Recent Work By Jennifer Bradpiece

Photo credit: Giuliana Maresca

So, the title, “Lullabies for End Times”…

Pure coincidence. If you believe in that kind of thing.

The tuner bird now nests,
now thrums,
in its cage of bone.
Plays harp of cat gut strings
by the red light
that dictates my resonant streams.
Sisyphean translator
at the first breath’s strum.
That sought to home
that homed to seek
from its first beat—
under the weight of words
and through that escape room of language
that forever unhomes.

Something flees inside you. Rises
a trail of ashes into smoke.
The low hum of the microwave makes
you wonder, as ice melts off cocooned
yellow carrots, if radiation burrows beneath
skin like hairless rabbits, if the mobile
phone speaks on a cellular level,
how the toxic pacification of a cigarette
singes a life-line.

Outside, the screams from city streets
remind you that survival is as possible
as instant soup
without sanity’s gourmet trappings.
Honking horns and sirens warn
of near misses and sudden deaths.
The day swings, the hours shift like
a large lady on a park bench trading gravity
from one thigh to the other.
Silence comes to somebody in trash-bag bedding.
You slip a peach pill between pink lips
and imagine the silk-lined reception
of black sky, stars scattered like playthings—
shiny, plastic, hollow—
slinking coils, spinning tops, wall-eyed marbles,
concentric circles rippling in platitude and epitaph,
the word-residue inside a coffin night.
Here the darkness speaks in code, shoots around
and between language and silence, echoing
in sleep’s caverns, wafting, tangling,
unkempt desires grown over stone.