Thursday, May 20, 2004

Dancing Over The Fury - Revised 5/21/04

Dancing Over The Fury
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/18/2003 11:03:07 PM ©2003

Chapter 1

Culture Jam

Why Netscape Radio Plus is Awesome
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/2/2003 3:29:15 PM ©2003

The thoughts just noodle into your brain
While you sit there typing or surfing
Or whatever.

I’ve been enjoying this thing for days.
Spiraling trip hops of jazz
Spinning around chordbeats
And little synchronized sample drops

And the fun never stops.

The Spider Crawl
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/4/2003 3:13:01 PM

Peter Parker
Doesn’t know
How Good
He’s got it.

To be able
To crawl up walls
Spin webs
And drift through
Thin air
On a silken

He jumps
And Hurdles
From building
To building
In his grey Nike’s.

And I gather
That he’s even
Quick minded
With the science
And Stuff.

Wall St. Days
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/6/2003 3:54:41 PM ©2003

The days passed quickly
Up-tempo and bleary
Discussions of garment racks
And the K-Mart crisis
Pitched in my ears.

We talked of
Buyer stratification
And market segmentation
And delivery of goods services
And content.

We studied the Super Bowl
The year the Patriots won
And broke down the
Commercial statistics
In the USA Today.

And we learned
to manage our pocketbooks
And determine our financial position
So that maybe one day
We might buy stocks

And Bonds.

The Gentle Voices of Bossa Nova
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/5/2003 12:44:37 AM

Poetry is a shared experience.
As I write
The Gentle Voices of Bossa Nova
Tingle in my ears.

I am treated to the sounds
Of a dynamic jazz flute
Over a standing Bass
And some quick drum snaps.

The meandering quick
And uptempo gestures
Of the rhythmic sounds
Vibrate against my melodic spirit

And then
A slow intermission
Introducing Piano
And guitar.

Could there be more exciting variance?

Thank You Michael
5/10/2003 4:22:13 PM
by Christopher J. Bradley
Dedicated to Michael Jordan

Dark Buddhist Angel
Of The Sphere
Mover of the winds of the Globe
By the Achilles of a Nike you fly.
Even now that you have
Moved into philanthropic ventures.

How I mourn you
The loss of your father
And the hours of regrettable journalism
With regard to the Sox
We know it was spirit healing
Never Bull.

Thank you for inspiring us
Through your return
A political wizardry
And reminding us
That even as the years pass
We remain inspired.

The Fire Hydrant Dog
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/4/2003 2:45:06 PM

The Dalmatian sat upright
On it’s haunches
On the t-shirts
Of a hundred
Club Kids
In the flickering embers
Of the night-time glow
Inside the retrofit

Parking ramp.

I heard DJ Megabitch
Spin a terminator track
So I danced around
Dreaming New York Spots.

That was the night
I met David
Eating Oranges
In the Room Full of Remnants
And other cushy fluff.

And I went home
With my very own

Fire Hydrant Dog.

A Fallen Bond
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/8/2003 8:20:06 AM

It was seven o’clock
When I heard of Roger Moore’s collapse.
His paroxysm struck on Broadway
And no doubt in a whirlwind of outburst.

The thought of it all
My hero from age seven
A novel relic from the age of Flemming
That would nourish me with finesse
And not heresy.

It would enlighten
Even the finicky film watchers
To see his name stretched across the heavens.

I pray that he does not go too soon.

Pow Bang Flap Boom!
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/27/2003 2:20 PM

The Riddler Joker Penguin and Catwoman
Have all set their snares
For the notorious Adam West
Man turned Bat
Bat turned Hero.

They are on a collision course
With the gloved fist
That will find them all in stripes
Arch enemies locked behind bars

Isn’t it uncanny that
We would find them lurking
In the dark corners of morning
On a tiny black and white image box
Behind the terminal that often crashes
Next to a filing cabinet
Where the old goods are kept.

It is good to see that
At least across times sands
The old Batman reels
Have Survived.

Life in the fast lane
5/10/2003 1:36:14 PM ©2003
by Christopher J. Bradley

They moved like greased lightening
The finger strokes of Henley and the boys
In the licks on the string tool.

The guitar hummed in the darkness
And a car sped away in the night
Headlights blazing on the corner of Packard
And the Boulevard.

It reminded me of younger days
When I watched videos
Of “All she wants to do is dance”
And “The boys of summer.”

Miami Vice was all the rage
And Crockett and Tubbs were
Large and in charge
In their three piece detective suits
In the heat of Miami Sun.

But then we all knew that Henley
Had been to California and back
And from that
Well it kind of becomes


A February Kiss in The Rain
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/6/2003 3:44:29 PM
Thank you Marvel

I cannot see you
Until your eyelids glisten
In the harmonics
Of the pattering rain.

I try to speak
But I am enrapt
By the sheer and utter
Of simply
Hearing your face
As the wet pearls
Of water
Dance upon
Your cheeks.

And I am so taken in
When we at last
And the journey
To this rooftop
In the Manhattan night
Is fulfilled.

Thank You.

Can you see what I see?
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/6/2003 4:16:50 PM

May 15 2003
They drop the second
Bomb on
The Matrix.

And the spiders
It’s the end
Of human cocoons

It’s almost time
For the
enslaved masses
To arise
And make
Their Exodus
With Neo
As their guide.

The albino
can phase shift
and Trinity
Still has her kicks.

All that I
Can Wonder
Is will it
Have the same
The Zen
Would have?

Or will it
Just be
Pase sequel?

Only time

Will tell.

[washington st matrix]
by Christopher J. Bradley
4/23/2003 3:35:59 AM
for all telecom people inspired by Gibson

Big – Time
The journey into everything corporate
Retail phases out behind steel rims
I am standing at the 3rd floor elevator
Escorted to Paul’s cubicle

It’s all ties briefcases and planners
Deskwork headsets and terminals
Flowcharts graphs reports and schedules
The timepieces are on the walls
These are the days of 3.1

February 95
Seven months and counting
Until the big change
The personal computer
Will never be the same

The interview was last week
I’ve been hired
The project he outlines for me is Disney
The Lion King Animated Story Book
A public relations nightmare
From a technical perspective

Two weeks training commence
A customer service MASH unit boot camp
All of the rigors of DOS and windows
And an Access composite Database
A quick introduction to Microsoft Mail
The precursor to modern Outlook

For three months the Callmaster was my overseer
I punched keys and executed clicks with precision
I pasted notes and scanned faxes
I learned cool down tactics
And rewrote code without paper or machine

With the headset locked on my temples like a vice
I was a verbal relay a conduit
I rattled out execution orders for driver updates
I reconstructed autoexec and config files
And depressurized the callers en masse

One Saturday in May the ice broke
I went to the McDonalds for lunch
On the way back I peered into
the cinema window
There was a slick posted for
Johnny Mnemonic

Keanau in sharkskin grey against the Matrix

After my shift I called home
To let my parents know that I would be late
The entire spectrum of the bizarre
had hit pay-dirt

Internet 2021 had opened for me
in the Voidspace

The Washington St.
Market Arcade General Cinema
With the projector alight beside my employer
was a home to Gibson.

[opening the mnemonic]
by Christopher J. Bradley
4/23/2003 3:56:27 AM
For those who know

The title flared and phased away
An alarm clock flickers in his iris
He sits up to the vidphone
With a prostitute black silked at his side
He makes a bad attempt to bargain with his fixer

The sequence is Beijing hotel
Gate crashing protesters revolt as he wades
In and through the shields and batons of riot cops
A silence counterpoints in the lobby
Twin girls and his head refracted in a fish bowl

In an elevator he unwraps a fake cigarette pack
The dial whizzes past red digital digits
While the gigabyte expander taps his mind
The doors open and he squares off
Delivering a nonexistent pizza to armed research defects

He jacks into a minidisc and they feed him the data
Three images click click click
The minds eye opens and he’s in the bathroom
A nosebleed into a chrome sink reflects mirrored
Laser flare – The motion sensor trips
Canceled Tai Chi becomes re-arrangement of the towel rack

They enter the room with trauma guns
Blue anime shrieks with the meeting of lead and red plasma
The laser whip cuts fingers and color photo fax
A bald head meets steel piping crashing to bathtub marble
Those left clear him a tight path to the door
In the elevator Johnny dons a Lennon wig rose colored lenses and a topcoat

It’s a quick step back past the fishbowl
No more twins – A quick turn – He’s back in the riots
The NAS signs flood like driftweeds into the China night
The plane arrives on a Jersey industrial runway
The digital inspector reads his implant as dyslexia prosthetic

It knows that it is seeping
A deadly consequence of his masking of the truth.

