Break ups are always a time of great introspection for me. After each one, I isolate myself a little to figure out what went wrong and how do I do things better next time.

I’m 0 for 3 with relationships since the divorce. This doesn’t mean that I’m not better off with my ex-wife but I haven’t stumbled onto someone where I’m not thinking of an exit strategy. I understand everything ends and that understanding has skewed my perception to where I am always prepared to walk from a relationship if I need to, even passive-aggressively making it happen because I lack the courage to just say it. I also understand this survival strategy may cause me to be always alone because I’m not willing to put myself all in as I have experienced the consequences for doing so. This also could mean I need to make better choices, to not fall/fuck quickly.

I have documented my life online in some shape or form since 2002 and reading my old LiveJournal entries made realize where I’ve been, how far I’m coming. I’m not sure where I’m going though with love. I have direction and purpose with writing and work but not with love. I don’t need love or someone. It’s a want. I also realize that I’m more honest with strangers online than I am with the people in my life because there’s no risk for doing so. It’s something I have to pull into the real world in order to be a better partner, a more honest partner.

I wrote about my waning faith in the concept of forever here and I wrote it there because I don’t want to clog this site with the personal unless I have to.


I am reading with Justin Sirois this Tuesday at Sip. This will be his first time reading in Orlando, despite being from here. I’ll read a couple of my Jesus Christ, Boy Detective stories. We got a nice shout out in the Orlando Sentinel here.

Bodies Made of Smoke is close to making it to the printers and it is gorgeous. We worked really hard on this one and I am so proud of what we’re putting out. More to come as it gets closer to release time.

Speaking of Jesus Christ, Boy Detective, I am on a break from the series right now and it’s the right time to take a break. In this transitional state, I return to poetry because that’s where I can channel a lot of what I feel into it in a constructive manner (that and creative flash non-fiction).


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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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performance calendar, performances, poetry, publication news, self assessment


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