Chapbook Review

Connections In Secret by Brad Bradley


This collection of lines surprises with its direct and simple language, void of ‘poetic’ ornament, conventional elegance…

(interruption by toddler in fairy dress riding wheeled hobby horse: Doug! What yer doing? I’m typing, where you riding to? To you, pause turns around, ‘bye.)

… void of philosophical conclusions, irony, innuendo, or explanations, Bradley simply gives us the words evoked by remembered events.

We are given the words only with no presentation of the events that evoked them so we have no way of connecting them directly to those events or to each other.

On first reading it reminded me of overhearing fragments of a conversation behind a wall but this morning, after a second reading I think I see what the poet is doing.

The clue is in the title Connections In Secret.

The connections are the author’s business.

We get only the words and connect them as we will or don’t.

This is an alternative to conventional poetry. I find it intellectually interesting and a relief from the conversational mode which too often is little more than a prosy paraphrase of the writer’s source experience and intention.

It also gives the reader more to do. We’re invited to read, reread and construct whatever narratives we can from the assembled words. No doubt this is particularly fun for the people who shared the original events.

Without attempting augury I prefer to let the words float across the page like blocks of ice refracting mind light as they drift from a melting glacier, to let them sound, resound or echo as they will. Curious objects found in the midden of faux virtuous or genuine revolt at the horrors that vomit hourly from our digital screens.


Find more of Brad Bradley at:


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