FADED OUT

Three Poems – David Bradford

Nobody’s Sleeping

 

Poor man retirement still

ye ole sorghum The thwacker

round his pile of butts never gone

 

and the landlord’s lungs still

     halfway to drowned

on the porch lawn chair at 2am

 

    Our wee widowers still

         spot-checking the village

for young blood and dead skin

 

our four-bypass lord

still king of the carton

         and not dying

 

the better to shut down

whatever’s not his love

    for his departed marta

 

          I can always smell

                         smoking

 

So for now home means

 

knowing you can’t ever

         be here to listen in

    to how far this is

 

from you melting down on me

like the softer of our softies

         in the theatre district

 

    Remember that day?

 

Then our mouths numb

working lemon water easy

 

Now the month

and six hours in between

                     lifelines

a white noise machine

 

and so sleepy

 

Our dick and slit gifs

just so tiny

 

and your voice is cracking

 

and how drunk

is a drink?

 

What did you say?

 

    What did

 

What did you say?

Welcome Home

 

12 chappies sold     I am touched

    like a superstar     Topical and down

         working up my knack

    out of love from the open

 

I read Dodie’s been saying

    knowledge     never adds up

and my people are into it like herb wisdom     

    Just      Greet do not capture any selves

         mmm          feels good

 

Like Jacquie getting me a cookie

    on one of our work dates off Palmerston

              pushing gladness for what we got

 

John Irving barber fresh

    as hell in moussed bouffant hair

complimenting my reading voice

          in the Steady lounge

 

Prince Edward wined and snowed in

all of Kirby’s     What’s your mom’s name?      

They’ve got names     Let’s name

    them      Big man feelings off Nassau

         for his Ohio’s sister Jesus

Knives forks books all over his Insta

 

Like our half of the roundtable

    Suzuki southbound on Black Creek Drive

worked up as the full free range

         of a 3 egg salad

 

Rose up on queering the damn doors off

Lindsay on housemates partnering

    Franz Wright poems     Room is       

              appropriate     for everyone

Like 3 Hyuaikai 300 thunderclappling

    out our Bessie hearts live

 

All over     _____’s work on

rad punkers of hysteria     Acker quote     Ooh

    that time _______ sang a puppet frog

 

Deep down talk about beauty hazards

    Acker quote     Can’t you tell

              our souls are hot?

 

A slash of Ontario’s fresh body

past the 401 dirt bike jumps

    saying      Here comes home

               via Landsdowne

 

All its expenses

 

 

Even Ways of Looking at Nothing

 

8.

 

It’s hard

enlivening any of it

without living

 

Handholding is a start

 

7.

 

To think

we’ve each managed

season-long flits

 

our bones

light as feathers

the illusion

of each other’s pelt

 

6.

 

Now you hold my foot

with your ice-pack toes

 

We’ve just been journaling

 

5.

 

Shadowing lives

we neither wish

to write or live

or can

quite yet

 

4.

 

You

polishing haikus

about polishing

 

Me

unearthing Stevens

    desperate

for the both of us

 

3.

 

Whispering his vagaries

for you  under the covers

                   Feathering

    at every tidy confusion

 

2.

 

My sotto breathing

To touch a woman

      cadaverous

 

Your hand reaching

for something other

than my hand

 

1.

 

And trying again


David Bradford is a poetry editor at Knife|Fork|Book and a contributing editor at Lemon Hound. He is the author of Nell Zink Is Damn Free (Blank Cheque Press, 2017) and Call Out (K|F|B, 2017). His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Fire, Vallum, and Toronto Lit Up’s The Unpublished City. An MFA candidate at the University of Guelph, he splits his time between Toronto and Verdun.

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