Yellow Mama Archives II

Bradford Middleton

Acuff, Gale
Ahern, Edward
Allen, R. A.
Alleyne, Chris
Andes, Tom
Arnold, Sandra
Aronoff, Mikki
Ayers, Tony
Baber, Bill
Baird, Meg
Baker, J. D.
Balaz, Joe
Barker, Adelaide
Barker, Tom
Barnett, Brian
Barry, Tina
Bartlett, Daniel C.
Bates, Greta T.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Bellani, Arnaav
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
Beveridge, Robert
Blakey, James
Booth, Brenton
Bracken, Michael
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Campbell, J. J.
Cancel, Charlie
Capshaw, Ron
Carr, Steve
Carrabis, Joseph
Cartwright, Steve
Centorbi, David Calogero
Cherches, Peter
Christensen, Jan
Clifton, Gary
Cody, Bethany
Costello, Bruce
Coverly, Harris
Crist, Kenneth James
Cumming, Scott
Davie, Andrew
Davis, Michael D.
Degani, Gay
De Neve, M. A.
Dillon, John J.
Dinsmoor, Robert
Dominguez, Diana
Dorman, Roy
Doughty, Brandon
Doyle, John
Dunham, T. Fox
Ebel, Pamela
Fagan, Brian Peter
Fillion, Tom
Fortier, M. L.
Fowler, Michael
Galef, David
Garnet, George
Garrett, Jack
Graysol, Jacob
Grech, Amy
Greenberg, KJ Hannah
Grey, John
Hagerty, David
Hardin, Scott
Held, Shari
Hicks, Darryl
Hivner, Christopher
Hoerner, Keith
Hohmann, Kurt
Holt, M. J.
Holtzman, Bernard
Holtzman, Bernice
Holtzman, Rebecca
Hopson, Kevin
Hubbs, Damon
Irwin, Daniel S.
Jabaut, Mark
Jermin, Wayne
Jeschonek, Robert
Johns. Roger
Kanner, Mike
Karl, Frank S.
Kempe, Lucinda
Kennedy, Cecilia
Keshigian, Michael
Kirchner, Craig
Kitcher, William
Kompany, James
Kondek, Charlie
Koperwas, Tom
Kreuiter, Victor
Larsen, Ted R.
Le Due, Richard
Leotta, Joan
Lester, Louella
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Luer, Ken
Lukas, Anthony
Lyon, Hillary
Mannone, John C.
Margel, Abe
Martinez, Richard
McConnell, Logan
McQuiston, Rick
Middleton, Bradford
Milam, Chris
Miller, Dawn L. C.
Mladinic, Peter
Mobili, Juan
Mullins, Ian
Myers, Beverle Graves
Myers, Jen
Newell, Ben
Nielsen, Ayaz Daryl
Nielsen, Judith
Onken, Bernard
Owen, Deidre J.
Park, Jon
Parker, Becky
Pettus, Robert
Plath, Rob
Potter, John R. C.
Prusky, Steve
Radcliffe, Paul
Reddick, Niles M.
Reedman, Maree
Reutter, G. Emil
Riekki, Ron
Robson, Merrilee
Rockwood, KM
Rollins, Janna
Rose, Brad
Rosmus, Cindy
Ross, Gary Earl
Rowland, C. A.
Saier, Monique
Sarkar, Partha
Scharhag, Lauren
Schauber, Karen
Schildgen, Bob
Schmitt, Di
Sesling, Zvi E.
Short, John
Simpson, Henry
Slota, Richelle Lee
Smith, Elena E.
Snell, Cheryl
Snethen, Daniel G.
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
Temples. Phillip
Tobin, Tim
Traverso Jr., Dionisio "Don"
Turner, Lamont A.
Tustin, John
Tyrer, DJ
Varghese, Davis
Verlaine, Rp
Viola, Saira
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Al Wassif, Amirah
Weibezahl, Robert
Weil, Lester L.
Weisfeld, Victoria
Weld, Charles
White, Robb
Wilhide, Zachary
Williams, E. E.
Williams, K. A.
Wilsky, Jim
Wiseman-Rose, Sophia
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Zackel, Fred
Zelvin, Elizabeth
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas
Zumpe, Lee Clark



by Bradford Middleton


i cough and splutter and feel like

shit but i type these words as a reminder

of how i stay out the loony bin.



