rigged 486,

Worked in various offices,

And got lost near Newton and the Charles River.

There was a girl at the supermarket,

Who liked both of us,

I kept imagining ways of impressing her with a mattress,

My only piece of acquired furniture,

Other than the television set,

That only played,

The sessions of the Yohimbe Gold cast,

Over and over,

Until they unleashed Windows,


On finishing books

By Christopher J. Bradley

9/10/01 11:07:50 PM

In the past two weeks I have finished,

Completely read,

Two books.

One a novel,

The other a notorious compilation of poetry.

I hoped to start getting better at my composition,

Through some adventures in reading.

I don't think that I've yet become more verbose.

I've been listening to the music of the people at work as well.

Their rhythms have an influence to my speech,

And I will not say that the ideas expressed have cleansed my spirit,

But I will say, that giving them a try,

Might help me to understand them better.

What is it about the inspiration of the 1860's for the future of today,

That is left out of our modern hope for better times to come?

I know that only you who are left when I am gone might answer,

As I live my slow time,

Like the Mowhawks of Summer's past,

And pray for autumn showers,

To cool the fires in my heart,

That burn for so many I cannot have,

As I read and write,

In an era of literary silence,

And bombastic digital noise.

A Promise of New Life in Spring

By Christopher J. Bradley

I do not always understand the things that happen together,

Events jumble up one after another and it is difficult to conclude that they have meaning.

This Spring, I have heard that three people have died.

A man my age, the great aunt of a friend, and the grandmother of a friend's child.

I remember two of them from having met them,

It seems they were good people, and I expect they will find happiness in the next life.

Brian helped me to accomplish a great feat once,

Carting 20 gallons of juice up a hill to a manor in Canada,

Only so that we could bring them down again without pay.

He will go on in my memory as a great helper and a good friend,

Though I did not know him well, I look forward to meeting him again.

For Aunts and Grandmothers,

There is truth that you have lived well and shared your lives with others,

May each of you live on with them,

In this life and the next.

For those who do not understand the promise of new life,

I pray that they find it, before the next Spring time that draws us apart and together.

Antique Piano Teacher

By Christopher J. Bradley

Dedicated to Glenn Tilou

My antique Piano Teacher,

Made my fingers grind,

Like the spokes of a tinsmith phonograph,

With tune, and beat, and time.

The keys of Ivory and Black,

Easily fell down,

To hammer high strung strings of steel,

And make melodic sound.

At first co-ordination,

Was an awful stretch,

It took a lot to follow notes,

And make my digits flex.

I haven't yet matched Beethoven,

Or Bach or Tchicovski,

But I can now spin jazz about,

In harmonic minor C.

He granted me composing art,

And organized my skill,

Someday I'll put a tune together,

With a plastic quill.

The harmony of days gone by,

Lives beyond his den,

In the accolades of disciples,

Of his discipline.

Fiery Leaves in Autumn

by Christopher Bradley

11/3/01 9:41:15 PM

Leaves wet like mud,

line the cool autumn asphalt,

Of my suburb street on a windless afternoon.

My brother and I shuffle through them.

We walk up the street to the top,

Where he jogs,

A little package of soccer muscles,

His wind-breaker flicking against still air.

I fuss with my Sunoco cigarette lighter,

And a package of reservation tobacco,

And walk carefully behind him,

Not wanting to jostle my lower back.

To be eight years old again,

And not wonder about the troubles of adulthood.

My biggest concerns might be the Gameboy that had been

taken away because of an irresponsible comment.

There is always learning time,

I think learning would be better than knowing

how the silence of old friends can be.

It is a quiet street now.

The days of chips and salsa are long since past,

They pretty much ended when my brother's leather case was stolen.

And the dog started to get big.

Oh Sky? Do you care whether our visitors are friend or foe?

We watch the news waiting for a single confirmed kill,

As though that will stop the misery that still stirs New Yorkers to unrest,

On a day like today,

And so few to come before the snow,

When the fiery leaves of autumn,

Are trodden through,

Like wet licks of mud,

On the heels of a young boy,

And his mustached brother.

Painting The Rock

by Christopher J Bradley

11/28/99 5:30:51 PM

The Inter Greek Council

Each year

At Illinois Institute of Technology

Sponsored Greek Games.

One of the games,

Was to Paint The Rock.

The Rock rested outside the student center,

Underneath a maple tree,

And there was never a day,

that there weren't new letters scrawled upon it,

In bright colored,

spray paint.

I volunteered, to paint the rock,

And get points for our house,

so I bought paint,

And got up early,

every morning,

to paint the rock.

We would run over,

with the cans in a backpack,

watching for campus cops,

and carefully apply the paint.

The rock was thick with many layers,

coated by the 16 houses.

One day another house,

painted after we did,

so we took a butter knife,

to the Rock.

The layers pulled off,

like rubber,

Years of paint littered the ground around the rock.

Someone did it again,

and that night,

after a brother stole acetate from the chemistry lab,

They lit the rock on fire,

and the flames were so high,

That the tips of the branches of the tree were singed.

It didn't seem all that important,

But there were other things we could have done,

Homework, Sleep, Having Pizza with Women,

But for everything else we could have done,

We may as well have danced around it.

The Rock was ours.

The Mid-War Sessions

By Christopher J. Bradley

Completed: Wednesday, August 07, 2002


Thank you for reading, in advance, seriously. In light of the fact that fewer people are reading or voting

these days, it is important to remember that the First Amendment should not be taken lightly, and that every

person who has an opinion should learn to find their voice. I hope that my voice is loud enough for even

just one person out there who might not be fully represented.

At present, the United States government is in a War with Terror. When will this war end? It is unlikely we

will know soon, is the answer we have been given.

With the knowledge that we are all now given a global platform to speak our minds, I encourage you to

share this work internationally, and to translate it. Perhaps by sharing in this way we might meet someday,

in some words from Oasis as I spoke with a soul named Eva this evening “In a Champagne Supernova in

the Sky.” I am looking to you for parcels of truth, just as you are seeking them from me.

Please join me in celebrating the life we live, even given the restricted freedom we have had in these

carefully measured times, and let us all give thanks to those who have guided us toward spiritual

enlightenment, in any peaceable faith known to man.

And for those of you who just like my ranting about the women I would like to meet,

“Make Love, Not War!” It works! Seriously! How do you think we ended aggression in every other

circumstance? The time has come, for a booming echo of the booming echo. Let’s put on some Lenny

Kravitz and “Dig In…You Know You’ll Have Yourself A Good Time!”

-Christopher J. Bradley

From The Fallen Rubble an Olive Branch Trembles

By Christopher J. Bradley

8/1/2002 6:34:24 AM

From the Fallen Rubble,

An olive branch trembles,

In the grasp,

Of the tear streaked eagle.

After the moment of calamity,

Remains the silent voice of the enfuried survivor,

To croak and groan in one voice,

“Our war has begun, yet it is not the answer.”

Tanks, Amphibious Transports, and Aircraft,

All Are Loaded and Barrelled,

The Treads grinding on bare earth,

With Wings cutting Blue Sky,

And Battlements Adrift on Dark Sea.

Beneath the waves are the Tridents.

Locked in Def-Con Synchronization,

Prepared to fly given the command,

“May God, Keep NATO in Line.”

And yet the spirit lives on,

In the corridors of corporate offices,

In the audiences of the blockbuster screens,

In the baseball fields of the Niagara suburbs.

In the smile of a happy engaged waitress,

In the shoe stores, and the outlet malls,

In the Big and Tall Men’s shops,

On the well lit Boulevard at dusk.

In the Blues Bars and Subways of Manhattan,

In the Science Museums where the children run free,

In the galleries of Art and Nostalgia,

Through the radio and television networks.

In the International Space Station’s Labs,

On the global wilderness of the Internet,

On the tips of the tongues of the new millennium academic,

In the grade school teacher’s lesson plans.

In the endless vending of cigarettes, and prescription pharmacology,

On Every dime or Quarter put toward a soda pop.

With Every bag of Microwave popcorn,

And at Every Chippewa Sausage Stand.

It could be said that some boxes had been better unopened,

John Denver’s little ball called war, might never have been bounced,

But as with every harmonic frequency,

Friction will reduce the rippling,

As the oceans of tragedy subside,

And the Kingfisher finally discovers,

A perch on which his branch,

May finally come to rest.

Chi and The Art of Kawasaki Ninja Investments

By Christopher J. Bradley


They've tried to put me into reform school a couple of times.

I enjoyed the experiences immenslely,

The fights over cigarettes,

The stolen silverware,

The whole shebang.

But I took a lesson from Chingachgook and the like,

In silence to take my time,

And in loudness, to hammer the target with the whistling arrow.

They think you are stoppable when you move with slow feet,

But they don't consider the weight too often.

Three hundred and sixty pounds creates a lot of momentum,

A light car weighs only fifteen hundred.

