John Bradley's Poetry

Packing for Earth 2.0


               Anonymous baby tooth, when spun pointing magnetic north.
               Arthur Waley's Translations from the Chinese, translated by Son House.
               Infertile doll constructed with twine, postage stamps, and termite wings.
               The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse, translated by Jerry Lee Lewis, translated by Rachel
Carson's cancer, translated by the dust between my toes.
               One parsnip-eating turnip, granted by the Society for the Care and Protection of
Unknown Retrieval Systems the unfinished title Still the Cloud Armies Gather.
               Photo of night figure on rooftop chewing a stillborn mulberry infused with The Sea of
Fecundity.
               Poems of the Late T'ang mask, with tubes--inserted into eye, ear, and hair--delivering a
constant clover-scented ether flow.
               Recording of fire ants disassembling an armadillo corpse under a live oak in Andalusia,
Alabama, circa 1883.
               Sea urchin mask, not suitable for those with delicate leg or lung.
               Shawl of woven armpit and milkweed hair, from the International Archive of Organic
Arts, in Fedora, South Dakota, translated by Aldo Leopold.
               Stork nest made from shredded Remedios Varo painting titled Why I Have to Close My
Eyes Every Time You Speak. 

               Stuffed mouse, in hardhat and denim overalls, sweeping mouse entrails.
               Sunflower Splendor: Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry, translated by Merry
Clayton, backed by the rain on Robert Johnson's snakeskin guitar.
               Ten magenta raffle tickets for a near new pituitary gland.
               Tethered otter tongue, known to babble: Mrs. Charles Darwin once asked the rushes and reeds to define eroticism. "Exoticism?" they replied. "That's easy. Just listen to the rushes and
reeds."

               Turtle shell mask, some flaking about the lip.
               The White Pony: An Anthology of Chinese Poetry, translated by Ali Parka Toure,
translated by the Yazoo River, translated by a cup of sidereal soil-breathing out, no, breathing
through.