by Bradford Middleton


I've lost myself in TV the last couple

of weeks and I got to say

Fuck me it's bad! I ain't just talking

Bad, I'm talking pull your eyeballs

out just so you don't have to carry on

watching it, whatever it is.  I watch

the old and familiar and it makes

me remember how I got lost all

the way back then but now it just

drives me to utter despair and

wanting to throw my laptop out

my one and only window.



by Bradford Middleton


My damn tooth has been playing up again

And, as usual in this frugal existence of

This lowest of poets, I worry. Not about

Infection or pain but money as is always

The way in this kinda life. Now from past

Experience, a couple of months ago in fact,

I know it'll cost me 50 quid to get the damn

Thing taken out but last night it came to me,

A cunning plan, to outdo even the cheapest

Of dentists.  I reckon about half of that in

Just the right bad boozer could get it done

And offer another new poem to mark my

Descent into gummy toothlessness at the,

Right now, seemingly never-ending nightmare

Of suffering and pain and nights of punching

Yourself in the side of the face hoping to

Release it just to end the damn vicious pain.



by Bradford Middleton


In 2 & 1/2 weeks i’ll

Be drinking in a

Parisian dive bar

Dreaming of meeting

My Beatrice Dalle;

You know, her that

Was in Betty Blue

All those years ago.


Mad, bad, gap-toothed

Beauty who, maybe,

Will show me some

Much needed darkness

Outside the poetry

Section of a nearby

English bookshop i

Plan on visiting.



by Bradford Middleton



My mess of stuff; my books, my records,

My films, everything that a life like this needs

To persist. Now I see what a mess it’s

Become, as a new vacuum cleaner sits idle

In yet another of my corners, but right now

A higher calling has my attention as the words

Tumble from my fingers onto this screen.



by Bradford Middleton


The siren sings her song of lost love

To a chorus of lonely drunk sad old men

And, at last, I feel it

That feeling, that sense that at long last

I am home and the good times have returned. . . .







by Bradford Middleton


As the clock counted down at work, typical

Of my luck of late it was the first day we

Stay open late, I stood counting the seconds

Until I could get out because tonight wasn’t

Going to be just another night of smoke and

Losing myself in some soap opera. It was

Going to be the night I had grown desperate

For during the whole prolonged nightmare

Of drinking out on the pavement battling all

That goddamn wind and rain, hence only

Venturing out a couple of times but trust me

There was almost temptation every single

One of those days counting . . .

Counting . . .

Counting . . .

Until that moment when they’d let us back

Inside and tonight, well tonight, was that

Night and almost instantly, upon walking

Back through that hallowed door I felt myself

Grow calm and like a King returning to take

Up his throne. I found an empty table looking

Out on the street of ill-repute and as my drinks

Came over I saw her. One for the age

A green-haired creature of dizzying size and

Shape, and suddenly I was back living the life

Of the bars’ living dead.



by Bradford Middleton


“Oh, I hate him,” they’ll snarl whenever he comes near and I know

My hero has returned. The local misanthrope who hates almost

Everyone and everything and who comes in my shop whenever I’m

Working and I can just stand on the check-out dreaming, in a few

Decades time, about how I’d take being just like him. The kids I work

With all hate his guts, despise him, always questioning his use of so many

Bags but as someone who’s had a lifetime to prepare he’s always got

A response and it always brings a smile to my face.


“People forget about the plastics industry,” he’ll retort to the eye-

Rolling youth who’ll hurry him out the store whilst when he comes

To me it’ll always end in fun & games. “You’ve taken all my money!”