And so I am a walking freight train,

A wordmith with keys that lay down like hammers in the forge.

My sword will fit the gloved hand of a Marine,

As well as it will fill that of any rogue poet.

I am going to rise above the curse of Hamlet,

As I have a steel horse and he didn't,

And take my Ninja to the edge,

Of the envelope containing the Scrabbled market whips,

Unending strips of ticker tape,

Rattle unfettered,

Beneath my toes,

And the Iron Cage,

Is truly made of little more than balsa.

For under the Osaka sky,

There is a young girl,

Who rides at sunset,

Into the Banzai of a Chinese New Year

Her palm pilot hugging her leathered breast,

With a screen flickering,



And the Horizon falls behind her,

While the rest of the world,

Stuck in a UK panic,

Wages war for her kind of freedom,

And my name,

Escapes her lips,

In a warm embrace…

No Legacy for The Mainframe

11/22/01 3:02:53 AM

by Christopher J. Bradley

Oh digital wonder,

Your time is going,

Far into the past,

With the likes of the betamax.

Everything gets smaller,

The cellular implants are nearly here,

If not already.

And you can carry the Vax of the eighties,

In your pocket.


I laugh at you,

As I build my way,

Into a new century,

Where time,

Gets infinitely longer,

As circuits micronize and binarize,

Even your Goliath,

Will fall to my David.

Are there parallel universes?

11/22/01 2:39:21 AM

by Christopher J. Bradley

If there are parallel universes,

Am I also writing there?

And is it possible to send a letter,

To the past me of the present,

To let him know that he is not alone?

Does his hand ache like mine?

As he holds the round pen,

Scribbling as fast as I.

Has he typed, played the piano,

Discovered electronic music?

Has he taken photos of rockets,

Or danced for five hours at a stretch,

While eating oranges?

Who are my parallel selves?

Will they join me in my journey?

Or will I join them in theirs?

And what of our brothers in name,

But not blood?

What of them?

May they all succeed.

Discovering A Lost Piece of Boston

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/18/02 4:39:02 PM

It is about 4:39 in the afternoon,

And I find myself sitting in an IHOP,

An International House of Pancakes,

On Maple Road in Amherst.

I was told to look into this when I was here,

Before I left for Boston,

By Bearded Bob,

At the time I thought the world of him.

His description had been dead on,

They are clean,

And Lively,

And a last remnant,

Of the pancake houses of days past.

They outlived Perkins.

And appeared here magically this year.

I am glad to have somewhere to come,

With good music,

And bean town personality.

Even though, the power outlets are a stretch from the ground,

Looks like I'll have to charge my laptop before coming over,

But at least they don't mind it so much,

They are one of the few places that don't mind them,

And they have plenty of space to work with.

I anticipate I'll have more to say,

After I have my Terryaki Mushroom Burger.

Higher State on a Tuesday

12/18/2001 8:32:20 AM

by Christopher J. Bradley

“This Is The Higher State Of Consciousness”,

I Listen To Josh Wink As I Type About The Week’s Events.

3 Visits To The Chiropractor,

A Flat tire,

A New TV,

Dinner at the Super Buffet,

A Lotto Ticket.

Seatbelted driving,

A Trip to Andy’s,

A Jack The Ripper Flick,

Some Page Building Over DSL,

A New Tire Purchase,



A Tomato Sandwich,



A Chimichanga,

Coffee, Lots Of it.

Messages On Deja, Noise Control, and A Worldwide Café,

Postings On Everypoet,

Problems With Outlook Express and Netzero,

Two Well Placed Letters To Yahoo Customer Service.

Complaint Call To New York State Insurance division,

Several Calls To National Benefit,

No Answer,

Fax Attempts,

No Answer.

Sleep, Lots of It,

Corey Hart,

Sunglasses At Night,

Calls To Andy, Scott and Adelphia,

No Connection To Any Of Them,

Powerlink Signup And Lord of The Rings Happen Tomorrow.

I cannot share my deepest thoughts here.

By Christopher J. Bradley

8/1/2002 5:43:32 AM

I cannot share my deepest thoughts here,

Not among the endless cups of boiling coffee,

And blues singers wailing on the radio,

Not among the cubicles in neat perfect rows.

I look often for a place to bind to,

For a companion to comfort me,

Someone who’s toenails I could clip,

After a bottle of champagne in a warm bath towel.

We would talk,

And I would tell her how she hasn’t been,

The only one I’ve ever cared for,

But that she was the first to ride,

By my side saddle, in the new Mustang.

But somehow I think,

The fantasy of that whole stanza,

In the greater work of my ultimate comedy,

Cannot be fate or destiny,

For as I improve, I find myself seeking,

After something more tangible,

An individual who can be all of these,

Wild urban debutante Jennifer Lopez fantasies,

But that yet, I can trust.

The Horse Shoe Crab

By Christopher J. Bradley

11/22/01 2:44:50 AM

Dedicated to Robert Bradley

There were fish swimming everywhere at the Aquarium,

All different kinds of fish,

Spiny Alien Zebra fish like you would never see,

In the Saint Lawrence by the docks.

And there was a seal who did tricks,

And balanced a ball on his nose,

To throw to the dolphins in the big central pool,

Of the big blue circular building.

And an electric eel that shocked,

My Dad and I,

In the darkness,

On the hour.

The event that I can still feel in my spirit,

Is my encounter with the touch tank,

Where I had a chance to play with the starfish,

And the big shelled and spiky tailed,

Horse Shoe Crab.

Creating and Organizing Lists

By Christopher J. Bradley

11/22/01 3:08:56 AM

I never would have thought,

That organizing lists of items,

In virtual space,

Could be so interesting.

I have recently collected,

A list of message bases,

And lists of movies,

And Recording artists,

To place on-line,

To enhance the value of my database.

As my library gets larger,

Strange new opportunities might unfold.

I am already beginning to find fans in strange places.

One of them is a German racecar driver.

Who knows what is next?

Maybe I can get Gates to look down here,

If I keep working at it.

The House that Jack in The Box Built

By Christopher J. Bradley


Dedicated to all of the would be couriers

Jack was a humble craftzman

He wore his Jester's cap,

And Danced among the crowd for weeks,

He tested the vibes of the product,

And he liked it.

So he decided he would share it with his friends,

And then found that they all wanted it,

More people than he thought he knew,

Started coming to him,

So he started buying wholesale,

And forgot about Peter,

And the wood stacked up against the wind,

But silicon was beneath him.

The market grew steadily,

And after a while the house had a roof,

Then running water,

And a speaker section.

He had a Mercedes to get from home to the office,

And a digital satellite radio,

And the tunes vibrated at the edges of his ray bans,

And the house was finished and sturdy.

Until the water came up the beach,

And the Electricity that wasn't up to code,

Blew the walls out in a blast of blue flame,

And Jack's sports car exploded in the garage.

To see the look on his face,

From across the ocean,

As he wrestled with the sides of the box,

Was like watching a mouse spin a wheel in a Habitrail.

And the music plays again,

With each step,

In the same boxes,

On the same beaches.

Vaporware v. 1.0

11/22/01 2:32:41 AM

by Christopher J. Bradley

From the gas station to the Bookstore,

Or somewhere in between,

I lost a pack of cigarettes,

And now I want to scream.

But somehow in the midst of this,

I've almost made my mind,

Decide they're not the Ritz of it,

Someday soon it's quitting time.

Potato Chip Breakfast

By Christopher Bradley


How many times have you,

Found yourself,

At 5 am,

Munching on an open bag,

Of Lays potato chips?

An interesting question.

French Onion dip is a delicious food,

When you can find it on-sale,

And someone doesn't get to the refrigerator before you do.

The container and the bag,

Are perfect for snacking,

When you don't have to worry about that troublesome extra person,

That only seems to confuse you anyway.

Chips for one I say,

In the darkness of early morning.

Let the paperboy earn his keep,

And when he arrives tip him well,

But don't give up the best kept secret,

That one day, he too, will end up,

With a bag, a bowl, and a nice big television.

Rediscovering New England in A Time of War

by Christopher J. Bradley 3/24/02

And so today is the beginning of the new dawn,

Of a time where the search for New England has been answered.

Quietly, and with patience,

I have discovered it.

It is hiding in the bank across town,

And the church toward the river,

And the café with the smoking lounge,

And the bookstore with it's volumes upon volumes of common text.

There is myth that you have to find in the library,

And spiritualism to be found through a maple tree,

Or a pint of apple juice while shopping at the super market with your mother.

The apple, does not fall far from the engineer.

In the community college, the students sway,

To the professor's hymns of economics or psychology,

Running their fingers ruthlessly through each other's hair,

Their joints break-stepping in Latin grooved Levi's.

The women and men and girls and boys,

Move among each other in the freedom of the moment,

Each with careers to pursue, Or toys to trade,

Japanese cartoons cards are popular among the children.

