Poetry by TR Brady

“Cat Shot 3” by Emily Mueller / emilymuellerart.com



Each Queer Reimagining

        after The Ancient of Days, by William Blake


I stretch into a starfish, say big stretch, when I mean big grief. I try to work my body out, but my body is distracted. I try to work my grief out, but I can’t find her. when I can’t find my grief I remember my childhood dog. when he yawned my mother would say big yawn. I open my mouth to no avail. no glamor. here is a moving image: at the jump I whiffed the ball. here is a still life: the bright ball suspended. I stretch into a star. a blue giant. not strictly defined. many. loosely. my muscles, ablaze. I tire from holding the form of a star. my shoulder’s globe everslight. my hand arched at the pinnacle of anything. space occurs in me. I don’t want to extend it. it extends.



Each Queer Reimagining (no cemetery)


imagine we arrange a house. yes, the ottoman looks good there. no, we don’t want the tv blocking the windows. oh, there’s nowhere else it can go? that’s fine. we find a jenga block from the previous tenants. would you rather is written on it. a sea glass necklace hanging by the window, it took us weeks to notice. we leave it up. the mote of dead plants around our house shivers like one big living thing. but, yes, they are dead. we make no arrangements for the dead plants. we found them that way. 






I stole your John Wieners book. I wrote a hard to title poem. I called the poem ‘supplication.’ the book’s cream spine stuck out on my bookshelf where I keep my special rocks I pulled from my back yard and painted a color unnatural. the rocks bookend my hand-me-down records: The Pretender, Breakfast in America, others, others. softened yellow of their covers. softened yellow of your fingers. I haven’t seen you in years. I leaf through the books I should’ve given back, a few folded notes to yourself you left between the pages. my oven caught fire last week. this week a sheet of ice shattered my back windshield. I haven’t talked to you since the winter before last, on the phone in the spare room. I said some words. I don’t remember
                               their sound or the taste of their sound. blooming or collapsing.


TR Brady is a poet and fiber artist based in Iowa City. TR’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bennington Review, Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review, and Copper Nickel. TR holds an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is the co-founder/co-editor of Afternoon Visitor, a new journal of poetry and hybrid text.