Chapter 2

Politicking and Coffee

The man going off to war
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/2/2003 2:45:48 PM

The man going off to war
Sat quietly among his friends
Not a hint of a tear
In the corner of his eye.

His friends are brothers
Of the Lambda Phi Epsilon fraternity
A true brotherhood of proud students
From the University
It stands to their credit
That they are sending him off
As a United House.

Through their memories
And tellings of his legacy
They make him a hero
Today and forever.

The Anniversary of a Tragedy
By Christopher J. Bradley
Dedicated to those lost in the
September 11 attacks.

In one year
Our family has lost a member
And I have gained a sister
We have lost one dog
And found another.

A friend has lost a mother
But gained a nephew
Another has come home from Peru
And moved to Illinois.

I have traveled into the Big Apple
And Been visited 3 times
By my relatively new friend
From New York Manhattan Queens.

The globe has spun 365 times
Traveled around the sun once
Bringing Winter Spring
Summer and now Fall.

The World Cup and The Olympics
The Stanley Cup Superbowl
PGA and Baseball seasons
Have all commenced
Many have completed
And are ready to restart.

I personally have lost a job
But gained employment
Sold a Saturn and Bought a Ford
Written a book and published a web

I have met people of all sorts
From the users to the pushers
And Every Manner In-Between
And those who’ve somehow managed to
avoid it all.

I have composed my treatise on peace.

When we do remember the dead
Let us not forget
That they have not only departed from
this earth

But from the living
Artists Scientists Doctors
Lawyers Firemen Teachers
Police Armed Forces Poets
And Actors
Who will carry on their hopes
And dreams
In the works of their hands
And minds

Each year from now
Until the history books
Of all living memory
Are closed.

Why I now think Linda is an excellent waitress
By Christopher Bradley
10/10/02 Dedicated to Linda at Toms

At first I didn’t like Linda
I think I just hadn’t got to know her yet
So I decided to get to know her better
I asked her if she had kids
And whether she was Italian.
She has an Italian demeanor and dark hair.

Over the course of weeks
I learned that she has a romantic interest
And has been through a divorce
For some people I have learned that
That works out best anyway.

All of these things together
Help me to see her as human
Someone with potential
Someone definitely worth more than her wage
For care-taking us night-owls.

I have now just today learned
That she has worked for some classier restaurants
But chooses Tom’s for convenience.

She has told a few of us regulars
About her friend the Safari hunter in the Philharmonic
Who has rooms full of taxidermy.

And she knows her worth
And how to put her foot down
When she needs to.

And so I am happy to leave her a tip
Even when I am in the “Red Zone”
Because I know she works hard
To keep the establishment clean and comfortable
When I am around.

And she keeps a weathered smile
Because for all the troubles she encounters
She knows that a better road lies ahead
For those who can maintain their dignity
In the face of adversity.

Upon further reflection
That smile isn’t so weathered after all
Let’s just call it

Bankrupt in the USA
by Christopher J. Bradley

I am in Bankruptcy
Das Kapital did none for me
I am in Bankruptcy
Driving to the edge for free.

God save the President
He cuts taxes
While they raise rent
And guns only make butter.

I am in Bankruptcy
And the Greek Feta isn't Free
I am in Bankruptcy
But I can still afford Dragonball Tea.

Monopoly on Channel 23
Headroom's got his camera on me
And BMW's got hi-def
Footage Stream.

I am in Bankruptcy
And this red horse
is on white lightening
while I'm seeing stars
come over me.

I am in Bankruptcy.

2020 A Man Steps Down
by Christopher J. Bradley

In the year 2020
The president resigned
He was unable to fulfill his promise
To bring prosperity
In a time of peace.

He was confronted with the fact
That by 2014 the threat of
global terrorism
had been eliminated
by three consecutive terms
of Republican predecessors
In all three branches of government

There was no one left to kill
To stimulate the economy.
Which had been weakened by the draft
which had eliminated
Some of the most creative minds of history.

He had been left
To serve a nation
Of sedate television and webbie audience
carefully drugged and surveilled

What possible scandal could harm him?

Beside that
The machines could do as good a job.

The Gaslight Poet
By Christopher J. Bradley

It is in his nature
That he imbibes fully in life
Seizing the proverbial night
In a hotel lounge.

Lighting cigarettes
Over Martinis
With friends of Sinatra.

By day
He pushes rubber and steel
Iaccoca’s revitalized Detroit Dream
And beyond the hotel

I go to him.

I go to him to share the news
I go to him to laugh again
To find those parts of myself
That I hope not to seek

Beyond the grave.

I share with him that place
Where Israel meets Bethlehem
Finding the waters of the mighty

At 3AM I find solace
In caffeine and smoke

The light glows a pale yellow
In our souvlaki garden.

And the keys to iron horses
And german engineering
Rest on a poker bet
Against those forces
We cannot control.

So we must pray for serenity
To endure.

For a time is coming
Where Blackhawks will crash
Dropping Chicago
On useless hardware.

And those blue eyes
Of Memphis
On New Years Eve in Egypt
Recorded and Timeless
At the turn of the Millenium
Will crash the virus of September
On Bloody St. Patrick.

And so we sit
Idly praying
Lighting on a new tomorrow
Where the beaten women
And tread on children
And cannon fodder atheists
Might not not have to go gently
Into that good sand

Without the nobility of knowing
That the honorable battle
Was endured.

The fade a qui
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/28/2003 ©2003

The fade a qui
May be wielded
By one hand alone
The hand of Paul Maudeeb.

Paul has been trained by the sisterhood
And has aquired the voice.
He is waiting for the storm to come
Waiting for the proper time
For the revelation to fall upon the Emperor
That his time is passed
And that he can no longer interfere in
Family business.

Dune Desert Planet Arakis.

When we have enough we shall change the face
Of the Desert Planet.

By Christopher J. Bradley
5/2/2003 2:35:15 PM ©2003

“Mayday Mayday
This is Snowden
Calling Sgt. Bilko
The Commander and Chief
And Governor Patton. “

“I’m on the 100th Meridian
Moving Northward
Into Hostile Fire
I remember Buffalo.”

MacArthur’s got them on the line
“Captain Klink where’s the Pyro?”
“He’s with Magneto and X-Ray sir.”
”May Dante and his Inferno save us all.”

“I’m sorry sir I’m not understanding you exactly.”
“They’re with the French Foreign Legion 151st.”
“You mean the Somali’s”
”Yes The Somali’s.”

“John’s at the wheel”
“That bloodthirsty Reveler eh?”
”That’s exactly the one.”
”Tell him to come down off the mountain”

“Yes sir”
”We need to strengthen the Golden Gate Bridge”
“Everything’s Spectacular.”
“Your Kung Fu is Strong.”

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Coffee
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/5/2003 12:33:49 AM

I still have some left
And I’m drinking it now
Chocolate Macadamia Nut Blend
From Wegmans.

The coffee was excellent.
My mother and I shopped there
Just this morning.
Bringing home a wealth
Of grocer’s goods.

The thing I remember most
About this coffee
Other than the fact
That they used to brew
It at the Topic Café’

Is that a Fraternity Pledge
From Hawaii
Introduced me to Macadamia Nuts
When I was in Chicago.

They were interesting
And he said
Very expensive
Being that they are imported.

He was a Bob Marley fan too
Said Marley smoked trash bags
Full of pot.

