ditch,

the poetry that matters

Jamie Bradley

Jamie Bradley is an instructor and doctoral candidate in English at the University of Ottawa. His work appears most recently in The Puritan, the Moose and Pussy, Experiment-O.com, and in the collaborative chapbooks Dalhousie Blues (Ex-Hubris 2009) and The Visi Cue-Cue Reader (Canteen 2009). His first solo chapbook Compositions appeared in 2008 from AngelHouse Press.

 

Epithalamion

I.

         union gives the bay its air
probes fingers         in awe a second dawn
fine         to eat and drink
         and bodies in the surf

to marry in comfort
         hold the linen down with stones
 
 
II.

had she a thought, no-
I could not lead her astray;
always her own tongue
was around her,

original, useless

desire, a white goat and a whiter goat
and grace         smeared gold over the hollow
of the beach her breast:
         the sailors flexing their nets
in the break of the air

painting the bay
with the cool of her arms:

no one else would find her
for hours

the mad gulls less mad
dull in sleep set on each other
and did not
move from setting
 

III.

become a voice

I simply want to be dead
and occupied
with her body: light

through my sides; the rigging
of a ship         beats
in my ears         Hold

on his lip and firm thigh
salt

to wear nothing         discomfort

come         settle in the smooth earth
badge of my father’s land

grow silent
 

IV.

move stones and smaller stones

your wet foot is cadged
in bone-white

will we sleep in the earth;
wrappings come in friendly hands?

 

Elegiac

illicit

what a common grave
is that

a blank a pasture in
black-
green’s length

for whom I’d
give it all (away

the song doesn’t
match the plough)
 

 

Vortic

The task at hand, so much
in terms of re:

sourcing, two square datum
in nomine the name in of

which if climb rather
than sleep we climb

the flick of the wrist
the blind avenue now blind

the still residue of twist-
tossed and then and then
 

 

Minstrel Show

perhaps, this false black-worn
cheek of night, her bed do for

a robe, cointreau soft and light
as a colander in the hand, beating

with water, or this friend’s faux
-death; a red line pulled stuttering

over silt-spare tile of white, somewhat  
God in his media can declare, some
thing is, officer, burdock visor, this
unchristian night is no charity. No

her body with the studs of grass-brown
in the mouth of the community park

his body, weighted with stones, tore
down the brown river, gob-smacked.
 

 

Intermission

our unpublished works
I’ll get it from reading poetry
but it’s a linguistics course
maybe on the lake-
it’s just not...
a syndrome? a temporary lesion
we create what if it never goes away
I’ll never be the subject of that
I had a friend who was the subject of that
are you still looking for a permanent position?
you might want to hold off on that until
you get a permanent position
get tenure
I’m the only person around who will know
before I start
did you see the hockey game?
my knees hurt sitting in that one
hard spot for too long
you’re about like Joan Crawford
it’s been awhile since I’ve seen it
I saw it once at the theatre
INTERMISSION, it should have,
INTERMISSION, just that on the screen
 

 

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