And a faintness of the birds and monkeys of Peru,

Echo's up from the south, via satellite cloud,

While a hurricane of data washes the people of the moment,

Throughout the Telesphere.

My homeland is slowly becoming a part of me,

And I am accepting my place here,

Proudly, a twenty first century fourth generation Mohawk English,

Sharing space with the likes of a spicy broth of brethren and sisterhood.

The ministers are not the only teachers of the young,

They are just the most pronounced authorities.

We all learn from each other,

And nobody really listens to the television alone.

I know that as I view my digital parchment,

There are others awake in the early morning hours,

Patiently waiting for their moment to bask in the summer sun,

And find that we are all collectively important.

Our patriots triumph,

In the playoffs and game of the century,

To the parchment of Jefferson,

And the pen of our Chief Executive.

If I alone could put an end to the evils to the world,

I would make every effort on my own,

So I ask, Will you help?

And if so, Can I shake your hand, as a neighbor in good faith?

Finding an Old Friend on The Web

11/22/01 2:23:20 AM

by Christopher J. Bradley

I found Pat's website on WorldTwitch,

I was unable to find anything previously,

Perhaps because I wasn't looking,

I had been previously in my searches,

Self concerned and not in expectation,

of my friend's potential notorieties.

But now that I know what is possible,

I will keep my eyes opened,

A little wider,

So that I might discover,

Some more of my friend's successes,

And add links to their publishings,

To my list,

So they can be there,

Even in times when they are not.

How Her Fingers Danced

By Christopher J. Bradley


It was evening in the X-Ray lab,

Of St. Mary's Hospital.

The air was cool outside,

But I hadn't needed a jacket,

For the long walk from the blacktop drive,

To the steel cased entranceway.

There was no introduction,

Just my name on a card,

And some preliminary information about my spine,

And within a few minutes,

I was face to face,

With the girl with dark hair.

She was like out of a memory,

Clicking away at the keyboard,

And I found it hard to look away,

From her fingers,

Snapping the Keys.

Individual Strokes to the plastic.

How her fingers danced,

A Rhyhmic pounding,

That would have been loud like a hammer,

If they hadn't been dulled by the fans.

The Infared and medical papers,

Swarmed around her as she wrote,

In virtual space,

Somewhere I hope to be,

If this tapping ever ceases.

For a French Poodle

By Christopher J. Bradley


Dedicated to Pierre

Your fur crest,

Rested high above your brow,

When mom made you up,

And you were brushed out right,

Several times a year.

I remember how you walked,

When your legs were straight,

With a high stance,

And soft shoes.

You danced,

Not unlike Dixie Dust,

But with more pride,

In a white cotton moment,

While the stones of our gravel driveway,

Shifted under countless sets of new tires.

I will find you again,

Dancing in her arms,

When heaven reaches me,

And she will introduce us both,

To our Maple Tree,

Which will blossom with fresh buddings,

In the eternal Spring-time,

Of Norwood's Winds…

As they race,

To The Stars,

Slowly Spinning,

Above Our Home-yard.

Coreon Surface Pressure

By Christopher J. Bradley


Dedicated to Moby and S. Hannam

For what seems like centuries,

You've kept us entertained,

In a way, that I would have liked to do my whole life,

And the tension continues to build,

As you leap to catch the five rings,

That hold themselves fixed high above even you,

In the stratosphere of the global village.

The battle call has been given,

Flags fly high in every Nation of the world,

And the enemy holds no post,

While Jennifer Lopez struts on a passionate USO stage,

We know that our struggle is both public and private,

And the lieutenants in both sides, are unseen.

So on this fifth anniversary,

Of my friend's marriage,

I reconsider what might have happened,

If my car had never gotten stuck in the mud.

And I hadn't had a strange goatee.

On a cool and rainy march afternoon.

I felt like I stood alone in the midst of it all,

Yet you were all there,

Even those that I didn't know,

And the music was still with us all,

Vibrating under the tables,

In the subways and headsets,

Of the pedestrian streets,

Of New York, and Toronto.

Some say that the new media revolution is over,

But I say it has just begun,

For the few holding the strings now,

Have to pass them on at some time,

And what better time,

Than when their children are churning up hay,

From the muddy ground,

On which we once tilled grain.

A piece of corn,

Under the Nitrous enhanced lights,

Of a summer circus tent,

United our circle,

And by the grant of the one who has called us to this earth,

Will unite us once again.

There will be no regrets when we reach Oz,

For the wizard will be revealed,

And he will give us a heart, a mind, and a badge,

And we will all find our own way to the place, where we were raised.

Resources in a Bookstore

By Christopher J. Bradley

11/22/01 2:35:47 AM

Before I leave this place,

I think I'll take in a page,

And possibly finish my coffee,

Which is larger than expected.

There are volumes here,

Containing chapters and pages,


And yet I find myself,

Making short strokes on legal paper,

Considering what the future of the moment,

might hold.

March 18



By Christopher J. Bradley


I don't believe I had noticed before,

The drab looks on the faces,

Of the college students,

Of the region on March 18



It was very noticeable this year.

Imagine the increase in consumption,

That reliving that horrible day,

6 months and 7 days earlier,

Must have created.

Each of them looked like they were stammering,

In a slow recoiling manner,

As they stumbled on to the campus grounds at 8am.

And I do not wonder,

That many still had it on their breaths.

What good would a peanut butter sandwich do,

For lunch,

When breakfast was at 4AM,

In a pancake house,

Or from a pizza and sausage vendor,

Down near Franklin and Chippewa.

The Toxicity of March 17



Takes away from the snakes fleeing Ireland,

On that fateful day,

Under St. Patrick's Stewardship,

And I pray,

That one day,

The snakes will once again,

Be cast out,

Of the modern world.

MP3 Recordings at Andy's

By Christopher J. Bradley

11/22/01 2:58:23 AM

Andy has a powerful computer,

He can run a high speed video game,

While downloading music from the net,


If I can, I will visit Andy,

And maybe burn a CD,

If Favorites to mix into,

Music CD's for my other friends,

And family.

I hope he sticks around,

To keep me updated on the latest technology,

So that we can move forward,

As the screens of the world,

Become thin.

Cooper's Virtual Forest (Last of the Mohicans)

11/22/01 2:14:24 AM

by Christopher J. Bradley

It breathed at me in the opening pages,

And the English and the French,

And the Native runners,

And the daughters of the General took life.

Now I begin Chapter Two,

And find that the story,

Whose conclusion I know,

Has left much unsaid,

In VHS format.

I plan to journey into that forest,

Page after page,

Day after Day,

Until I find myself surrounded,

In the leaves of the paper,

On which I write.

The Doris Day Movie

11/22/01 2:19:22 AM

by Christopher J. Bradley

We turned the film on,

On satellite TV,

To keep my mother happy,

On a day when my sister was leaving.

I found myself enjoying,

The garden of Eden joke,

And the psychedelic footage,

That made the car chase scene,

So patently not today.


By Christopher J. Bradley


I can actually remember missing laundry detergent,

Having an urge to go out the store to buy it.

There is something in my current marketing class,

That I need to understand,

Why did I need it so much?

I've developed an innate need for the ridiculous blue colored liquid.

I use it to clean all of my clothes,

Regardless if it is the type with bleach or not.

I've grown not to care about that.

For some reason using the crystalline powder that Purex offered,

Doesn't fit the bill,

Having both, I would still choose Tide,

And yet I do not understand why?

Ever since I remember washing my own clothes,

I remember most using Blue Liquid,

As a favorite.

Maybe it's because the crystals stick to your fingers,

And all of my Chemistry classes taught me that when water touches that,

There can be a reaction.

I have never tried mixing Purex with anything,

But I do wonder at times what it might do?

Would it make orange juice fizz?

Not that you could drink it after that,

But would it generate some kind of massive release of gas,

Due to Acid and Base connecting in an unusual way?

To stay safe, I think the best policy is to keep that crystal stuff outside the home,

It looks too much like candy,

And It can't be good for pets.

Who might get it up the nose.

The Tide has that neat bottle,

Which keeps the blue juice upright,

In that orange wave of a bottle,

And it cleans like magic,

Even those gnarly socks from last week.

So here's to Tide,

And many fortunes,

To It's makers,

I'll keep surfing,

Until your Wave Crashes Out.

Tangled Arms and Legs

By Christopher J. Bradley


It's been 12 years since that first moment,

When I was so exposed,

Found in the comfort,

Of the caress of my bride to be,

And then later,

Drawn into the craze of a Canadian punk rock girl,

In Red Blue Jeans.

Wearing a White Mesh fabric,

That perfectly accentuated her perfect form.

The tangled arms and legs,

Of a college summer,

Contrasted with an underground winter,

And the hamburger job that followed,

Left me with the feeling that I'd given up something important,

And that missing element then,

Were my values.