Must have been
Some kind of serious
420 Moment.

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.

Campaign Confidential
by Christopher J. Bradley
5:40 AM 2/26/03

Her consultation involves
Exactly four transmissions
Her successful and professional
Unsecured solutions
Are similar to his approved confidential.

Unsecured debts
Are actually promptly collected
In discreet
At her request
The procedure having completed
And the campaign minimum
is approved

In unbelievable

To Be Stimulated
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/16/2003 12:18:49 AM

In the pool tabled room
The juke-box is playing
Much thanks to Scott
And his Yankee glasses.

The readers of The Beast
Have all left
And Dylan’s a wailin’
And he’s actually singing.

The traffic passes
As the unhappy parade commences
And the ashtray fills
While a quarter rests

On the mottled tabletop.

A discussion with a writer.
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/5/2003 12:39:41 AM

A writer today
Told me that he was there
When the Huns sacked Rome.

Seeing he’s about 30 now.

His argument was
That given a choice
A writer would rather be elsewhere.

Where exactly is elsewhere anyway?
If I want to write about poolsticks
I can write about them here
Same as anywhere else
Or at least
Open up a dialogue about
Foreign poolsticks
With Foreigners.

Isn’t that what this whole T-Mobile
Revolution is about

I guess that’s too much power
For one pocket.

As a Fifth of Whisky
Sends a mathematician to his grave.
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/28/2003 4:02:20 AM

A mathematician sits
Slowly drinking himself away
In his study.

Don’t get me wrong
This is not his only
Poison of choice.

And I have time
More than a few moments
To write of the pain of
Watching him
While he met all the people
That would lead him

To his large

Here lies a mathematician
Who studied
Just a little bit of the world

And lived to tell about it.

Thank You Canada
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/28/2003 4:08:33 AM

Thank you Canada
For the girl in the hot pants
For the existential experiences and the Tall boy
For the Casino and the CN Tower.

Thank you Canada
For the Blue Jays game
And the great awakening
To the importance of our moms and dads.
And for a professional dental cleaning.

Thank you Canada
For the nights under Argon
Selling drinks to the kids of tomorrow’s establishment.

Thank you Canada
For a good look at myself
When I had no other mirror to look at.

Thank you Canada
For making me a hockey fan
And inviting me for a sub with Don Cherry.

And Thank you Canada
Most of All
For giving me a radio station that listens sometimes.

Thank you Canada.

Downtown at the Ground Round
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/27/2003 2:06:49 PM

We haggled with the bartender to change
The television channel to a hockey game
That was ending.

Scott ordered some God-Forsaken draft
I ordered by Default a Guinness.
If you’re going off the wagon you might as well.
I am still drunk a day later.

We ordered the outrageous nachos w/chicken
And they were outrageous.
It seemed like I would taste them
For days.

The Nachos were a molten mountain
Of cheese and bean
With hot green peppers
And chicken bits
That kept slipping through
My sticky fingers like a sauce.

We played six games of Quick Draw
And won back 3 dollars collectively
Scott said the bouncing ball was taunting us.

As we staggered into the car
I complained about the other customer’s use of the phrase
And asked him if he’d ever had a
“Good Hot Beer Shit?”
Referring to Burroughs from Poetry in Motion.
Think About that one for a second.

We laughed about Burroughs
Most of the way home
Although for the most part
He has gone ignored by us.

And I do think

That I have discovered that place
Where the pen does at last

Meet the page with the strength
Of a thousand men.

Native American Cigarettes
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/30/2003 4:45:56 AM

I earn my cancer slowly
Measure for measure
These dueling spikes of paper
Unravel in my hands
In the darkness
While my nose runs
My heart speaks.

It sings in silent rings
To the memory
Of a black stockinged
Girl from the past
Who strung out with me
During the first days
Of the Chesterfield Anarchy.

She was a Londoner
Making a game of the party
In the Indian Summer
October of the Adventure Club
And she looked into my boyhood’s eyes
Knowing that I would never possess her.

So we shared Coffee
At the Arts café
One summer afternoon
Before she shuttled
Back to the airport
And I saw her face slightly saddened
As she rode on to Penny Lane.

The Tracking Hum Vee
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/6/2003 3:41:07 PM

I drove casually down
The highway
En-route to meet Scott
At Stimulance
A quiet café.

I had the radio on
And suddenly the bright red vehicle
Snuck up on me
On the left.

It was huge
Like a tank on CNN
With monster wheels
Flattened out
Against the black top turf.

The road was definitely

Isolated isotopes
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/5/2003 12:49:19 AM

They found it
Back in the 1930’s
The solution
For the isotopes
Of Uranium 238.

If they could only
Pack that much punch
Into the education system
So that students
Might know
What Uranium 238 does
And what it can mean for them.

Are we still at 100 times the net
Capacity for the utter annhialation of the planet?
Or have we backed off considerably
Say to 10 times?

Who knows. I’m sure NATO and the UN have it
Entirely under control.

Maybe we could convince
A poet or two
To lend a hand
And spread the word
That the word
Must be
As strong
As the Kernal
It represents.

I’m boycotting
Heavy Metal.

Spangle Me Baby
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/4/2003 3:31:01 PM

Tatoo the flag
Across my forehead
I am one hundred
In love
With the American Dream.

Take me across
All Borders
No Visa Required
Where my Cold Hard Cash
Is Good as Gold.

Rise on my voice
To The Highest Mountains
And Sing My Songs
To The Fruited Plains
Send My Seeds
To The Valleys Below.

And carry
My bloody
Stripes and Stars
To the Apex
Of the nations


Chapter 3

Polite Thoughts about Romance

Coastline Slam (notes from Typhoon)
by Christopher J. Bradley
4/15/2003 11:59:53 PM

A wind swept-love
Begins with the twist
Of a forked tongue
The lovers unite
And are parted.

While one claims it a non-deed
She is left in stricken horror
Of what is to become of her
With her unforgiving father
And a child to come.

She fires the lead hammer
And kills the wretched
Wouldn’t be father of her child
And turns the weapon at first opportunity
On herself.

Is there merit in the headlines
That haunted her from within?

I do not see it.

A Rotterdam Moment on Pearl
By Christopher J. Bradley
10/17/2002 5:13:24 AM

I walked down the corridor
Of Alleyway Theater
A passageway from an empty bar
Into a clubzone like
No other I’ve ever experienced in Buffalo.

The lights and music
Actually synched up
And the DJ wasn’t far off
From the days of Oribital on Queen
The sounds of “Groove” took me back
To Atlantis the lost city.

And it was only a small party
But the young girl was there
Without her ruby slippers
Wearing a white elven gown
Over blue jeans
With my arm around her waist
A manic groping in the dark
And we introduced ourselves
And she danced to another.

And I owe my re-indoctrination
To the vibe
To a new friend
Named Jay.

Sex in the rafters
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/30/2003 8:23:24 AM

Sex in the rafters
Was a terrible mistake
Don’t get me wrong
It was really really great.

But when the bed fell
On my roomate’s head
A couple of days later
I might as well have been dead.

Her eyes shone through me like blue iris
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/28/2003 12:30:21 AM ©2003

Her eyes shone through me
Like blue Iris
On a sandswept Sunday night
At the end of April.

She was reading Madame Bovary
In the café’
And she told me of her friend with the feather
From Washington State
How they had just gotten to know each other
That first night I recognized her
From the café downtown.

She looks like destiny
But I can see in my minds eye
That I did not look like much of a prince
In my toaded beard.

But she did leave me a single shred of paper handkerchief
To rescue for her from the table.
Oh Lord if this could be true
I would be the happiest man alive.

Showering These months in the basement
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/30/2003 4:37:26 AM ©2003

You lured me into the shower
The tiny basement shower
The two of us could barely fit
It was a long night out
We were both filthy
With street dirt.

So I soaped you down
Got all of your fuzzy parts lathery
And kissed your neck bone
While the soap slid between
My fingers.

