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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 12:10 AM
~ Monday, April 05, 2004
 
Table of Contents:

American Mohawk by Christopher J. Bradley

I. The World Before Latin
Maple
Black Maple
Winter Maple
Cold Maple
246
The Sex Life of Popcorn
Drip
Modern Forms of Corn
Candle Beaux
Foreign Exchange Student
O.L.S.P.
Fishnet Marianne
A Stand With Jinx
The Big Red Men
Wires
Steering Column
Scramble
Salamander
The Bum
Trinket Tandem
Outside The Wall
Rock City Window
Naval Park
The Fire of Dawn
On My Brother's Graduation
Silly Putty
The Skylit Clouds
The Stars They Move
Zen Thing

II. Black Operations
Month One
Cracker
Boston
Billy
Jinx D Cooley
The New Scriptures
John Travolta, My Uncle
Grandma
Jumbo Pop
The American IRA
Quitting Sony
Black 47
Chip
Dad
Ellis Island
Swatches
Chicago
Larry
Plastic Man
Standard Love Story
The Onyx Pickups
The Agents of The Government
The Warlord
The Sweetheart Waitress
The English Church
Red Jacket
The Hipster
Happy New Year
Mr Ohio
Tick

III. The Tail of The Dragon
An Afternoon Out Alone
Electronic Music Workshop
Driver's Education
Homecoming Crash
End of Shift
Roulette and Madame Zilch
Lunches with Joe
Joe at Georges
Chemistry Seven
Atlantis Vertigo
Manhattan in A Shirt and Tie
Truly Brilliant Orange
A Fiance' Not Forgotten
Radiant Dawn
Sky Blue Irises
As Winter Begins
As The Fierceness of Winter Breaks


IV. Harmonies From Within The Maze
Head Kick
Composing
A Steak Sandwich
Hurling New Dough
Now Try The Best
The Greenery Of Beans
Sketch An Edge
Extra Tempestual Being
Origami Trick
From Harlem To 42nd
Grand Central Station
Central Park
Exit to George Washington
Garden State Extraction
No Parking In Jersey
The Darkest Zing
Rotating Lamps
Poison Tree in New Berlin
Lasergrid Pole Position
Camp Hill Hit Patches
They Can Read The Fine Print
For The Raccoons And Fauna
Accident
An Angel Descends
My Assassin
Awkward Moments
Desire In Commercial Lust
Cubicles and Pods in January
First Seconds Of Airtime
God Save The Machines
Grey Stone And Velvet
I Never Met A Monkey
El Biblioteca Americano
Fool's Tokens
Praise For The Public
Screws, Nails, And Boards
Movie Theater Scam
When The Blues Turn Red
The Latin Senate
Yohimbe Gold
On Finishing Books
A Promise Of New Life
Antique Piano Teacher
Fiery Leaves in Autumn
Painting The Rock

V. The Mid-War Sessions
From The Fallen Rubble an Olive Branch Trembles
Chi and The Art of Kawasaki Ninja Investments
No Legacy for The Mainframe
Are there parallel universes?
Discovering A Lost Piece of Boston
Higher State on a Tuesday
The Horse Shoe Crab
Creating and Organizing Lists
The House that Jack in The Box Built
Vaporware v. 1.0
Potato Chip Breakfast
Rediscovering New England in A Time of War
Finding an Old Friend on The Web
How Her Fingers Danced
For a French Poodle
Coreon Surface Pressure
Resources in a Bookstore
March 18th 2002
MP3 Recordings at Andy's
Cooper's Virtual Forest (Last of the Mohicans)
The Doris Day Movie
Tide
Tangled Arms and Legs
Repaying Debts
Pringles
On Getting The Cat Stoned on Catnip
Looking For The Right Girl To Marry
Gyros and Dreams about Gyroscopes
Which Edge of the Universe?
Physical Therapy
Walter and The Moon Buffet
The Bubble Tea Café
A Message From God in Webster
Ambulation in Amherst
Holly and Glitter Leaf
One World, Indivisible

VI. Medford Village Currents (The New England Slack)
a supermarket parking lot
the someday cafe'
the steps of the pink house
the kendall square stop on the T
the brewery with the overhead pipes
davis square
we move into the pink house
baybank
the bakery
dunkin donuts
purity market
music and cigarettes
massachusetts ave
the au bon pain
the snap cafe
the harvard book store
the arrow pub
the international house of pancakes
haymarket square
abbott staffing
advent international
central station
sitting on the bus
loading the car
black maple cruise
the beer mart
scrabble in the evening
computer city saugus
circuit city mystic avenue
the gillette agency
the last days of the green tomato
the mac world nomad spoilers arrive
epilogue - the tennis match


VII.The Neuroscience of Christopher St.
in seven parts

posted by Christopher at 7:24 PM
 
The World Before Latin
by Christopher J. Bradley
First Child Of The Digital Age

Completed: 11/26/99 7:20:31 AM Revision 1: 11/8/01 10:04AM
(c) 1999 by Christopher Bradley

Chapter 1
The Maple Tree

Maple
by Christopher J. Bradley

Seeds
Pirouette
Spiral To The Ground
I Will Spin With You
And Get Dizzy

Leaves
Purple Red
Green And Orange
When Falling
In Fall

Stems
Long Non-Polycarbon
Hard Shelled Veins
Cellulose Composes You
You Distribute
You Share Your
Nutrition

Branches
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

Trunk
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

Cars
Evening Lamps
Sweepers
Concrete Streets

Cement Walkways
Telephone And Telegraph Poles
Electrical Cables
Noise.