I have now been able to carefully discern some of what they are.

And I am more cautious now when meeting these delicate creatures with their perfume,

For they are not as delicate as they seem,

They have their careers to think about,

And the nail polish isn't for show.

It's kind of like sharpening your favorite blade.

Which in a sense I guess,

Is kind of cool,

But I need more than someone trying to get at my love from above,

I need a level focus with them,

And I need the tangle to turn into a union,

With a proper dialogue,

That doesn't come to an end.


Whoever you happen to be this time,

Let me hand you a rose,

And I will remove the thorns,

If you will put some Aspirin,

Into the water.

Repaying Debts

By Christopher J. Bradley


As I repay these small debts,

I wonder if I will become indebted again.

The time slowly trudges forward,

And with it, the expenses follow.

I have been given so much,

And yet I find myself unsatisfied,

With sitting in a room filled with life's toys,

And furnishings given as gifts.

At a time when I am appearing in the newspaper,

The shock value of it all keeps me awake at night,

Watching Artificial Intelligence,

And wondering about the significance of the quest for humanity in my life.

I was not born machine,

And so I believe,

If I can become more than an instrument of profit seekers,

Possibly I can grow to brighten the world and my self-concept.

And so, the question to be asked now is,

Who do I begin my lending with?

So that sharing becomes more than,

A glowing screen,

In the darkness,

Of night.


By Christopher J. Bradley


They look like a bunch of people in a Pringles Commercial,

Making faces about the fact that none of them can get to what's in the can,

When in fact they could more than afford to spend their time buying another can,

If they wanted.

They live in rented houses,

Where they can smoke, drink, and do whatever else they please,

Yet they have to come out in public,

And intrude on the space of people,

Who intend nothing more than to attempt to better themselves,

Through text.

Damn them.

Those who can afford to live alone,

Should be required to,

And leave those of us,

Who can afford only to live,

Under the magnifier of public scrutiny,

Out of the photo tube.

Buy yourselves another can of Pringles,

And let me finish my damn cup of coffee in peace.

On Getting The Cat Stoned on Catnip

By Christopher J. Bradley

8/1/2002 5:51:34 AM

I sit in the big black leather chair,

In Andy’s Apartment on occasion,

Watching Entertainment tonight,

While he finishes up a video game.

I watch him follow the cat to the center of the floor,

And somehow he can innately tell,

That the intelligent Grey fur ball is,

Asking for its fix.

The small cup on top of the television stand,

Is loaded with the stuff,

It looks like chewed up Grey confetti,

And he takes the substance in his thumbs,

And gives the cat a pinch.

The cat’s back arches to the to the floor,

And it rolls its’ head and neck in the stuff.

It’s like an electrical shock to his disposition.

He writhes in enjoyment,

Licking at his coated patches of hair!

And to think,

This very cat,

Single handedly,

Burned out his,

Computer Monitor,

With fuzz.

Looking For The Right Girl To Marry

By Christopher J. Bradley

8/6/2002 7:04:54 AM

The Right Girl For Me,

Would Not Be Interested In Substances,

Or Shallow Conquest,

Or The Pursuits of Fiscal Bondage.

More Importantly,

Of She Would Be Actively Seeking Spiritual Enlightenment,

And She Would Understand That I Enjoy Consumer Technology.

She Would Be Interested In Watching Major League Baseball,

In The Skydome In Toronto.

She Would Enjoy Traveling To Visit Friends,

But Her Goal Would Be To Live In Her Family’s Hometown.

She Would Require That I Be Responsible,

And Give Me Plenty of Reasons To Stay Healthy,

So That We Could Enjoy Long Fulfilling Lives,

She Would Tolerate My Many Musings Over Science And The Infernal Machine,

And She Would Be Romantic And Poetic,

And Enjoy Candle Light Dinners.

And She Would Sing To Me,

Just Every Once In A While,

Even To The Radio As We Drive,

She Would Bake Cookies With Children At Christmas,

And I Would Carve The Pumpkin On Haloween,

And She Would Have Good Conversations With Me,

Not Expecting Me To Be As Intelligent About People As She Would Be,

We Would Write Out Birtday Cards Together,

And Find Our First Home Together,

And Share Moments,

That Know One Else,

Would Have To Intrude On.

Except of Course, The Dog,

But He Sheds, So Who’s Counting?

Gyros and Dreams about Gyroscopes

By Christopher J. Bradley

8/6/2002 6:58:13 AM

For Each Passing Day,

That Passes On and On,

I Wish Again, and Again,

That The Gyros Wouldn’t Be so Tempting.

And While I sit Here,

Drinking Coffee And Smoking Marlboros,

Given To Me By A Friend,

Who Fills Out Crosswords,

I Find That I Am Deeper Into,

The Mindset Of Studying War Vehicles,

Than I Would Like.

And That Every Turn A Veteran, or Ex Veteran Approaches,

I Am Glad to Know However,

That I Am Not Alone In My Musings,

Over High Tech Fighter Planes,

And Other Miscellaneous Elements of Hardware and Software,

I Do Wonder However,

Who Will Be Receiving,

Their Orders,


Which Edge of the Universe?

By Christopher J. Bradley

8/1/2002 6:07:52 AM

Which edge of the universe,

Will we travel to from Hollywood this year?

Will we journey into the outer reaches of Vega?

Or will we travel smashing back to Earth on a hurtling Asteroid?

Will we survive the next potential Nuclear Winter?

Or find ourselves in the depths of the Atlantic on a caterpillar drive Submarine?

Will we find ourselves along the fault lines,

Of a living Mars?

Or between the Loops of Jupiter?

I believe that these tested markets,

Are ready for a fresh perspective,

Another Fantastic Voyage,

Perhaps among the Synaptic Surges,

Of The human Mind.

After all,

We are in the midst of the connection,

Between Man,

And Machine.

Physical Therapy

11/22/01 2:28:14 AM

by Christopher J. Bradley

Perhaps the best thing that could have happened,

In this whole travesty,

Is the physical therapy.

I am finding myself walking more now,

Even though my back is sore,

And I am also finding myself,

Stretching and excercising more,

In an attempt to heal.

My excercises include wall slides,

Shoulder pinches,

An exercise bike,

And stretches on a theraball.

I have been able to lie on my stomach and read,

For the first time,

In a couple of years.

Walter and The Moon Buffet

By Christopher J. Bradley

8/1/2002 5:59:32 AM

It’s about a year ago summer,

And we’re walking into the moon,

A Chinese Buffet on Sheridan,

My Mother, My Aunt, and I.

And I spot him there as we are seated,

The half Cuban, half Puerto Rican Pizza Chef,

Back from The Allen Town Days, And Sal’s,

He’s having a great time with his friends.

I wish I had the physical time,

And instance of circumstance to get up,

And ask him how he’s been doing,

But I don’t.

I hope he doesn’t recognize me,


But he remembers,

And after all of the Emperor Chicken,

And Pork Fried Rice, And Mussels,

He does say hello to me.

As I am smoking in the front,

Waiting for the ever resilient ladies,

In my life.

The Bubble Tea Café

By Christopher J. Bradley

8/1/2002 6:17:10 AM

At the advice of a couple of,

Asian Raver Fraternity Dudes,

And A Girlfriend,

I Ventured Into The Bubble Tea Café.

The Place Was Very Toronto,

Stylistically – Lots of Fashion and Car Magazines,

Lining Its’ Racks,

And Tables.

For 3.15 I had a drink,

Whose name I can’t pronounce,

Made by a Thai barkeep,

Who told me about the tapioca balls,

At the base of the cup.

It tasted like an Iced Cappuccino,

With the added benefit,

Of the Consistency,

Of Tapioca,

A memorable taste,

That I will have to try again.

A Message From God in Webster

By Christopher J. Bradley

8/1/2002 6:22:36 AM

I drove into Webster on a clear Saturday morning,

In my beat up ’99 Saturn.

Hoping to find Jodi,

After a Stop for a Juice and and English Muffin,

At the Princess.

I successfully avoided a run in with a Pimp there,

He was harassing the waitress,

Trying to act like he owned the place,

And surfing through newspapers with his girl.

When I left cautiously,

I headed down Main Street in Webster,

Planning to stop at my friend’s home,

But on the way there,

The voice on the radio said,

In a blaring and triumphant voice,

From the depths of everywhere,

“Mustangs!….$299.00….Webster Ford!”

So I stopped at a Friendly’s along the way,

And bought a bagel and got directions.

I was the first customer to drive up,

And walk into the showroom,

To negotiate.

The salesman was slick and savvy, and Italian,

From the final price we worked out,

You might think I’d have bought a Ferrari,

But I am convinced,

Every Minute I drive into the future,

That the voice of God has visited me,

At least once,

In Recent Days.

Ambulation in Amherst

11/22/01 2:09:42 AM

by Christopher J. Bradley

After speaking with my therapist,

I decided to go for a walk again,

As prescribed.