The water pattered over your
Slippery breasts as though
You were a marble fountain
In a Roman bath
My lips could not resist them
As my fingertips
Glazed your eyes.

I desired no satisfaction
What we shared in bed was enough
But you helped me to get clean

Thank you
My Angel of the café.

Dancing The Waltz Of Northern Spring
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/28/2003 3:52:47 AM ©2003

She is on my arm
Beneath the maple trees
Dancing in the moonlight
All of the flowers of spring are sleeping.

The cooking
Upon the table
Was delicious at dinner
An omlette with vegetables
The meal we shared.

She writes letters to all of her friends
Telling them of the secrets of our romantic endeavors
While I secretly plant my rose in her crystal vase
In the morning’s dew.

Punk Rock Heat
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/6/2003 ©2003

It was Saturday
And it was Punk Rock Heat.
The park was crowded
With every kind
Of Vendor
And Performer.

There was
A giant
And I was
Walking Slow
With my
Rock and Roll

We sat at the
Top of the Dirt Mound
In the brutal sun
And the air
Was like a windbrush
Painting Mirage.

I took a walk
To buy water
And paused a moment
To listen to Jazz
Some nice smooth
David Kane.

And when I returned
We held hands.
Moby played the bongos
So unlike I’d
Ever seen him before
And we bounced
In the back of the crowd.

Someone threw
A plastic bottle
And he stopped
To scold them.

We looked
For his tent
But he had left
From The Stage.

In the
Punk Rock

The Kitchen Manager
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/10/2003 12:46 PM

The Kitchen Manager
At the coffee &
Always greets me
With a big cheery smile.

Her hair is perfectly curled
In a brown tuft of permanent
And her demeanor
Is always kind.

She always invites me to return
And I always feel welcome here
It’s a nice dreamy
Woodgrain feeling that I get
While writing on her
Neat clean table.

And the food
Prepared under her direction
Is always fresh and delicious
She served me an orange juice
Just this morning.

What will come of the future
Anyone can tell
If I keep calling on her
Friendly visage

Can I get an “Amen?”

The Gardens In The City
By Christopher J. Bradley

The unforgiving city
Houses gardens
Where precious memories
Of promenade lace
And tuxedo silk
Were required

It was an innocent time
Yet now in retrospect
Strange and unforgiving
As the screaming rainbow
Of the journey
To pure entertainment
Yielded a combination
Of plentiful frustrations

Tomorrow I will feel
The returning ambition of those days
As options
Their symmetries
In the rose colored
Mirror shades
Of the familiar
Of the void

In the Matrix.

To my international friend
By Christopher J. Bradley
11:04 AM 4/27/03

Ohio Gozaimas

I would definitely
Like to see you
Sometime again
My international

Take all my best wishes
Home with you
To the country
Of your ancestors.

And rise again
From the ashes
In a phoenixes
Brilliant plumes

In the land
Where the sea
Travels west
To set last on Hollywood

Bring your family
Into my melting pot
And dance under the arm
Of Liberty and her torch.

Find your spirit
In the sheeted
Stripes and Stars
On the mast
Of the tall carriers.

Join your game makers
With our scientists
And draw your anime
Upon data’s shores
While the hamster runs
Through the horns of the ram.

And take me at last
To Nissan Village
Where I will walk hand in hand
With the Honda Robot.

On How I Want Them All Back
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/16/2003 12:56:08 AM

I want them all back
Not one
Not two
All of them.

I suppose my efforts in large
Will be in vain
And so I will not begin
Except to put the word on the street
Through these simple words.

I want back my childhood playmates
Who shared hugs with me
On innocent days in the tall grass
And on horseback.

I want back the sixties girls
From Dramatic Arts camp
Who drew Peace Signs on my shirt
And brought me to realize
The cruelties of war.

I want back the one who taught me poetry
On the cool summer morning
On her front porch
In her shredded journal.

I want back the Aftican princess
Who traveled with me
In my father’s Shadow
And through the water park.

I want back my ex-fiance
The girl I vowed to marry
Who shared bliss on that promise
I will always regret my failure to keep.

I want back the Canadian girl
Who taught me the treasures of lust
Under the laser-light of modern-disco
From Club to Club from here to Detroit.

I want back the jacketed assassin
The nuclear age raven
In bleached blue jean street gear
Splotching the Buffalo daybreak
With crossbow darts and candy.

I want back the Congressman’s Daughter
Who called me the Buffalo Soldier

At the Fraternity Dinner in Chicago
Where I smoked my first Menthol Cigarette.

I want back the radiant dawn
The girl who with a smile
Could say a thousand worlds
And litigate my soul.

And yet for all the wanting
I cannot hope for a tomorrow
To include any of them
I must move forward
And read into a new day.

And let the dream I have
Of discovering my value to the world
Through the hands of His words
Printed endlessly in the voices
Of those both dead and alive

And moving over the airwaves
Of both video and audio
And through the archives
Of human contact and mysteries of
Drift into my own pages and spaces.

For as I said I want simply
To have them back
Even a word
Would do.

Chapter 4


The philosopher sits and writes
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/4/2003 3:20:15 PM ©2003

The philosopher sits
And writes
His thoughts
Of times in the distant past.

When Socrates Questioned
Plato Formed
And Aristotle Taught
He was the mentor of Alexander.

Butterflies and cocoons open
In his angled hand
And Promethean fire
Dances on Papyrus.

All of this
He does in solitude
While the humble clerk
Punches a clock

In awe

At his wakeful dream.

On being haunted
By Christopher J. Bradley

Being haunted is not
Quite the same as being hunted
You can feel the eyes more
But they hover.

And do not attack.

One time I was haunted in the daylight
Unable to seek out my grandfather’s grave
For the flowers had moved.

But this time it is different.

Sitting in relative comfort
In a place that I like all to well
While my pen scratches
In my nerve sprung hand.

One day their eyes

Will find mine in the darkness.

Beware The Man In The Mirror
By Christopher J. Bradley

The man in the glass
Can take you there
Every which way
But the way you should have gone

Until even he looks like
Your worn out smoking
Grizzled grand dad.

And the spirits aren’t far off.

The Cold Room
By Christopher J. Bradley

Ice hangs from the ceiling
In the cold room
The people are frozen
About to become

Adjuncts to history
Cogs in clean society
Moving forward
Americans all

And the ice hangs on the wall
In the cold room.

The bus is not hell
By Christopher J. Bradley

I rode the bus
2 weeks ago
And saw young and old
And all types.

Share the seats
On a sunny afternoon.

And now they are offering me
an opportunity to ride free.

If I could only work

If I could only work…

Today Is Money Day
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/16/2003 12:49:31 AM

So After All of The Paperwork
All of the losses
And lost causes
Of the past several weeks

Today Is Money Day.

I will be able to buy at a whim
Once again
With no regard
Or responsibility.

Keeping only those things
Turned on
That turn me on.

So Today Is Money Day.

And I won’t soon forget
How they kept me in the gutter

This long.

Why I have not yet captured the whale
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/16/2003 3:35:52 PM

I am reveling
In catching up to the present
And I do not desire
The stripes of a Captain.

Today’s world
Is complex to the point
That I might never accomplish
This mighty task.

Without the aid of the enterprise
And a car salesman
Who is no longer there
In certain ways
Joining the council
Is a poor excuse
For getting lax.

And so I think
I will probably buy
A copy today.

Riding to 10th
By Christopher J. Bradley

The glorious wonders
Of Main St. await
As we cruise
In my father’s chevy

We pass the Library
And Video Store
And Supermarket
And Hospital

All in pursuit
of one aim

To at last
help me to secure



Dreadlock Bambaclat
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/4/2003 3:28:33 PM ©2003

I like the Jamaican people
In fact I love them
At times
I have been a disciple of Marley’s wisdom.

But there is one
Dreadlock Bambaclat
Who I will never
Know or find love for.

He’s the one
That ruined me
With street poison
And muddled up my mind
So Long Ago.

It is a good thing
I never knew

His Name.

