about the author

Brad Rose was born and raised in Los Angeles and lives in Boston. He is the author of Pink X-Ray (Big Table Publishing, 2015.) Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize in fiction, Brad has had poetry and fiction appear in The Los Angeles Times, Folio, The Baltimore Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Lunch Ticket, San Pedro River Review, Off the Coast, Posit, Third Wednesday, Boston Literary Magazine, Right Hand Pointing, and other publications. Brad is the author of three electronic chapbooks, all from Right Hand Pointing: Democracy of Secrets, Dancing School Nerves, and Coyotes Circle the Party Store. Links to Brad’s published poetry and fiction can be found at bradrosepoetry.blogspot.com. Audio recordings of a selection of his published poetry can be heard at soundcloud.com/bradrose1. An interview with Brad is available at righthandpointing.net/#!brad-interview/cfo5.

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Two Poems 

Brad Rose

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Echo Park

Of course, setting fire to birds is wrong. Even if everybody else is doing it. Anyway, you have to catch them first. A couple of times I nearly died in my sleep, but like that lady doctor said, each day my cells make me a new body. Everything will be OK as long as it happens before midnight. Since my brother’s murder, I don’t worry if my skin’s on inside out. We’re all just people. Last week, I counted seven Thursdays. Sunday happened all day. Sometimes it makes you wonder what sports would be like on other planets? Would they have home games and away games? Probably both. Soon, I’m going to get a place of my own. My Mom’s basement is small, but at least it prevents echoes. My bedroom has a door to the outside. You can go for a walk by the lake anytime you want—day or night. The palms lean toward the lake like they’re listening to the water crying. Sometimes a person can get lost at night, even if they’re dead. I don’t pay any attention to the black helicopters. What do they want, anyway?

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Ventriloquists on the Radio

I’m listening to ventriloquists on the radio. They’re talking at me. You may have heard them, already. Sometimes it’s good to travel. You get messages when you travel. It’s mostly accidental. I was on an airplane once, and before we took off, they said, Put on your oxygen mask before helping others. I liked that, even though I don’t like things that cover my face. During the flight, I practiced my secret language, mainly the vowels. It’s best to practice the vowels when you’re awake. It’s easy on an airplane, because everyone’s facing in one direction, even the children. I watched a movie about Japan. Many people were upset to learn that the emperor isn’t divine. That surprised me too, but I suppose nobody’s perfect? Even in Japan. Sometimes, I hear things that aren’t there. It’s like throwing your voice. If you’re not careful, you can become confused. The words come out of someone else’s mouth, and you think you’re a story in someone else’s head. Of course, it’s pretty much the same story, the same one you hear every time. The beginning and the end are exactly the same. It’s like a miracle. There’re just no words for it, like an echo of a voice that isn’t there, even when everyone is listening. Because whenever anyone talks to me, I know they aren’t.

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