The walk was more relaxing today,

There were fewer people,

And I thought about Christmas,

As I passed the singing Bears of the Boulevard.

I stopped to charge my cell phone,

And buy a pack of Milds,

And now I sit listening to Bing Crosby,

At the bookstore café,

With a pen and paper,

As I did a year ago.

Holly and Glitter Leaf

By Christopher J. Bradley

11/22/01 2:51:15 AM

People decorate each Christmas season,

With Holly and that indefinable metal coated leaf stuff,

That hangs at the center of wreaths,

On front doors.

And they buy and give candles as gifts,

Oh what we wouldn't do without candles,

Candles can be wrapped with that silver stuff also,

And centered in bunches of evergreen spines.

To be placed on holiday tables,

For Thanksgiving and the 25



The candle without ornament,

Would still symbolize life,

But with ornament, I believe,

Is a designate of our value for life.

May the candles keep alight,

And the doorsteps keep bright with tinseled decorum,

As we shine through this holiday,

Regardless of the whims,

Of those who would try to change,

Our way of life.

One World, Indivisible

By Christopher J. Bradley

8/6/2002 6:48:17 AM

Nation Upon Nation,

Democratic or Otherwise,

We Are United Under a Common Mission,

A Statement That All Life is Worthwhile,

Regardless of Moral or Ideological Position,

Mindless of Pigmentation or Enlightenment,

That No Man, Woman, or Child,

Should be Un-Necessarily Sacrificed,

In The Pursuit of Greed for Power or Wealth.

That Every Living Species, Both Plant and Animal,

Might Be Considered The Most Valuable Contribution,

To Our Spiritual Harmony.

For It is not without caution,

That we should proceed Ethically,

To Preserve The Greater Goods,

Of Health, Prosperity, and Spirituality,

For Every Member,

Of the Global Citizenship.

We pray to our heavenly advocates,

That they might bring us closer to,

Spiritual purity and vision to protect,

And Nurture Future Generations.

That The Saga of Our Home Planet’s Histories,

Might Be Told,

Long After we Have Passed Into Spirit!

Medford Village Currents

(The New England Slack)

By Christopher J. Bradley


On the eve of the completion of the Boston Marathon


The following three poems begin to establish all of the things I would like to say about my three

trips to Boston over the years. There is always plenty more that goes unsaid, but some history,

can be sung in the streets, for the wind blows it along the shores like ash. Peace be with you.

Portico del Politico

By Christopher J. Bradley

4/16/2003 12:12:09 AM


Oh Mighty Boston!

Home maker to the Kennedy’s,

I have walked your sea-salted streets,

In daylight and in darkness.

I have read the news,

And spanned the Globe,

Searching for a deeper meaning,

In a book on your trains,

I have walked the halls,

Of Haymarket Square,

And contemplated on the graves,

Of our forefathers.

I have played and lost,

A hand or two of Poker,

And shared many a beer,

With Irish, Spanish, English and the like.

I have driven through your dig at night,

And awoken to a new day.

Rediscovering New England in A Time of War by Christopher J. Bradley 3/24/02

And so today is the beginning of the new dawn,

Of a time where the search for New England has been answered.

Quietly, and with patience,

I have discovered it.

It is hiding in the bank across town,

And the church toward the river,

And the café with the smoking lounge,

And the bookstore with it's volumes upon volumes of common text.

There is myth that you have to find in the library,

And spiritualism to be found through a maple tree,

Or a pint of apple juice while shopping at the super market with your mother.

The apple, does not fall far from the engineer.

In the community college, the students sway,

To the professor's hymns of economics or psychology,

Running their fingers ruthlessly through each other's hair,

Their joints break-stepping in Latin grooved Levi's.

The women and men and girls and boys,

Move among each other in the freedom of the moment,

Each with careers to pursue, Or toys to trade,

Japanese cartoons cards are popular among the children.

And a faintness of the birds and monkeys of Peru,

Echo's up from the south, via satellite cloud,

While a hurricane of data washes the people of the moment,

Throughout the Telesphere.

My homeland is slowly becoming a part of me,

And I am accepting my place here,

Proudly, a twenty first century fourth generation Mohawk English,

Sharing space with the likes of a spicy broth of brethren and sisterhood.

The ministers are not the only teachers of the young,

They are just the most pronounced authorities.

We all learn from each other,

And nobody really listens to the television alone.

I know that as I view my digital parchment,

There are others awake in the early morning hours,

Patiently waiting for their moment to bask in the summer sun,

And find that we are all collectively important.

Our patriots triumph,

In the playoffs and game of the century,

To the parchment of Jefferson,

And the pen of our Chief Executive.

If I alone could put an end to the evils to the world,

I would make every effort on my own,

So I ask, Will you help?

And if so, Can I shake your hand, as a neighbor in good faith?

Yohimbe Gold

By Christopher J. Bradley

It is Monday night,

And I have awakened from a slumbering nap,

To a streak dinner cooked by my sister,

And served by my mother.

Everyone waited for me to finish,

To sing happy birthday to her boyfriend,

And finding myself without appetite due to the warmth of summer,

I excused myself for a cigarette.

As I stepped from the front porch onto scraping cement,

I recalled that I had spoken with Scott in North Carolina before sleeping,

It had been so long,

I told him about the Morrissey collection my friend had put together.

He let me know about his car disaster.

So as I watched the seagulls dance against the sky net,

Of red orange turning to hues of evening blue,

I remembered the packet of Yohimbe Gold of a year ago,

That I was going to take to him,

To make him smile, if for no other reason.

I may have bought it, or it may have been the first thing that I have stolen,

Since I was five when I tried to get the buttons at the mall for my mother,

In any case, I was never charged for it, and the store keeper must have found his profits,

In the turkey sandwich he sold me.

I was lost on a long road toward New York,

But that packet in the desert, was like manna,

A manna I had discovered in a lexicon in Boston,

While playing Scrabble with him in a smoked out kitchen,

In our small pink house not far from Davis.

That summer we drank Grolsh beer,

Watched half a baseball game,

Played Chess in Harvard Square,

Played Doom against my OS/2 rigged 486,

Worked in various offices,

And got lost near Newton and the Charles River.

There was a girl at the supermarket,

Who liked both of us,

I kept imagining ways of impressing her with a mattress,

My only piece of acquired furniture,

Other than the television set,

That only played,

The sessions of the Yohimbe Gold cast,

Over and over,

Until they unleashed Windows,


Medford Village Currents (The New England Slack)

By Christopher J. Bradley

4/21/2003 7:19:08 PM (On the Eve Of The Completion Of The Boston



1 scene

[a supermarket parking lot]

In a black Ford LTD

It is windy and hot

A summer afternoon in July

It breezes in pulses.

2 scene

[someday café]

The goat dances on caffeine fumes

We speak to a cellist

She has long delicate arms

An MIT student with short blond hair

And a laptop also talks with us.

I would like to go home with either.

Scott finds the apartment folder.

He reads that a flute player is subletting.

3 scene

[the steps of the pink house]

We meet the Jerry Garcia knockoff,

He is heavy, but willing to join us,

For a discussion of rental arrangements,

Over beer.

4 scene

[the kendall square stop on the T]

It is six thirty,

Well after the rush,

The subway is clean,

It pulls away,

Leaving us to climb the stairs.

5 scene

[the brewery with the overhead pipes]

Vested shorted ivy leaguers,

Are pulling from Yards,

We are in full swing,

With our humble pints,

Jefferson Airplane wails,

And the bar stool spins a little,

Keeping us able to walk,

Back into the night.

6 scene

[davis square]

Ten Thirty P.M.

She is singing folk with an acoustic guitar box,

Open on the cement floor,

She has a little amplifier,

And a folding chair,

We ride the escalators,

And I make a note to tip her,

If I see her again.

Her voice echoes off the tiled wall.

7 scene

[we move into the pink house]

It takes several trips from,

The LTD to the doorsteps,

Where we notice ants have invaded,

We have more homemade beer,

Around a dimly lit table,

The scrabble board is our centerpiece,

Late into the night.

8 scene


We are getting cash advances,

And haggling with the tellers,

The sun is bright,

The wind is still whooshing,

There is a woman with a wind-burned face,

Power strolling up the street.

9 scene

[the bakery]

We are taking out pizza,

In paper bags,

This is Scott’s discovery,

And what a discovery! Eureka!

The oil, basil, and garlic,

Ferment among my taste-buds,

Sending wild sensations through my nostrils,

Of times dating back to the early eighties,

With grandmother at the malls.

10 scene

[dunkin donuts]

We are here to buy the Globe,

It was a short drive from the pink house,

And I know tomorrow I will walk.