By Christopher J. Bradley
5/8/2003 7:30:49 AM

Ten dollars on the Pass Line
An old man throws the dice
Seven Front line winner
I collect my chips.

Six Easy six mark it
Place the eight twelve bucks
Nine pay the field
Place the hard six five.

Eight pay the eights
I collect fourteen
And take odds on the six
Six easy six take down the hards
I collect twenty two
Could this get better?

Five nothing for me
Just the anticipation for the next roll

Seven Out

You can’t win them all.

The Stonefaced Bartender
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/8/2003 7:16:36 AM ©2003

The bartender at the Seneca Casino
Had a cold stone face
His eyes were harder than granite
As he poured me my orange juice.

Knowing the answer to the question
Before I asked
I questioned when the
Busiest time was.

He told me that it began
To pick up Thursday
And that on Saturday
The bar was standing room only.

I tipped him a dollar
And resumed inserting
Ten dollar bills
In the video poker machine.

I know I am one of those Buffalonians
By Christopher J. Bradley

I am one of those smokers
In the fishbowls and bars
One of those sporting hat wearers
Sitting at the counters in donut shops.

I am one of those dancers
In the discos and the Latin clubs
I am one of those socialist democrats
Listening to Jazz.

I am one of those manic street poets
Throwing my words at the universe
I am in newsprint and on local TV
Complaining with the masses
And praising our politicians
When praise is due.

I am a worker
A brother a son
Not only of a father
But of America.

I am a musician
A DJ a producer
A Promoter.
I have thrown parties of all sorts
And attended them as well.

I am a recovery case
And the recipient of help
And I know the Father
Who surpasses all nations

I have been
The racquetball softball
Bowling croquette soccer football
Lawndart volleyball and baseball player.

I have discovered my scars
And covered them as best I can
I am the new generation that Pepsi sold to
And I am the old generation that buys Coke at McDonalds.

I have seen the Buffalo Roam the streets and the stadium
And the Bison graze at Oppenheim and War Memorial
And I know at least that my hometown
Is a little bit more than metropolitan.

I know I am one of those Buffalonians.

Chapter 5


These words are dancing
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/4/2003 ©2003

These words are dancing
Through space and time
With not enough
Paper to rest upon.

Dear publisher
If you should
Find this scrap
Take it
And move it
If you please
Into the hands
Of the millions
Without a functional

Thank you
A modest poet
In moderation.

Riding Carroll’s Coattails
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/27/2003 1:49:27 PM

Never even having read him
It is yet another merry merry unbirthday to me.
I shrink down with the magic mushroom
And open the door to wonderland
Where Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum
Sit gawking and chuckling aimlessly.

The eyes and smile of the Cheshire
Noodle into the distance
While smoke rings burst
From the Caterpillar’s Scrabble pipe
Among the singing tulips
And the jaded well preened roses.

The white rabbit shuttles himself
From the windmill house
While Alice explodes through doorways
To be confronted by the Pelican and the Walrus
After she chases him
Dragging the mushroom cap with her
As she shrinks.

The deck is dealt by the master shuffler
The flamingoes are straightened
And bop headed for croquet
On the Queen of Hearts
Fresh Green Turf

Until the call “Off with Her Head!”
Awakens me to a book
Spelled out in Rhyme.

Astrological Signs
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/8/2003 ©2003

You will have to forgive me
For being skeptical of
Astrological signs
And their interpretations.

Just the other day
A guy asked me for mine
And I had to think twice
I didn’t want anyone hitting on me.

I am beginning to realize
How appealing words can make
Any person with integrity
And while its nice to know them
It can be a little annoying at times.

So I’ll share this once
And the poets can do
The metaphysical hand-off
My power animal is the Zebra

And my sign is Aries

In the year of the Ram.

Castles Upon the Sands
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/4/2003 ©2003

You write of castles upon the sands
And I dream of the sands
Drifting to clouds of purple hue
All of our fantasy realms are merging.

In random spaces
Realms are defined
By loose

I walk like a conquered hero
Addicted to your loving graces
Searching for the floating kingdom
The palace
Where you compose
On high.

A veiled princess
In disguise.

Sun Apple
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/6/2003 5:56:43 PM

Do not go gently into this good drift.
The sands of time are upon us all
yet the waters ripple at its touch.

I am too a burning brook of lava
on a high mountain
far from the valleys
of the sea of icarus.

I swim to the sun
to only find rainbows
for your efforts and affections
and place within them a golden apple
won for a princess.

Great work.

Blue China Dragon
5/5/2003 12:56:17 AM
by Christopher J. Bradley

The Blue China Dragon
On the Skin
Of the Powerlink worker.

He is grafting Tatoos
As he can afford them
He says.
His goal

A full Back Tatoo.

I’ve never wanted a Tatoo
But I can see the Razor Dragon Dance
And it is edgy.
Like Something out of

Hong Kong Kung Fu.

Keep Looking For

A Better Tomorrow.

By Christopher J. Bradley
5/4/2003 1:06:09 PM

The clouds obfuscate
The blare of the sunlight
As the birds
Soar from their nest
In every direction
A tsunami hovers.

The concern of the people
It will remind their children
Of the day
That they were scared

Listen to the cries
Of the raven
In the dusk

The water spouts
Hover gently in the lake.

Crystalline Dream
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/8/2003 7:35:03 AM

I want to apologize
For not being able
To enjoin your fantasy realms
Unfortunately this Crystalline Dream
I have been building
Is something of a selfish one.

While I am not immune to sin
I must absolve myself
When and where I can.

I am deeply moved by
Your affections
And they ring true
They even taunt and thrill me
When I am away.

I apologize again
For leading you up these mountain peaks
Only to see you grapple
With their stone faces

But I can assure you
That if your grip
On the world of the real
Is strong

You will not fall

Dancing Elephants
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/27/2003 2:29:01 PM

The dancing elephants are not white
They are translucent in the multicolored night
They only think they will be saved
When the hatchet is buried in the grind.

Let them play with their silly
And Wear their funny
Head gear
For tomorrow they will fall like
Dumbo from the burning Sky.

In this room I see a spider plant
That is not real
And American flags
And a poster from a horse
Called Abdullah
I see the raining stars
And an Eagle with a tear at it’s cheek

I see an Elle magazine
And a rack for more
And I wonder what life is like in Chicago
Florida is still cold in March.

The Deconstruction of The Wizards Table
By Christopher J. Bradley

The wizard worked for days
Slowly building his corner table
With candlesticks and books on alchemy
And without a word spoken
His magic in this sphere evaporated.

Now he is a nomad
A cause beyond lost
And in my black plastic hat
I grin like the Cheshire cat
Into the evenly mirrored glass.

He was a space cadet
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/2/2003 3:10:26 PM ©2003

He was a space cadet
My friend with the crutches
So I bought him some bologna
And he took the pack home with him.

His apartment was down a dark alley
On a Hindu mission’s doorstep
But that didn’t make him any less of a friend.
He was a sufferer of the syndrome of the fatherhoodness of the street.

He liked his candy as much as anyone
And they came to him
He called them Angels
So I bought him Christmas Cards.

He was a weary tired old man
I couldn’t afford to buy him shoes
So we shared day old pizza
Donated by the local vendor.

And we brewed
Oh we brewed
A lovin’ for the sunshine
In a big pot of molten guru junk.

One day I saw his place
With a fishtank in the center
Propped up by the legs of a chessboard
And his Kung Fu was strong

While Jinx and I ate Tostitos in the streetlight.

And the nights were harvested
Like rain on Arakis
And the Russian
Played his game like Prometheus from afar

And the Jazz
Was pure Acid.

As Perseus Great Warrior of The Cosmos
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/30/2003 8:14:58 AM

As Perseus Great Warrior of The Cosmos
At the behest of the Greek Council
I will ride upon Pegasus into the night
To converse with the Centaur
On how the great deed must be done.

On the great winged steed I fly
Into the stratosphere
with the owl and the dove
To learn that I must conquer the Gorgon
Before taking up arms against the Kracken.