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
Breastless
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
Delicacies



246
By Christopher J. Bradley
March 17 5:35 PM

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.


The Sex Life Of Popcorn
By Christopher J. Bradley
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.

Hey!

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.



Drip
By Christopher J. Bradley

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.



Modern Forms of Corn
By Christopher J. Bradley

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.



Chapter 3
The Opposite Species



Candle Beaux
By Christopher J. Bradley

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.
By Christopher J. Bradley

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
back
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.





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
Budweiser.

Earlier
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

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
Transportation



The Big Red Men
By Christopher J. Bradley
1993

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.



Wires
By Christopher J. Bradley

My house is connected to wires.
Outdoors.
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
By Christopher J. Bradley
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.



Scramble
By 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

Scramble.



Salamander
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
Urbanity



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.



Outside The Wall
By Christopher J. Bradley

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 Window
dedicated to Scott Ansel and Jodi Crocker
By Christopher J. Bradley

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

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 same.

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
Transcendence



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
God
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.
posted by Christopher at 6:58 PM
~ Sunday, April 04, 2004
 
Black Operations By Christopher J. Bradley
completed for WWW on October 25 2001

Month One

There was a war in Nineteen Ninety Six.
The month was January.
It was the first year
That I ran for President.

Cracker

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.


Boston

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

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

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.


Dad

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.



Swatches

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.


Chicago

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

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.


Tick

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."

posted by Christopher at 5:45 AM
~ Saturday, April 03, 2004
 
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 16th 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
Grinning
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 23rd arrived
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 9th
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 33rd
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 42nd.

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.

Hey
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

Jennifer
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.

Somehow
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
Spaghettios.

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
Californians.

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
maple.



posted by Christopher at 5:47 AM
~ Friday, April 02, 2004
 
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.


Composing
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
Northward
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
1/11/01

Unfold
Recomplexify yourself
You are my magazine postcard textbook.

Refold
You thicken to make
Swans Tortoises and Tulips.

Swim
Nothing binds your skin
You are a singular wholeness on dark water

Crawl
Four legs will lean in
And travel you forward in slow steps.

Grow
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 42nd
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 42nd
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 5th
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.

Fortunately
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.

Accident
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!

Eureka!

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
95.

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.

posted by Christopher at 5:53 AM
~ Wednesday, April 30, 2003
 
The Mid-War Sessions
By Christopher J. Bradley

Completed: Wednesday, August 07, 2002



Foreword:



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

3/24/02



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



Noisecontrol…



Noisecontrol…



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.



Legacy

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



Spaghetti

Pizza

A Tomato Sandwich

Donuts

Bannanas

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

3/24/02

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

3/24/02



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

4/24/02



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

3/16/02

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

3/24/02

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

Limitless

And yet I find myself

Making short strokes on legal paper

Considering what the future of the moment



might hold.







March 18th 2002

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/18/02



I don't believe I had noticed before

The drab looks on the faces

Of the college students

Of the region on March 18th more.



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 17th

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

On DSL.



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.







Tide

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/18/02



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

3/24/02



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.



Please

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

3/24/02



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.







Pringles

By Christopher J. Bradley

3/18/02



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

Next.







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

Instead.



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 25th.



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!





posted by Christopher at 5:55 AM
~ Wednesday, March 05, 2003
 
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
Marathon)
©2003

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
[baybank]

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

Further
They required the purchase of a coffee every fifteen minutes.
It was like something I would have expected in Manhattan
Snap
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
more
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
thinking.
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

Wordlessly.

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

Home.


Epilogue
[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, and
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 agencies,
or the unemployment office. It appears that most good God fearing people
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 I
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 did.
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.


posted by Christopher at 6:01 AM
~ Tuesday, March 04, 2003
 
The Neuroscience of Christopher St.
By Christopher J. Bradley
4/24/2003 5:42:26 AM
©2003
for William

I.

Lady Ada’s fingers dance
On an ivory punch
And the cards fly
She is the first
Of the mutltitudinous
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.
Cyberpunk.

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.

II.

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.

III.

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.

IV.

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.

V.

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.

VI.

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.

VII.

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.

posted by Christopher at 6:40 AM

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