We take the paper this afternoon,

And walk a block not sure how we know its’ North,

To look in on a baseball diamond,

Where an all-star game is playing out,

Senior League kids game,

They are all wearing their own teams’ jerseys,

The coffee is just right,

Iced cappuccino melting against the bricks.

11 scene

[purity market]

We are looking for groceries,

And now it is night,

The beautiful women are clubbing it in their clubs,

Or serving their coffee’s,

Tea Time has long since passed,

And the Tea is still blowing past us.

We buy Spaghetti Sauce, Pasta, and Vegetables,

Meat and Bread, A Half Gallon of Milk.

There is a half Hispanic girl at the check out,

We think, Purity, and wittingly try to impress her.

She is not impressed.

She would be even less impressed,

If we told her, that all we had between us,

Was a single mattress and two small rooms,

And a VCR, that played the only tape jammed into it,

A tape about getting jammed.

It is a long walk out to the parking lot,

Reflecting on her long dark hair,

Remembering a girl that looked like her when I was 15,

Who was a fantastic poetess,

In the glare of a television playing a vampire movie,

“Death by Stereo!” was the most important phrase for us,

And rather than have her show me the world,

I swept up glass,

And lost her in the pieces.

Until the engine started again,

And we were making our way back,

To the pink house.

12 scene

[music and cigarettes]

The smoke traveled heavily,

In thick wafers of air candy,

Over the scrabble board,

While Dark Side of The Moon,

Played out over Wayne’s stereo,

And we learned that he was a technical writer,

And checked answers against his lexiconal dictionary.

13 scene

[massachusetts ave]

We took the long walk,

Through Sommerville and Cambridge,

To visit Harvard Square,

After stopping for coffee at a Starbucks,

The first I’d ever spent time in.

14 scene

[the au bon pain]

I walked into the store with the yellow awning,

And bought two Iced Cappuccino’s,

They came with far too much whipped cream,

And cost nearly four dollars each,

Expensive for 1995,

I came out to the Square,

To find Scott playing chess with David.

David was a Harvard student from over seas,

His clothing marked him an almost Boston Native,

But there was something more trim about his silk.

I spoke to him about how often he visited the square,

As Scott took a new partner,

Likely a park resident,

An older character in a wool coat,

And watched in awe as they battled,

Like Titans in the most famed,

Gladitorial arena of the chess sphere.

To this day I cannot recall the victor,

But the struggle, piece by piece,

Move by Move,

On the surface of granite,

Took on Epic consequence,

And I knew I would one day return.

14 scene

[the snap café’]

David had told us of a Bohemian café,

Something more local than the Au Bon Pain,

A place with flavor, and style.

When we got there it was garage noir,

Black tables,

Thin, light metal chairs,

It was uncomfortable,

And non-smoking,

And we spent too much for single cups,


They required the purchase of a coffee every fifteen minutes.

It was like something I would have expected in Manhattan,


Something you don’t want to have to agree with,

People were wearing berets,

And they probably didn’t know the first thing about Kerouac,

Not that I did at the time either,

But I wasn’t pretentious enough to believe they would have paid a dime


For coffee in Styrofoam.

15 scene

[the harvard book store]

We went in and took a look around,

It was crowded,

People pushed and shoved their way to the register,

Trying desperately to take home a piece of the Boston,

That they couldn’t have.

I remember looking at the Sweat-Shirts in the window,

And burning with envy at the emblazoned logo,

That I couldn’t afford to wear,

It was cool that night,

And we were making our way to the pub we’d seen earlier.

16 scene

[the arrow pub]

Coming in made me feel like taking a coat off,

Funny that I wasn’t wearing one,

Scott was wearing a jacket and shoes,

Almost about right,

We were humans in a boiler room of pool and darts,

A place where talking to each other made more sense,

I could tell the women there were older and somehow immune to my


It was still corrupted from the memories of the Purity girl and

remembrances of Tammy,

And my fantasy video women.

So we sat and talked and watched the small television screens,

There was a Red Sox game playing out,

At that point having been blanked about baseball,

My skill in attention to it had died,

But there was always another pint,

Something to drown the missing parts of me,

That are only now merging into one.

The gates are closed,

But the Arrow Pub is open.

17 scene

[the international house of pancakes]

We waited in line for almost an hour for a seat,

And the meter ran out on the car,

The food was ok,

Coffee, and pancakes,

But it wasn’t worth the twenty dollar fine,

That I had to mail in,

That fateful evening,

The lessons about taking a car downtown,

Can be endless,

And aren’t easily taken with a grain of salt.

18 scene

[haymarket square]

The shops lining the inside of the square,

Serve food of all types,

I have been told by others,

That there is excellent Souvlaki there,

And I know for a fact,

That they have excellent sausage.

We walked through and it was like a mini-mall.

There were Equadorian pipe players in the cool wind,

Of a summer night in front of the Square,

That I watched,

As I finished my dinner,

And tipped change into a felt hat.

19 scene

[abbott staffing]

The girl from Buffalo,

Helped me set up and take a typing test,

On a small personal computer in the back,

She determined I wasn’t a quick typist,

But found me a mailroom job for 8.35 an hour anyway,

And I started work the next Monday.

20 scene

[advent International]

I took the elevator to the 18th floor on Federal St.

And found the front desk secretary.

She had the keys to the mail room ready for me,

And handed me a voucher for a cab that had already been called,

It was my job to pick up the mail at the dock.

I took the elevator back down to the cab,

And glided through the streets,

Like a fish being driven,

And the mail was in a crate,

Ready to deliver.

The driver was patient with me,

And I gave him a five dollar tip.

I took the elevator and the envelopes up,

And entered the mailroom,

Where I was taught the sorting technique,

By the front desk second in command,

They instructed me on how to weigh postage,

And stamp on the mail machine,

And how to file the faxes in the log book,

And after a few days,

I thought I might have figured it out,

To the point where I was washing dishes,

And taking the payments for one of the Vice President’s cars,

To the garage across the park,

And stopping on the way,

For Au Bon Pain’

21 scene

[central station]

In the big central rotunda,

Ticket counters line the edges,

Interspersed with McDonalds,

Burger King,

And other Quick Food establishments,

The people flow like rodents,

Quick and furious,

Through the tunnels,

I made a deal,

And I’m there to buy a ticket,

Buffalo Bound,

One Way Greyhound.

scene 22

[sitting on the bus]

I watch through the windows,

Motion begins,

With the driver’s announcement,

That we should remain seated,

While the vehicle is in motion,

New England’s trees become a blur,

And my thoughts dream,

Back to the Purity waitress,

And my Grandmother’s Pizza,

And the sweatshirts in the bookstore window,

I begin to realize all that I will bring back to Medford.

I will bring back the computer,

And the shadow,

And the Juno keyboard,

And most of my compact disc library,

Then there are all the trees again.

And then I think of the people I will have to bring back,

My Mother,

My Father,

My Brothers,

My Sister,

And I try to listen to the radio,

But it is useless,

I have to pay attention to the stops,

Here and there along the way.

And the trees are powerful and strong,

Against the vivid light of day,

And then we are suddenly in the midst of Oak Street.

And the motion Vibrates in my temples,

And the transport comes to a temporary end.

23 scene

[loading the car]

Rarely do I see,

Actual tears in my Mother’s eyes,

She stood on the porch,

As I loaded the computer, keyboard, and discs,

And a wide assortment of clothing,

Into the Shadow.

I made sure to check on the camera,

I had bought at the CVS in Boston,

In my backpack,

I kissed her,

And rolled from the gravel,


24 scene

[black maple cruise]

The road wrangled up beneath me,

And as I traveled,

I spoke in silent thought,

To my life Icon,

The maple I climbed in my yard,

God in all his splendor,

Assured its rest there,

For my hands as a child,

For my legs as a teen,

For my shade as an adult,

To be my companion during desperate moments of hope.

And the rubber was firm against the blacktop,

And the Black Cherry Shadow angled forward,

Into the rising sun,

That blistered the eyes like a burning fire,

The day wore on and the birds and the pheasantry,

Scattered into the woodlands,

At the edge of the Interstate.

And the car was like the inside of a cranked up toaster oven,

And in the moments that I stopped for soda,

I reflected on the stiffness in my aching legs.

When the toll cards were finally paid,

I knew I was back,

In the place I belonged,

The Pink House in Medford.

25 scene

[the beer mart]

I walked into the dark store,

And smelled the odor of old dry Beer,

Like the smell of,

The back room bottling department at Tops at home.

It suddenly came to mind,

That a good German beer,

Might be preferred,

By my housemates.

With the help of the shop keeper,

I settled on a nice twelve pack,

Of Grolsh bottles,

It cost roughly fifteen dollars,

And was a menace to carry,

So I loaded them into the front seat,

The green bottles rattled as I drove.

26 scene

[scrabble in the evening]

When I arrived they were playing,

Duelists locked in fiery Battle,

The smoke wafting in the rafters,

The clean face facing the beard.