So I sew her in
In her dark domain
With many shields
And behead the face
Ringed With Snakes
She goes with me in the sack.

And the huge beast rises
From the waters of the Mediterranean
I need only to wield her ferocious head
To conquer this Juggernaut

And make him fall in Stone pieces.

Good Night Sweet Princess
by Christopher J. Bradley
4/28/2003 1:16:28 AM ©

Good night sweet princess
The Dawn awaits
For You to shine your rays
On Another bird songed morning.

This night has been luster filled for you
Full of color and splendor
Another eve among the plants
Has done you well
And now it is time for rest.

Dream on Sweet Princess
Go to the lightening world
And ride a thousand Unicorns
Across the chasms where the spirits lie

Traverse the juxtaposing corridors
Of your Phaze Doubt
The game is afoot and your legend
Stile The Blue Adept

Dance into his magic realm
Like Agape the free spirit
And find a way to share your Amoeba of Love
In the silent ecstasy of daybreak.

As the purple hues of morning’s dew
Rest gently in the skyline.

Chapter 6

Refreshing Thoughts

The minature wet rock garden
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/10/2003 1:31:40 PM ©2003

The wet rock garden
With its miniature stones
Stands in the corner
Of the café’s serving space
Endlessly drizzling
Into the hot spring night air.

A Midwestern ballad
Drones into the ballasts
Of my resting ears
While a mixed cup of coffee
Tantalizes my nose buds
The spoon stands to the size
In the ovular white mug.

The wetness of the water
Trickling in my ears
Reminds me of days
Sailing in the sun
In a two-man sailboat
With a girl I adored.

It was given to the café
By the kitchen manager.

Tropicana Vision Quest
By Christopher J. Bradley

The White Ambassador
Blazed down the freeway
In the dust of Georgia
With Armadillo season
Hot and Heavy in Atlanta.

We were headed for Disney.
I was 5.
I remember sleeping in the night
Wrapped in the owl blanked
That my grandmother knitted.
She was with us
Up in the front seat.

My brother and I
Played games
And I threw
My grey elephant
Out the window
Somewhere along the way.

It was crippling to my demeanor.

We met up with my father in Florida
And went to Disney
To run into another relative
My uncle
The groove slinger
In a wicker straw hat.

He bought us plastic Tropicana Oranges
That we drank from in the hot summer sun
On the blacktop
Just inside the main gates.

We enjoyed all of the rides that summer
The Spinning Teacups
The Flying Dumbos
It’s a Small World
The Pirates of The Caribbean.

We stopped in the street
To watch a unicyclist
And acrobat
Dance on the wires.

We watched the fireworks
And searched for the princess
And shook hands with Mickey and Donald.
Every Kid’s Dreams.

I remember after we left
Going to a hotel
Where we spent several days
Enjoying Water Wings
In the deep end of the pool.

On the way home
We stopped to visit Navy friends
In Arkansas
Where I interrupted a card game
To ask for Soda.
Dad had been playing find the glasses
With me.

My last image of that vacation
Trapped in an unreadable
8 Millimeter Film
Was of my brother and I
Dancing in the Sprinklers
One Sunny Summer Day

On The Tropicana Vision Quest.

The Deer
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/4/2003 3:07:06 PM ©2003

The deer kick up
In my headlights
On a narrow
Stretch of road
In the darkness
Of the first
Of many spring nights
Under the frosty sky.

I slow with my brake
And steer left
To let them
Scamper back
Into the thicket
At the right
Of the path.

And we continue on
To my friend’s house
The winters

Of so many years past.

The Beauty of a Woman’s Heart
By Christopher J. Bradley

There is a reason that a woman’s chest is larger than a man’s
It houses a heart of goodness and security.
It houses a heart of wisdom and beauty.
It houses a heart of color and grace.

A woman’s heart allows for the ego of a foolish man
Even when he doesn’t deserve his measure.
A woman’s heart allows for the storminess of youth
In the eyes of a teenage son.

A woman’s heart is home to the eyes of infants
Bringing them life and health and home
And a woman’s heart is home to her husband’s breath
On a cool winter evening before the fire.

A woman’s heart is filled with the dreams of young daughters
Growing to be one with their mother’s dreams for them
An ever-expanding beauty following through generations
From Athena and Agape to today.

May God and men protect the hearts of women everywhere
For we have not one to spare now or ever.

Tom’s After Midnight
By Christopher J. Bradley
9/23/2002 2:02:58 AM

It could have been 3 weeks
It could have been 6
Or it could have been like months
That I was spending nights in there
A man with a home
But not wanting to come home.

Afraid that there might be something there
That he’d have to see
If he were awake.
During the light of day.

And so that’s how it went
For months at a time
In the darkness in the cigarette chamber
I met them
Peeking out from the edges
Of the city

They were
Some good
Some evil
The night dwellers
Of Amherst.

The waitress had her own agenda
Trading coffee for knowledge
Telling me all about how she
Had a boyfriend of sorts
An invisible man
That must have been very disinterested in the place.

The drunk car salesman had a thing or two to say
Often more than a thing or two
He was explicit and historical
And full of concerns about the world and politics
And and a repeat of the late 30’s.
And I couldn’t have agreed with him more.
And so I told him happy hunting
And went my way

To be introduced to another player
Who I met speaking to him for quite some time
A man with an eagle’s feather and a cut finger
And a knife-blade attitude.
I will to this day call him eagle claw
As he is to be protected
As are all in his culture.
For his people are the true founders
of the freedom of spirit.

Sky the Retriever
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/6/2003 3:29:14 PM

Sky the Retriever
Is a golden bird dog
He’s a pointer too.

Sky likes to clean my shoes
And nuzzle my feet
Especially when I lay on the couch.

Sky means business with bones and toys
He’ll make a meal of a pig’s ear
In half a night easy.

Sky likes digging up grass
With his big clawed paws
And then tracking mud
All over the wood floor.

Sky is the number one lover man
He comes right up to you
And expects a full body massage.

Sky leaves big balls of hair
Under the refrigerator door
He likes to beg for scraps.

And Sky almost breaks a window
If he sees anyone unusual
Around the house.

Sky’s bark is loud
But it’s a happy kind of bark

It fits his disposition.

All of the Saints of Mary
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/16/2003 3:30:01 PM

They travel today
In a clockwork mini-car
From West to East
To find her on the sea-shore.

The star
What wonderful things she found in him
The man she married
They are making a life in splendor.

If Michael and his parents
Do not return
I might find myself
Without angels.

In this sinful city
Not far off from Lot’s not looking back
But I feel now
That I can withstand the pain.

Of not knowing
When they will go to join her

For the madness of eternity
May God’s peace be with them.

Chocolate Easter Eggs in Coffee
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/30/2003 10:03:52 AM

It is a week and a half
After Easter Morning
And I am still thinking
About going fishing
And the Passover
And dunking chocolate eggs
Into Millstone coffee
At the counter
Between several other upset customers
Whose only goal
Was to smoke.

At least new life
Kept its promise
For one older woman
Who lives on
Thanks to the strength
Of her sons’ faith
In God.

I believe
I saw
The Stone rolled away
At 3 AM Sunday morning.

The Tomb Was Empty.

April Returns
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/16/2003 12:05:45 AM

April Returns again this year
With the cries of the survivors
And the heart punished
Who must plant the dead.

For it is the season
Where dust in the hand
Must yield to new life
As foliage takes bloom
Upon the ashes of the frost.

May the turnips and the rhubarbs
And the squirrels and the possums
And the rainbow trout and the sturgeon
And the rock and the goose
Dance across the skyline
With the birds of the sea.

For in every close
To every season
Is a hand-hold
To that which is born-anew.

Lewiston Landing
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/6/2003 4:28:16 PM

Lewiston Landing
Is a great place
To go
To feed the sparrows
And the seagulls
On a lunch break
With a car
Full of McDonalds
Or a bag
Full of Popcorn.

One night
I took my lover
To sit under the trees
And watch the
River rapids flow.

