At Monday’s reading after I finished with Bodies Made of Smoke, I read five of the Gentlemen poems (one of them, “Be Sweet”, is here). The Gentlemen project is where I took The Afghan Whigs album Gentlemen and reinterpreted each song with a poem. This particular chapbook took about a month to write. However, it was my first time reading them to a well lit room while sober and I wasn’t prepared for the kind of gut punching the poems did to me. Sometimes, you create art that looks at yourself really hard and you don’t realize the impact of it to you until you’ve allowed it time to breathe. Now I know what to expect when I read them. Now I’ll make myself a lot more ready when I do the entire chapbook as a feature. This one, “My Curse” is probably the only one I’m comfortable posting out of the five I read.  After hearing the poem, you can also watch/listen to the song below the poem.

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About J. Bradley

J. Bradley's is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominated writer whose work has appeared in numerous literary journals including decomP, Hobart, and Prairie Schooner. He was the Interviews Editor of PANK, the Flash Fiction Editor of NAP, and the Web Editor of Monkeybicycle. He is the author of the poetry collection Dodging Traffic (Ampersand Books, 2009), the novella Bodies Made of Smoke (HOUSEFIRE, 2012), and the graphic poetry collection The Bones of Us (YesYes Books, 2014), illustrated by Adam Scott Mazer. He is the curator of the Central Florida reading series There Will Be Words and lives at

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