We are pleased to present our next Poet to Notice: Bradford Middleton.
We hope you enjoy these 3 poems as much as we did.
DREAMING OF SLEEPING
I’m tired, just so damn tired and it seems to be lasting forever or at least the last few months as life shoots darts at my heart and I struggle to cope with all the shit I’m going through right now
When all I want to do is sleep, sweet sweet glorious sleep where nothing happens except dreams and nightmares that keep me awake and there ain’t nothing I can do about now after I given up all that damn smoking
I write a couple of lines and all I can do is wish that I could go to my bed but at 9pm well it’s just too damn early and I’m only a quarter of the way through all the beer I bought earlier
Because today has been testing in all the wrong ways and earlier I cried, then laughed at the absurdity of this life and throughout the whole day all I can think about is my bed, my sweet sweet glorious bed
Where in a couple of hours I’ll retire and sleep, dreaming weird things which I now remember because, well, it seems that hash has ruined my years of sleep causing me to forget all those mad thoughts that come late at night
I had a weird one the other night, a pretty vivid dream about me doing a reading except this time it weren’t from one of my books, it was music and what’s more there weren’t any words and I just stood up and made it up as I went along pretty much like I’m doing right now
Dreaming of words instead of pictures and hoping that I can create something real, vital and which can tell you just what shit I’m going through right now but all I want to do is sleep because tomorrow I will wake and go to work where doubtless I will stay at the checkout yawning into my customers faces
Telling them all I’m sorry I’m just really knackered and all I want to do is sleep, please forgive me until I get some much needed rest but there ain’t no chance of that not now not in this job or this life as I stagger through it just dreaming of sleep
A POETIC KINDA WOMAN
Would be found in a bar, during the day, teasing the old men with her short skirt, tight clothing, a perfect body and of course dyed red hair
She’d be quaffing a bottle of the house red and singing along with Janis from the music PA
Making all the old men feel very old indeed as they stand clenching their chests whilst drooling into their pints of mild
With another bottle done she makes her way to the bar where a line of men stand, waiting with an offer to buy and she turns them all down
Before turning to me, arching her eyebrow and saying simply hi
I’m sold already as we usher off to her corner where I sit, nursing my glass, hoping that some of her youthful exuberance will get into me
She sits and asks me questions about the times, she refers to, as the old times reducing me to a number far greater than it should be
When I tell her that I do remember punk, but not from 77, she seems surprised to find someone younger than 60 in a pub like this
On her Friday night and everyone else’s Tuesday afternoon she sits listening as I spin some yarns
She grabs my hand and begins to rub it against her knee and up towards her thigh and suddenly I remember how long it’s been since I had one like this
I grab her free hand and she follows me outside, it’s warm, a beautiful summer’s day
And then she’s on me, her tongue in my mouth, a hand between my legs and from there well, there ain’t anywhere to go except to the nearest bed
This poems was originally published by Five Poetry in September 2015.
A CYCLE LANE IN BRIGHTON LIBRARY
This is a cycle lane the mad man shouts
As he rides his bike around the racks of books
I want to shout at him and tell him this is a library
But he won’t listen he just wants to cycle
I dream of decapitating him somewhere in the crime section
I dream of him being abducted whilst near the sci-fi zone
But most of all I just hope he bloody well stops!
Then at last a librarian, a diminutive young woman
Throws herself in his way
Get out my way, he shouts, this is a cycle lane
No it isn’t she retorts this is a library and you are creating a disturbance
And with that the mad man has gone
Off to pester someplace else telling them wherever he rides
That this is a cycle lane so get out my way
This poem was originally published by Record in July 2015.
Bradford Middleton was born in London in the summer of 1971. He only began writing once he moved to Brighton in 2008 but has since had over 200 unique publications and has three books available, a novel called Dive came out last year from New Pulp Press and chapbooks from Crisis Chronicles Press, entitled Drink Drank Drunk, and Holy & Intoxicated, entitled A Life Like This Ain’t for the Faint-Hearted. He occasionally tweets @beatnikbraduk and can be found at facebook at bradfordmiddleton1.