At times
I have been
Given to
Playing chess there
Under the
Picnic Tables

At midnight.

Orca and Sea-World
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/10/2003 1:46:56 PM

When I was five
Going back to the whole vision quest of Florida
My father took my brother and I
To sea world.

We had a chance
To pet the dolphins
In the big circular tank
And watch Orca
The big killer whale
Rescue the seal at play.

Dad took lots of pictures
And we got up close
So that we could get
All wet and drippy
In the spray
Of the bursting sunshine.

After we visited the poolsides
We climbed into the bleachers
On the concrete terrace
And found Mom and Grammy
In their summer sunglasses.

They Call To Me From Beyond
By Christopher J. Bradley
11/11/2002 4:18:59 AM

I am all too aware as I pass by
On darkened streets
On fall nights in November
That I am not alone as I pass the cemetery.

Their voices whistle against the smoke filled air
At my damp car window
As I drive by
The voices of their spirits.

The spirits of long dead electricians plumbers
Carpenters masons electricians
Farmers factory workers and the like
The spirits of mothers fathers brothers sisters
Uncles aunts cousins grandparents and grandchildren.

They weep to me from heaven and say
Live long and stay well
For we miss you desperately
We can only look at your progress in astonishment.

And yet I wonder
Even in this metal fixture with gripping traction control
And a cell phone in hand
How long will it take me to earn my Wings

That the voices might be those of the living.

Withering Spring Lillies
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/30/2003 10:09:37 AM

All I may remember
Of this life
And its’ untold stories
Is that he was a father
To my beautiful Aunt.

If I were not already mourning
My Aunt
Whose funeral I also could not attend
Because of the almost unending chain of them
Through the Winter
And the past Fall
I might have been able to bring myself
To cope better
And wear a clean kind of black.

But I will resign to my muddied green
And contemplate
On the fading life of this Lilly
Which was never meant to live in perpetual shade.

Perhaps it’s bulb will bloom
Once more

In the garden.

How the sparrows dart
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/4/2003 3:17:47 PM ©2003

The sparrows dart
In the early morning
From their nests
Up in the garages
Along the long sides
And then under
The rigs
Of the eighteen

And I stand
At attention
From the top
Of my perch
Watching them
As the uniformed officials

A flashy

Sports Car.

Why I cannot believe that the underworld is worthwhile
By Christopher J. Bradley

The underworld is all gnashing of teeth
And ugly crimes against humanity
Of all forms and consequences.

The underworld is composed of the denizens
Of dark misery and sorrow
Those who make company a despair.

The underworld is a place
Where beauty does not shine
As through the faces of the innocent.

And though I walk talk and find myself in contemplation
In the darkness of night
I know that I am not alone
That God The Holy Spirit and the Son
Are here with me through it all.

On Forgiving Chris
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/16/2003 3:09:08 AM

I sat around the table with them
They drank coffee
And smoked
While thinking of Ernest
And chattering about solar houses
And drainage issues.

Eventually the hardest of them all
Told of his dictates
Of a firing
And what came to mind for me
Was that God would forgive
This man.

And so I told him.

And we went in our
Separate directions.

Little Fuzzy Dogs
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/28/2003 4:16:24 AM

Little fuzzy dogs
You mean more to me than a thousand wars.
The genuine smiles in your little round eyes
Light up my days like the luminous candle of the sun.

Little fuzzy dogs
I love to pet you
And have the shopkeepers
Bring you out with the French Roast.

I love to see you
Little Fuzzy Dogs
With the college girl from around the corner
With painted toenails in her sandals.

Or riding down the street
In a carriage
Just like someone’s
Real little baby.

Little fuzzy dogs
There are more words in your eyes
Than a single human
Can express.

Chapter 7

Family Musings

Cajun Chicken Gumbo
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/6/2003 ©2003

I remember the first time
I had Cajun chicken gumbo
It was at Montana’s
With Dad
On a Saturday Afternoon
After going to see
Legally Blonde
With Reese Witherspoon.

The gumbo was excellent
It was red pepper spicy
With tons of shrimp and chicken
Over sausage and ziti
All in a thick Alfredo sauce.

I can’t remember many meals
That I liked this well
So I formulated my own
Special recipe for it.

And now I make it
At home with
Mom’s nimble assistance.

To be hungry for pizza
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/4/2003 3:23:10 PM

Mom and I
Are still sitting
Here at work
Hungry for breakfast

We are hungry
Because the
Girl who was
Supposed to be
The morning relief
Went out
And got
Or Stoned
Last Night.

Oh Well

I guess
I could be more forgiving.


Delivering the News
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/8/2003 7:25:49 AM

I would get up
To my radio alarm
At five AM
And walk down-stairs
To the living room

The papers would
Be waiting there
On the front porch
And for a half hour
I would insert ads
And roll them up

Then I would wake Mom
If she wasn’t already up
And in the winter
We would drive the old
Chevy station wagon
With the radio
On oldies WKBW

And I would run
Across Ice and Snow
Flying like a swooping sparrow
To wake the groggy poodles
And get them barking
And nipping at the doors

We were always finished by seven

Sesame Chicken Shrimp & Mushrooms
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/15/2003 11:52:35 PM
Tribute to my Parents 31st Anniversary

Of all the foods
I like best
At the local China Buffet
My favorites are

The Sesame Chicken
The Chicken and Mushrooms
And the Seafood Combo
Including Shrimp.

My family
Able to relax after dinner
Cub-Scout Uniformed
Breaking fortune cookies

And cleaning up
After mussels
Onion Rings
And other assorted desserts.

We are truly blessed
To enjoy the fruits
Of this alternative culture
All together

Fighting with the movie listings
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/2/2003 2:51:48 PM

My telephone lets me
Do amazing things at night
And then sometimes
They aren’t
Quite so amazing.

Trying to get a simple movie listing
Can be a hell all its own
Now that they’ve made it easier.

You don’t key in listings any more
You say them.
This can be a true nightmare
In a crowded room.

Tonight the thing thought I wanted
Stock Quotes.
And then

It just plain hung up.

By Christopher J. Bradley
5/10/2003 1:51:03 PM

Nothing says love to my stomach
Like a good hot bowl
Of Mom’s tomato and beef soup.

I love the tangy sweetness
Of the rich fruit
Of the thin green vines.

A perfect complement is
Always a grilled American cheese sandwich
Or a couple of slices
Of French bread garlic toast.

This dish is best served in the winter
To warm up a cold runny nose
With dry frozen cheeks
While my glasses are still steamed up
From smoking out in the ice.

Nothing says love to my stomach
Like a good hot bowl
Of Mom’s tomato and beef soup.

In what kind of strange world am I?
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/30/2003 8:29:54 AM

In what kind of strange world am I?
Where Spongebob haunts
Even this my humble writing table?
At first I found it amusing
A great Nickelodeon show

But then I began to see
The Jelly Pops
And the fisherman caps
And the bottles of Bubble Stuff
And everything that reminded me
Of the slime time of my youth.

And then I think
Maybe it’s not so bad
If Adults love him too
After All
Everyone needs someone
To look up to.

Midnights with Mom
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/27/2003 2:00:20 PM

I’ve spent hours and hours here
In the early morning floodlights
Of the bridge
Not far from where I attended my very first school.

Tonight I had an Egg Sandwich
And a Chicken Souvlaki in a Pita
Damn the Greeks for being so Beautiful.

I found out that Jerry’s mother
Has done well through her heart surgery
And is now up and walking and about
He says she’ll be home tomorrow
Did God trade prayers for life?

A fool I am
Watching this green punch clock
Bidding myself not to play with the stapler.

Mom is going to wake a driver
One way or another

And I am left to solitude
Perhaps the radio would do some good.

Naval Park
By Christopher J. Bradley
For Robert Alan Bradley (my father)
Revised 3/29/2002 3:45 AM

I saw it once
As a cub scout.
The Naval Park
In Buffalo New York.

Then one time
Dad You took us
The whole family my Brother my Sister and Mom and I
On a ship.
You were a reservist in the Navy.
You must have loved your time at sea.

