Three Texts

Robert Bradley

About Chalk

      Chalk has the interesting quality of being like chalk. It has the consistency of chalk and is useful in the way that chalk is useful. The same can be said of rain. I can’t think of anything much else to say. Except that I’m full of self-importance at having made these observations. I could sit here for hours as long as you keep looking at me. I could sit here for days.


      All boxed up in my studio apartment on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Sitting, naked, typing. What, I wonder, is expected of me? For one thing, don’t stand. The blinds.
      If you were here with me you’d be lying on my bed, on your stomach, kicking your feet, listening to the Cowboy Junkies. I’d take a break and cut up pineapple, strawberries and bananas and we’d have to think of what we were doing, physically, with our hands and with our mouths; blindly straining against this isolation.

The Fate of the Unencumbered Object

      My sneakers. I wore them all day and then returned them, replacing them as I found them, soles up under a chair. What more can I say about them? They're a bit worn along the outside heel.
      The study of footwear is a study in sadness. Van Gogh would have fallen bodily on these poorly worn rubber soled sneakers and wept in torrents. He would have gathered them to his breast, cradled them in his arms and conjured cataclysms; or if his mind was more temperate that day, who knows…? Can one exalt sadness to such a fine degree that it can no longer be classified as sadness but rather radiant truth?
      And what is sadness but the added weight of the past attached to an object?
      And what escape is there from this, our fated lives?

Robert Bradley published a story in Justin Taylor's Apocalypse Reader. He lives on a terminal moraine.