He was the Bunzee man,

Furiously laying letters,

In a desperate attempt,

To forego the inevitable gloom of defeat.

I offered them Grolsh,

But they concentrated on the home brew,

So I cracked one open,

And watched the fates collide.

27 scene

[computer city saugus]

The bus dropped off,

On the side of the four lane highway,

Opposite the mall,

And I had to walk,

Across a long gated catwalk,

To finally achieve the retailer,

Where I went in and requested,

A full-time sales application.

I was dressed well,

But I was sweating in the summer afternoon,

The store was virtually empty.

The customer service clerk,

Took the completed application,

And told me to call back in a day or so.

I missed the last bus leaving the mall,

As it closed at four P.M.

So I ended up taking a Taxi,

Sharing it with a Puerto Rican woman,

And her baby,

For ten dollars flat.

28 scene

[circuit city mystic avenue]

I filled out an application,

One sunny afternoon,

Thinking I had a shoe in,

Because of my tech background.

The manager interviewed me on the spot,

But at the end of the interview,

He asked the tough question,

“Have you ever had problems with drugs or alcohol.”

I told him the sorrowful truth,

And I was not hired,

To sell Televisions or Camcorders.

29 scene

[the gillete agency]

I drove for miles and miles from Medford,

To a temp agency in Waltham,

Where I met a very upscale agent,

To discuss a potential opportunity for work with Gilette,

As a technical services representative.

It was an in-house operation,

On their internal computer network,

I was shown several diagrams,

And engineering schematics.

But I could not understand them,

Their illiteral detail,

Was not something I had ever seen before,

And so the trip,

Was an expense of fuel,

And yet another dashed hope.

30 scene

[the last days of the green tomato]

Scott cooked the vegetables up right,

He made a stir fry without the pasta,

While I surfed the Y’s and Z’s of the dictionary,

And that’s when I discovered Yohimbe.

I did a song and dance,

It was the African mint root I had chewed,

In the midst of the Chemistry mayhem,

Of December 1993,

A courtesy gift from Mark Oliver,

The DJ that I gave a couple of extra Smart Drinks,

For his Twenty Dollars Canadian.

I was riding the back of the Zebra,

Through the breathing walls of acid and dry ice fume,

And it was seven letters.

So we made the rule,

That if anyone ever scored with Yohimbe,

Or even got it in their rack,

They became an automatic Scrabble victor.

Those vegetables tasted amazing,

On the earth-ware dishes in the pink house,

And the tomatoes,

Even the green ones,

Were ripe, and full of garlic salted juice.

31 scat

[the mac world nomad spoilers arrive]

August had come,

Rent was due again,

And the Mac World Nomads knocked,

They startled the hell out of us.

He hadn’t told us they were coming,

Regardless of his reasons,

They were not welcome in my living space,

And they made themselves at home,

Unrolling their sleeping bags on the living room floor.

I had one beer with them,

Then I went to try to sleep,

But I deceived them.

I read all night,

At 5 A.M. I woke Scott in his room,

We packed the LTD and the Shadow,

And at daybreak,

Before their ratcheting eyes opened,

We were on the road,



[the tennis match]

Early on Sunday morning, one week after we arrived, I dressed as best I

could, and walked to the Methodist church between Davis Square and the

Pink House. I patiently signed my name into the guest book and sat down

to listen to the sermon. The minister was an African American woman,


the service held was for both Unitarian and Methodist parishioners. I

listened carefully as she talked about Agape and the unification of

spiritual and philosophical forces bringing peoples lives together. At

the time I don’t think I really saw the impact of how this would impact

me, but in retrospect, I can see that it was important. It is not just

important to me, but to anyone who has a friend or relative, and that

covers just about everyone in the world. Or at least you would hope it

does. I meditated and prayed on it for a moment, and asked God to help

me find the reason why I was here. I thought mostly about finding a way

to support myself and become part of a community other than the one I

had dealt with back home,

Not realizing, that no matter where you go, you can never really leave

home. Either home comes with you, or it finds you, or it Spirits you

away. Because today, home is the Earth, Earth is where you come from,

and Earth is where you will stay. Even the cosmonauts that lost their

lives in space return to the earth as ash. Yet visions like theirs are

eternal because they are made eternal through the motions of the papers

that sift through the air of the seaside, on you guessed it, Earth.

I asked around at church to see if I could enlist in any help finding

work in Boston, and I was nudged aside by most people, except for one

kind old woman who began asking others on my behalf. Many of them

suggested reading the help wanted ads, or looking to temporary


or the unemployment office. It appears that most good God fearing


are not the ones that have the power to instantly employ just anyone.

They work for people too and have careers to uphold and must keep to a

smart degree guarded from strangers or drifters who might upset their

ability to care for their own. This is understandable. So I took their

suggestions and worked at it a while but that all came later. The

important lesson is that drifting is something that you have to be

careful about, because even your own affiliations may not recognize you

when you journey to distant lands.

I will take you to the beginning of the tennis match. I spent a long

time walking back up the hill thinking about the sermon and the old

woman’s charitable speaking, and the coffee and cookies at church, and


was not particularly in wonderful spirits for sharing my thoughts of

the people I had encountered because I did believe that they genuinely

could have helped me if they had wanted to. And perhaps in a way they


When I channeled my energy and wisdom into relaying a message of

hopefulness in the last quarter mile, I found Scott waiting for me at

the door, with two rackets in hand. He told me to go and put on some

other clothes and come and play tennis. At first I wanted to decline

because I saw this as an energy sapping activity. After all, I had just

walked four blocks up hill and had a mission to talk to him about

motivation and overcoming obstacles. I thought he was just as depressed

as I made him out to be, and I thought that he had been reading things

that were necessarily prescriptions for depression. He was always

walking around with a book written by Jean Paul Sarte’ or Albert Camus.

It isn’t until now that I realize that philosophy, reason, and

metaphysics are all connected. In a spiritual sense, he must have been

working toward his own awakening of being. Just quietly, and in

considerately. And so I changed, thinking that it wasn’t going to do me

much good. After all, how can you give a sermon, if you are choking

your way after a green ball?

I played as well as I could, but I knew that I would never defeat him,

at a game he had grown up playing. So I struck the ball when I could,

and the energy flipped out of my hands and over the net into his court.

Every once in a while I would score a point, but it wasn’t often that I

would achieve love on my side of the score sheet. So I conceded that if

victory had to be his on this count, it would define it that he was

champion. But he was never overly smug about his game play. He simply

wanted me to remember that we played the game and had an opportunity to

enjoy an almost resort like living. Our house wasn’t even a block from

the court, and there was no charge to play. And the baseball games were

gratis, being a community sport, if we wanted to watch. So there was

something going on. But I couldn’t exactly see it at the time. Now I

think that I can say it without fear and without enmity from anyone.

The truth is, that agape and spirituality apply to everyone, and that

these mergences of common experience are not coincidence, but a part of

the nature of God working through nature. There can be love of a

spiritual kind among men, without the necessity of abomination or

contact. And so I say clearly, that in the tennis match of life, I

found Love for Scott, as a brother, and fellow human, and look toward

him as a good man to obtain knowledge from, or share knowledge with, or

even possibly find wisdom through.

Some might call this comradeship, I cannot attest specifically to this,

because I believe that communism is steeped in hatreds too old to be

viewed as plausible for a leading existence in modern social action. I

will call it only what it is. Love. Comradeship implies leadership in a

cause. And there is no cause, greater than that of the Son of God who

died for our sins, also named aptly, Love. I find brotherhood through

his suffering, and know that I too suffer, and that everyone who has

lived a day since Rome began to burn has suffered. And today, we are

still in the fires of that fallen Empire. We are also however in the

light of God, and through Love, as I would share with my Father, or My

Brothers, or my Sister, or my Mother, or any of my Aunts, Uncles, or

Cousins, we may all be healed again.

May we all have awakenings similar to games as great as these.


Lady Ada’s fingers dance,

The Neuroscience of Christopher St.

On an ivory punch,

By Christopher J. Bradley

She is the first

4/24/2003 5:42:26 AM ©2003

Of the multitudinous,

for William

Modern day conquests of Babbage.

Our new Rome rises,

The seeds scatter through the wilderness,

Sowing the Grapes of Wrath of Milnet,

In the homebrew clubs.

A hundred thousand Mitnicks are born,

On the waves of fruitfully colored sand,

Vacuum tubes shine Basic on the retinas,

Of young wizards and fighters.

This is the Proving Grounds of deep space,

The calculators have long since fallen by the wayside,

In the currents of the war to end all wars,

They will be the relics of an established author.

I am a young keyboard player,

With a Commodore 64 and an RCA television,

The magazine arrives and I trip my vision,

Over the letters and sculpture on the cover.


William Gibson and Bruce Sterling,

Inspired musicians and artists it said,

Some of the kinds of artists,

That took up the animal rights and other political causes.

