Editor’s note: Before I get into the process of creating my new, and truly digital, poetry chapbook, I want to talk about how the Kickstarter for The Bones of Us is doing.

We’re at 16% funding on Day 8. This isn’t bad, but it could be a lot better. 

The Bones of Us is the best of two different worlds: poetry and graphic narrativeTogether, they create a heartbreaking, beautiful story about the loss of love and the subsequent recovery from the loss. YesYes Books needs your help to make it happen. Check out more details about the project here

Thank you to those who have funded the project so far, and for telling people you funded the project. 

***

A few years ago (most likely around 2010 or 20011), Matt DeBenedictis posted something on Facebook about this website where people watch porn and record descriptions of it for blind people to masturbate to. He called them “bedtime stories” and in a strange way, they are. Some take it seriously. Some laugh their asses off through it. It’s an interesting listen.

In 2011, I earned the opportunity to work in my company’s Instructional Design team for awhile. During my mentorship, I learned ADDIE (Analysis, Develop, Design, Implement, Evaluate), the importance of planning before executing. I produced several web based assets using our company’s then proprietary Dreamweaver plug in that allowed easy creation of e-learning. It was during that time I first encountered Adobe Captivate. The best way I can describe it is Microsoft PowerPoint on human growth hormone. It lets you do a lot more than PowerPoint, but requires more hands on thought than I like in creating a project in it.

In 2012, I was pulled back into training full time as we started going through a merger. I had it as a developmental goal to work on my Adobe Captivate skills but there was so much back-to-back training going on, I couldn’t get back to doing instructional design at work or working on my Captivate skills.

The first Porn for the Blind poems came last July. As with any short term poetry project I work on, I set a finite number of poems to construct in said project. With Transatlanticism, it was a poem for song reinterpretation of the Death Cab For Cutie album with the same name. With this project, I set a 20 poem limit. Once the last poem was written, the project was over and done with from a writing standpoint.

Before using a tool like Adobe Captivate, you have to storyboard what it is that you want to do, including how you want the interface to act. Some can create in the tool directly, but from my experience doing instructional design, it’s better to have a good design plan going in before designing in the tool.

Figure 1: The first page of the design document for Porn For The Blind.

Slide 1 – Title Slide Porn For The Blind

 

an interactive e-chapbook by J. Bradley

 

Next button on the lower right hand side

Slide 2 – Navigation (Left hand graphic – a Compass – or a blind person)

 

In the following Table of Contents, click the URL to read and hear the poem.

 

When you are done, click Back to return to the Table of Contents. You may Exit at any time.

 

Click Next to begin experiencing Porn For The Blind

 

 

Slide 3 – Table of Contents (two columns – ten URLs on each side)

 

monsvesuivusenthusiasts.com

sanduskyfuckers.com

analburialground.net

deadonfacials.net

fillingauroragloryholes.ca

lubedwithtears.com

plungeintomyvelvetabyss.co.uk

brokenneckcondoms.au

sonnetsodomy.net

dadswatchingdaughtersgettingdicked.com

gapingakin.net

nomeanshellyes.nl

willworkforrimjobs.com

furriesonfurbies.net

letmefactcheckthatass.net

divorcethathole.co.uk

revengeisbestservedwithcockrings.net

fuckingyourstabwounds.org

indianapolisisforfuckers.ca

fillmygapingplothole.au

 

Slide 4 – monsvesuivusenthusiats.com (left graphic – volcano)

 

Surprise makes brining without hands possible

when mouths gape like Scantron bubbles.

 

Look away only when necessary. Don’t bother

counting all the lost children; in my country,

this is how we say “I miss you”

Slide 5 – sanduskyfuckers.com (right graphic – surprised or scared old man’s face)

 

The camera zooms from above on an oily lower back,

hips as steering wheel. The POV of the scene

hides the source of the voice demanding

to be named after various famous ruins:

Titanic, Hindenberg, World Trade Center,

Michael Jackson, Central Florida.

 

Pan to the right, close up on the man pretending

to be a boy paid to grunt “Yeah! You like how

this youth runs wild, don’t you?”

I use two websites for excellent (and royalty free) stock images: MorgueFile and stock.xchng (which is what I also use for the stock images for my Pecha Kucha decks. I had to do some on-the-fly adjustments as I couldn’t find the images I needed on some of the panels (one of the images is from my personal collection – feel free to figure out which one it is).

Next came testing it locally, and then hosting it on a site for people to also beta test and provide feedback, and my beta testers provided great feedback. I showed one of the test versions to UP Literature and they were down to hosting it, and doing some cool promo stuff for it. After a little more testing, and moving files to the final  host site, this is the result. Click on the pic to see and hear it. Let me know what you think.

porn-for-the-blind-cover-bigger-e1373284451283

 

“Fiercely visceral and haunting, J. Bradley’s poems in Porn for the Blind are not your mother’s love poems. There is, on the surface, a lusting after in these poems, but the real power of these lines is in the vulnerability and longing in these words.”

–Justin Lawrence Daugherty, author of Whatever Don’t Drown Will Always Rise

This was published in HTML5, as those who use Macs, iPads, and other assorted Apple products have a bizarre allergy to Flash that was not excised after Steve Jobs’ death. This means the project can be heard and seen by any operating system, even you arcane UNIX users.

I’ve come to terms that I am a weird fuck. I like creating things that are interesting, unusual, rather than what appeals to most people. I enjoy turning the intent of things into something stranger, something not thought of, like turning Adobe Captivate into a delivery system for literature. I have an idea on what I want to do next with the software. It’s a matter of actually writing the story first before creating the design document.

***

I bought Yeezus while in St. Louis and have listened to it multiple times. As always, West has lines that make me go “I can’t believe he said that”, particularly the Johnny Cochran line. It’s a very challenging album, with a lot of unintentional parallels to The National’s Trouble Will Find Me. If you want something though that requires less thinking and makes you want to kick some ass or play a violent video game, El-P and Killer Mike’s Run The Jewels is excellent (and legally free).  The only thing better at kicking Kanye West’s ass than Kanye would be these two combined.

Speaking of unintentional parallels, Tyler Gobble’s 48 Pornos is out through Safety Third Enterprises and it is exactly what it says. It is fine analog prose poetry porn and you should get it while supplies last, as this, and most of the Safety Third catalog is only available in print.

***

I have a poem also in the latest issue of Specter Magazine, which you can read here.

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Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. I am, in fact, interested in expanding my review scope to include this piece. Looked it over. Find it at least as engaging as the impetus or idea, which is rare. Hit me up – thewillroby@yahoo.com / busymonster.wordpress.com

    Reply

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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 iheartfailure.net.

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