Thursday, September 8, 2011

FRAYED SKIN, A TASTING



A review of J. Bradley’s “A Patchwork of Rooms Furnished by Mistakes” by David Tomaloff


Most of J. Bradley’s work seems to have in common at least one important and endearing characteristic: J. Bradley can blow your limbs off with sentence-shaped grenades and manage to leave you laughing about it. You will hear yourself say, “But wait, J. Bradley, I think you missed one.” You will gladly hold the last of your precious appendages out toward his mouth, pleading him to finish the job. You will fail to remember the last time you enjoyed bleeding this much. You will wince as the shrapnel penetrates your skin. You will smile.

J. Bradley’s chapbook, A Patchwork of Rooms Furnished by Mistakes (Deckfight Press, 2011), achieves nothing short of this effect. Within the treads of his nine-poem hit-and-run, Bradley fends off emotards, expresses his want for the scoliosis of Greyhound buses, repairs his dresser’s lockjaw with the dentistry of wedding invitations, and threatens to ruin your geometry without showing his work. The latter should not suggest, however, that his work does not show. Between humorous juxtaposition and brilliant, mind-bending surrealism, Bradley’s words manage to eloquently embody the vast human landscapes of regret, anxiety, yearning, and colossal expectation with disarming sincerity:

I will eventually earn
our names on voice mail
greetings and address labels.
I will not lose your laughter
like spare change this time.
(Frequency)
 
and:

I’ll build a bridge to you
out of my mistakes. For once,
I hope I made enough of them.

(To The Rebel Who Stopped Rebelling Against Urban Planning)

You will note you are at once ashamed and relieved to be human. You will hear in your heart the words, “Damn you, J. Bradley,” followed by some random, hollow threat. You will hear your mouth say instead, “Thank you, J. Bradley” and “may I have another?” He may offer gauze and sutures. You will blissfully resist.

Relevant links:
J. Bradley: (http://iheartfailure.net)
Deckfight Press: (http://deckfightpress.tumblr.com)
A Patchwork of Rooms Furnished by Mistakes:
(http://deckfightpress.tumblr.com/post/5626351139/patchworkofrooms)

David Tomaloff (b. 1972) is a writer, photographer, musician, and all around bad influence. His work has appeared in fine publications such as Mud Luscious, >kill author, Thunderclap!, HOUSEFIRE, Prick of the Spindle, DOGZPLOT, elimae, and many more. He is the author of the chapbooks, A SOFT THAT TOUCHES DOWN &REMOVES ITSELF (NAP) Olifaunt (The Red Ceilings Press), EXIT STRATEGIES (Gold Wake Press) and MESCAL NON-PALINDROME CINEMA (Ten Pages Press). He resides in the form of ones and zeros at: davidtomaloff.com

Jesse Bradley's The Juijitsu of Macking and David Tomaloff's Oliphaunt are available to view and download at the Red Ceilings Press

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