The journalist pointed out the new move,

From Industrialism to Informationalism,

I had to come to terms with them,

I asked my aunt for some money to buy a first book at Walden’s.

The flechette of his stylo needles text into thought,

Case is fixing up at the Gentleman Loser.

Molly is tooled up all in leather with her deadly nails,

3 jane is mixing up signals in the Spire.

Riviera is taking in the Scorpion Sting,

The Hwang is cutting Black Ice on the Hitachi,

Case is riding the back of a silver virtual shark,

The Turings are being offed by the landscape spider drones.

Neuromancer is plotting a merge with Wintermute,

The haunting spectre of the Finn is overshadowing his communiqués.

On the Sensenet riot hack by the Panther Moderns,

The Masses are executed like code.


Time froze and I got to work,

My BBS became Sensenet,

My handle was Flatline,

Suddenly dragons and outer space,

Turned into Coding and Implants.

All of the colors became vivid,

I had to get an IBM,

The true tech heads came out of the webwork,

The Matrix found me with Charles.

Bobby Newmark punches deck,

While his mother’s hooked on stim,

His problems with the vampires are many,

With their shark cartilage makeovers,

And their jet set whores.

The spirits of Ja are rattling out their Voodo incantations,

Of the fragmented archetypes of the Voidspace archipeligoes.

While her eyes shine on the catfish farm,

And her father’s polycarbon nightwing,

Crashes during a Yakuza hit.

Turner sets tensor rigs in her hotel,

To take out the flak Mercs,

And ushers her into infamy,

In the Davinci contraption Fokker.


That’s about the time I met Andy,

The Star Wars role-player.

And the walnut hit the car,

And we scattered into the woods,

The party was broken.

One night we spent time in Andy’s garage,

Fanning out the drums on a single snare,

From the Violent Femmes,

After I bought his 800k Floppy Drive,

“Let me get out, Like I Blister in the Sun.”

Sally Shears is shopping with an Origami princess,

While Angie Mitchell makes her Debut,

Everything is Stim now,

The world wrapped out in goggles.

A Chrome face hangs in the void cover,

A ghetto cruiser has a skull headpiece,

The judge is resting in the garage,

This is Gentry’s turf and Bobby’s on a slab.

The Voodo priestess is with her,

And a miniature flying thing attempts murder,

She is vanished into the night,

Our Mona Lisa of the cybersphere.


Its’ my senior year of high school,

I am working as a board operator,

At Niagara’s Energy 1440,

Passing out in the booth from Tequila,

Waking up with a Depeche Mode shirt full of Fire Extinguisher Foam.

Scott is around,

We play chess and order pizzas,

While he learns to operate the boards,

And we listen to CFNY,

And punk and industrial CD’s in the studio,

He and Brian write Travel Nebraska,

A deck of cards brings us a game of Scat (31).

I’ve been coding on IBM’s at my day co-op with EDS.

Writing in Quickbasic,

Documenting in Wordperfect 5.1,

I own an XT clone,

And Sensenet is colored World War IV.

I read into the goggles,

The world starts translating,

Through the eyes of a bicycle courier,

In all of the vistas of nightclub holograms,

Barry Rydell is a Knoxville Skip Trace,

In pursuit of the Quicksilver Teen.

The elevator’s open and close,

As the packages are delivered to the unwititng parties,

In the urban jungle of the San Fransisco night.


I am visiting Scott at Jamie’s in a Shortsville bar,

This is shotgun wedding town,

And she is legally blind and Albino,

They buy onion rings and beers,

In the only bar in town.

Where a Harley Davidson,

Is up for auction in a sweepstakes,

They slept together noisily long into the darkness of the night.

And I finished Virtual Light in one seamless sitting.

I have already worked concert security,

For Fishbone, The Barenaked Ladies, and The Femmes,

I have already heard 2 unlimited at Nitrous 013.

I have lost my fiance’ and been blown away by a blond Shelby,

I have been through my first voyages,

Into lysurgic delerium and met the Brits,

And reached the pinnacle,

And tried to write is all down as Wizz.

I have sat steeped in the Jackal Café’,

And combatted the Red Headed Stepchild,

The world is a blaze of chess,

And bagels, and coffee, and beer.

I have sat cross legged on the floor in Allentown,

And beat the Bongo in the smoky opium den,

And had my fortune told by the gypsies,

And experienced the wonders of Chinese noodles and Hot and Sour.

Virtual Venice rises up around Chia Pet McKenzie,

And the music of Lo-Rez Skyline pulsates,

Daisy makes her a mule as she is entering Tokyo,

The land of Idoru, the idol singer.

The land is laid out before my ocular traces,

The toe-cutter meets Colin Laney in the Metamorphosis theme bar,

Everything has been re-built in nanotech,

The unbrellas just “go away.”

Rez is trying to make the hologram AI whole,

The Gomi-Otaku are within the Fortress Gates working furiously,

For a solution that their dream of marriage might be realized.


The scene : Bankrupt and mentally disturbed,

I walk the streets trying to sell credit bought swatches,

Searching for the impossible dream,

I am housed in a hospital for 3 months,

Fighting a legal battle to prove my sanity,

My parents testify against me.

When I recover I work as a cashier,

In a computer retailer,

Stocking shelves, performing inventories, greeting customers with a smile,

I wear the mask and earn,

Enough money to cancel the hospital debt legally.

I leave work and go back to school,

In addition to my programming classes,

I take creative writing and literature,

In 1997 I am invited to Florida and Disney World with friends.

I ride the neck breaking Tower of Terror,

I see the miracles of Kodak 3-D photography,

I learn how behind the times the exhibits really are,

In the relaxation and shade of the condo in Daytona I re-read Idoru.

Silencio’s hands move like lightening,

In the shadow of the Golden Gate bridge,

People are living up there now,

And an assassin is moving among them in Grey,

Laney is living in a cardboard box,

Jacked in in a terminal,

The Dukes of Nuke’em are playing,

While Boomzilla takes watch on a mini-mart,

The Idoru’s dream is realized but limited,

Barry Rydell is in the mix ordering wings,

The nano-confectioners are coming in Big Dragon,

And the surveillance is everywhere.


Thanks to the inspiration of Bartleby the Scrivener and Moby,

I am studying Pre-law, Latin, and Ethics at the University,

I earned my Computer Science Degree in 1998,

I find a girlfriend for the first time since 1993.

We spend time around Buffalo and the Casino,

And take a walk up Yonge in Toronto,

We order bad Chinese takeout in Scarborough from our hotel,

I previously saw the musical RENT.

Alone on a bus tour,

We go to her ex-boyfriend’s wedding,

I meet her sister,

Who has also dated him.

At her prompting I take a full time job,

I work as a telecommunications billing specialist,

My car’s engine died,

I am locked into 60 payments of 385.21.

It’s a new Blackberry Saturn with Air Conditioning.

I lose her to the internet,

In my commitment to work,

All of the places we enjoyed,

Become my haunts.

The Saturn takes me to New York,

On a mindbender of a journey,

The battery dies in Pennsylvania,

While I am communing with the spirit world.

The police look up my record,

And I am locked up in a hospital in Harrisburg,

Somehow they let me keep my job,

Must have been my record on the Quality scorecard.

My friends at work barely notice I’ve been gone,

I tell them that I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

While I am out of work on a leave,

Due to an auto injury to my spinal column,

The Verizon layoffs come,

My entire team is dismantled.

I go back to school with my friend Mike,

Business and Personal Finance.

The job fare is loud and noisy,

I am hired to provide internet technical support,

For broadband powerlink service,

I trade the scratched Saturn in for a new Red Mustang.

It is 2002, the Y2K Bug had no impact.

America is planning to go to war with IRAQ,

I quit my job,

Daniel Pearl is found dead,

With no income I register for school.

I plan to study Digital Media,

The Atmosphere is no better,

I don’t enjoy the simplistic subject matter,

I write four articles for the student newspaper,

A review of Pattern Recognition,

Rap Meets Anime,

Vote With Your Voice,

Tampa Bay Hammers Oakland.

My friend Scott returns from North Carolina,

I begin writing again,

And reading American Literature,

And composing from it.

The Blue Ant Cell rings in my pocket,

Cayce is being tormented by the Michellin Man,

Asian Sluts are finding their way into her locked flat,

She has a footage fetish.

The Kiss is on Bigends mind,

The guerilla market is a global theater,

Russian war movies are shot in the Ukraine,

Jappanese wiccans decipher stego,

A claymore mine is displayed in a shrapnel diagram.

Custom made porn is delivered,

Keystrokes are sniffed,

A developer is identified,

Oil production is in the Texas Mechanism,

Russian Hallucinogenics Spike hard water.

Another helicopter rescues the heroine,

A car collides with a taxi,

The occupants remain unnaccounted for,

On Christopher St.

There’s got to be a sequel.