He’ll claim, whilst peering over a wallet stuffed full of 20s, after his

Regulation 2 bottles of wine which I’m guessing he’ll do every day

After a long lunch-hour in the pub.


“You kids don’t get it!” I’ll scream at them all as soon as he leaves and

As they roll their eyes at me, “Lunch in the pub every afternoon and 2

Sweet bottles of wine every night, now that’s what I call living!” I’ll

Respond before they tell me I’m already halfway to living the dream

Of being just like him and I don’t know if they mean in age or in

Levels of hatred and, in all honesty, I couldn’t give a damn!



by Bradford Middleton



That night, oh, boy, what a night, it had all seemed like a dream, a dream made real on a night of worm-induced tequila madness at the Saint Mark’s bar as Melody fell into Jack’s warm embrace for the first time and, at last, Jack had something to live for beyond his crappy little job and his shitty little room as he had her. 

From the very first moment he had said “hi,” it had all moved so quickly. Within a week, he’d practically moved in; that first week, that magical time of never-ending pleasure, went by in a flurry of sexual adventure and they’d barely left her room, their boudoir of delight, and Jack couldn’t remember the last time he’d felt happier. 

She told him everything and he did the same, and when he admitted he loved being teased, she took that as a personal challenge.

The next night, Jack returned from work and there she was, stood in front of their floor lamp gyrating to some wild ‘60s song wearing a dress almost transparent. She looked astonishing, or at least that’s what he thought, as he began salivating before moving in tight and taking her in his arms. 

They went to bed and made love like they’d never done before, with feeling, with soul, but most of all with love and again Jack fell asleep dreaming of a life that he was currently living. 

Again, he couldn’t remember a time when he’d been happier; hell, not in this lifetime anyway, and the next morning she went off to work and he simply sat around getting high and watching daytime TV.

That afternoon when Melody had returned from work Jack was so high, he barely noticed as she changed into a pair of her darkest jeans and a long baggy jumper that showed off absolutely nothing at all but as the evening came into view she turned to him.

“Jack,” she says, making sure he’s firmly back on terra firma after his intergalactic odyssey, “Jack, I’ve got something I need to do with work tonight. . . .”

“Oh sure,” he responds, not having any idea that this, well, this was to be the end of the happy life, at least his. 

She started going out and a lot as well and soon Jack is sat in the armchair in their living room, struggling to remember the last time he’d seen her until, at last, he hears the shuffling of a key in the lock.

“Oh, Jack,” she says, as she stumbles into the living room with a new friend in tow, “Oh, Jack . . .” she says unwilling, or possibly unable due to drink, to complete her sentence.

“Look,” the other woman suddenly says, “we’re in love, me and Mel is where it’s at now, you get it? Good,” she says before he even has a chance to respond, “well, you know what to do then, don’t you?”

“But . . .”

“No buts, fucker, just get the hell out of here . . . understand me?”

“Mel???” he drawls, wishing he could sit and roll another big fat joint as tears begin to pour from his eyes.

“Ah, now, come on man, get with it,” she says, as she begins throwing some of his clothes into a bag. 

Melody simply ignores what is going on and disappears into the bedroom and before her head even hits the pillow, Jack is out on the street and that first raindrop sobers him up better than anything had done in years. 

Bradford Middleton lives in Brighton on the UK’s southeast coast.  He was born in London during the long hot summer of 1971 and growing up on a council estate and attending the local school, he learnt two things; if he didn’t kick back he’d never get anywhere in this life, merely becoming another cog in the wheel, and has been kicking against those pricks his entire life. He began writing when he arrived in Brighton in the early years of the new century and began reading his poems to often stunned and confused onlookers until one day Mad Swirl asked to publish one of his poems. He’s had four chapbooks published since then and has hundreds of poems dotted all over the internet.  His work has featured in the Chiron Review, Evening Street Review, New Reader Magazine, Paper & Ink Lit Zine, Horror Sleaze Trash, and Razur Cuts, amongst other places including, of course, Yellow Mama.  Follow him on Twitter @BradfordMiddle5.

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