What Rough Beast | Poem for November 20, 2017

J. Bradley

The surgeon invites the Barbies she lost interest in to her birthday party. The surgeon has each of them pick their outfit, rehearse what they would say amongst each other while drinking party medicine. The surgeon positions each Barbie outside the dream house, distant enough for comfort, but not isolation. The surgeon wheels out the the Ken doll parts that she hasn’t used to repair the little brother made of Ken doll heads. “I’m sorry I haven’t kept in touch,” the surgeon says. “I wanted to show you how a knife can make everything better.”


J. Bradley is the author of the poetry collection Dodging Traffic (Ampersand Books, 2009), the novella Bodies Made of Smoke (HOUSEFIRE, 2012), the graphic poetry collection The Bones of Us (YesYes Books, 2014), illustrated by Adam Scott Mazer, the prose poem chapbook It Is A Wild Swing Of A Knife (Choose the Sword Press, 2015), the flash fiction chapbook No More Stories About The Moon (Lucky Bastard Press, 2016), the novel The Adventures of Jesus Christ, Boy Detective (Pelekinesis, 2016) and the prose poem collection Pick How You Will Revise A Memory (Robocup Press, 2016). His flash fiction chapbook, Neil, won Five Quarterly‘s 2015 e-chapbook contest for fiction. His story, “Kyle”, was selected for Wigleaf‘s top 50 (very) short fictions for 2016. Bradley’s work as appeared in decomP, Hobart, and Prairie Schooner, among other journals. He received his MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo.

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