We cruised the edge of the city
In a new War Boat.
It was gray painted
And manned with many sailors.
It was a kind of transport
For delivering troops and vehicles.

Back then you were working
As a Petty Officer on Weekends
A clerk with stripes
And for a research outfit that made
Aircraft radar jamming devices.
I still have posters and stickers of the simulator project.
Someday I will show you
Someday I will show you
How I can work
And turn letters into
The fuel for my battle ship
With these fingers that only type
Because they are a gift from you.

Shelling Pistachios with Dad
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/4/2003 2:42:39 PM ©2003

Of all of the
Common experiences
I can remember having

Dating back
To my farthest
Of being
In my current home.

I can remember
Sitting at
the kitchen table
And shelling Pistachios

With Dad.

The Pen The Pad The Ink
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/16/2003 12:43:28 AM

To Blot New Verse
In Communion With The Past
In A Conspiracy With The Future
Is Oh So Engaging.

Many Little Feet Will Sprout
From These Dipping Digits Of
My Contorting Palms
As The Black Blood Of My Flex
Wrinkles Yet Another Page.

But For The First Time
I Can See All Of Them
The Ghosts And The Eyes Of The Past
I Can Interpret The Voices
As They Speak Of Times And Places
I Have Yet To See.

From My Dining Room Table
Under The Tips Of My Plants
Next To
A Nice Jug Of Kool-Aid.

Safety Pins
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/4/2003 ©2003

You can do
All sorts of things
With Safety Pins.

One of my friend’s brothers
At a high school dance
Wore a denim jacket
With a safety pinned
Anarchy sign
On the back.

And we danced
In A Circle
To the beats
Of Information Society
“Pure Energy.”

And fell down
To the strains
Of Rock Lobster
By the B52’s.

The Microwave Switch
By Christopher J. Bradley

It happened instantaneously
Or overnight anyway
The old microwave was removed
And a new one took its place

It used to be so simple
You could tell them apart by color
But these two
Were both white.

Every time I try to open
The cold plastic door
I press below the keypad
To no avail.

Now I have to pull the handle
And the switch pops
Unlike the switch
on the other microwave.

Which vanished
With yesterdays news.

Can I borrow the car?
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/4/2003 3:04:36 PM ©2003

Can I borrow the car
Or Any other Day?

See I need one
Because I don’t have one.
And things are getting desperate
I think.

It is difficult to get around
Without a car
So All I can do
Is ask you politely
In quiet agony.

Can I borrow the car
Or any other day?

Cat Scratch
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/10/2003 1:42:23 PM

Last night I was playing with Tobey
I was taunting him with my writing hand
It is easy to forget
That these cute little furballs
Have little sharp tensing claws.

I jived left and right
And before I could react sensibly
His paw struck my thumb
And his little toenail was stuck in it.
The poor thing must have been terrified as
I gently shook it loose.

I was mad at myself
For playing this stupid game of chicken
And I will try to remember
Not to do it again
Lest I catch the fever

And begin to howl
At the moon
Like the foolish
Canine in me.

Country and Western Gospel
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/4/2003 3:02:37 PM ©2003

I made six copies
Of a Country and Western
Gospel CD.

I didn’t know it was
Country and Western
But now
Listening to it

It is somehow soothing
In the early morning


The Genius Mouse
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/6/2003 ©2003

For my sixteenth birthday
I asked for one gift
And one gift alone
I wanted to experience
The miracles
Of computer painting.

My parents drove me
All the way to
The other end of town
To a little corner
Computer Shop
On Buffalo Avenue.

We haggled on price
With the more than
Generous vendors
Who sold me
On sixty five dollars

For the Genius Mouse.

The Buffalo Bison Won
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/4/2003 3:09:42 PM

It is May 2
And the weather has improved
And I am watching the news.

This was the day
That the Bisons played
In the hot sunny

And with a 3 run
Home run
That popped over
The fence
Out of the glove
They sealed up
A victory.

And now I listen
To Mom tell
Of a real Bison
At Yellowstone
Last summer.

When she bought me
The old Ford postcard
In South Dakota.

Coffee in a Bookstore
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/6/2003 ©2003

From my resting place
Here at the window
In the bookstore
A cup of coffee at my left

I can see a Buffalo on a rooftop
An Instant Oil Change sign
A sports-card store front
And a Big Orange Bull’s Eye.

I can see a Mexican Restaurant
And the favorite computer store
Of the farm stock
And a Pier 1 imported goods shop.

I can see all of the cars parking
Mobile and immobile
They track like metal ants with riders
If seen from the air.

I can hear a coffee clerk
Ringing up orders for a Vanilla Chai
Discussing making soup with his peer
And the din of a cellular phone tone.

Not much has changed in five years
Except maybe the fact
That I can probably now
Spend my time in places
Where it is more comfortable

To write.

Where are all those cars going?
By Christopher J. Bradley
5/2/2003 ©2003

Where are all these cars going
On a Thursday at Midnight?
They must be traveling

Maybe some dark smoky bar?
Maybe some center city café?

Their Taillights Zip
Like firecracker blasts
Twisting through the night
I suppose only
The men in black hats
Will know

For sure.

A Day For Mothers Everywhere…
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/30/2003 9:47:11 AM ©2003

Dear Mom
I know that Mother’s Day should not be the only day that I write to you.
It makes me feel all guilty and emotional to think that this is the first time I’ve taken the time to sit down and write in years.
The truth is I’ve been trying to speak to you but among all of the misgivings
of our lives of work scouts sports and politics the meanings get lost.
Mom there’s no one in the world who can cook up a dish of pasta a pot of soup or
a vegetable casserole exactly as excellently as you. You are truly good with food. You are a tribute to my big healthy stomach.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about you in some way shape or form. At present I see you much more often than in the past. And I am grateful for that.
I would like you to know that I don’t sit up nights with you because I am lonely.
I could pretty much do that anywhere. I think I sit up with you because I need someone to
share my love with. Even in the dead of night it pulses from my heart. The heart that you gave me.
Through my own mistakes the fire in my heart has gone unquenched but at least I know that I can share a moment or two to thank you for giving me the beat in my pulsing chest.

Thank you Mom
I will Love You Forever
Barring my Stupidity
And may that Stupidity be crushed
By the Praying Hands of God.


The oval framed photograph
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/30/2003 6:59:19 PM ©2003

My Ancestors are with me
My Grandmother
And the aunt of my childhood
Look out at me from the oval.

It is always in the corner of my piano
She is the grandmother who
Traveled with us to Disney
And brought back towels
From her amazing travels to California
With my uncle.

My aunt is her daughter
My mother’s sister
Young and thin and blue jeaned
She is so full of spirit.

They used to let me sleep over
And read Dr. Seuss stories
And watch wrestling
And every Saturday Morning Cartoon
And The Tonight Show and Letterman.

We used to visit my grandmother
In her small office
And play with her paper clips and rubber bands.

My grandmother liked Wendy’s and the Casa for Lunch
Her taste in Spaghetti was excellent
She was the impetus behind
Canning homemade tomato sauce
Every year for close to ten.

I remember scavenger hunts
My aunt used to draw out for me
And how we would do word finds
Whenever I would ask.
She was a grade school teacher.

There are so many things
That I know will come to me
As time passes
Until then
I patiently write.

Why Does Mom Make Christmas Cookies Year Round?
by Christopher J. Bradley
4/30/2003 8:35:12 AM ©2003

Why does Mom make Christmas Cookies Year ‘Round?
I’m beginning to think I know
I think Dad really likes them.

There’s nothing quite like
A nice hot red and green sprinkled cookie
It doesn’t matter exactly when it is
And little fingers and fists
Always gravitate toward the still warm baking pans.

Even the dogs get a taste
They go after the treats
Like any pair of
Self respecting pit bulls
But they always grin
Just like themselves.

So I guess all in all
She isn’t just making them for Dad
She’s making them for me too
Because I’m munching on a star now.