March 2, 2013

I used to think of the absolute worst possibility that could happen in a given situation, and if that worst possibility didn’t happen, then everything would be fine. This thinking allowed me to prepare for a lot of bad, whether at work, in relationships, in life. This thinking also granted permission to create escape plans in the context of romantic relationships (how would I leave, what would I say to people, etc). While this can be helpful, it’s not good when you can see the end  while you are in the middle of a relationship (i.e. my marriage). This was one of the things I had to finally figure out in my life to make positive changes and I have and it’s rewarded me with a lot, changing this behavior.

I’m going to say something I don’t normally say, something I haven’t really been able to say in, I can’t remember if I ever said this, or when I ever said this: I’m happy. I’m content. Life’s really good. For once, I believe I deserve it.

The one thing I’ll never be content with though is where I am as a writer, which no writer or  really any creative person should ever be content with where they are, no matter how much acclaim or money they have. The trick for me is learning how to write well while also being happy, as I’m not used to being happy in general and I think I’m getting the hang of it slowly but surely.


I recorded a three poem set for my e-chapbook Transatlanticism. You can watch it below.

Bodies Made of Smoke is on Goodreads. Add it to your shelf and give it love, if you feel it deserves it.

I poemed the news for CBS Chicago, which you can check out here.

To my friends and writers I like going to AWP this week: no glove, no love. Stay warm.


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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

Latest Posts By J. Bradley


poetry, publication news, self assessment, videos


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