Poetry: Selections from Bradford Middleton

I’ll Stay Here Waiting for the End

Yesterday it just became too much
Too much time confined inside my four walls
And i knew i had to do it.  I walked down
To look at the beach and everywhere
I looked there sat people
There were people everywhere despite the
So-called lock-down being on.  I ignored
The street of the dead, knowing the scene
Already down there, a scene of desolation;
The street drinkers drinking the poor and
Addicted begging and all around queues
Outside every single open shop.  I thought
To myself i’ll walk north, towards the
Hills of suburban Hanover and Queens’ Park.
There is no respite as the park overflows
With yet more people and outside some of
The houses people sit.  Some of them sit
Playing cards, others smoke weed whilst
Others just drink their days away and after
Seeing just how crazy its all become i knew
There was nothing for it but to turn back,
Returning home.  The madness on these
Streets beats me but i’ll stay here in my
Room, my tiny cell, just getting drunk
And stoned as we head now into these
End days, the onrushing apocalypse.

Death is the New Normal

The sun melts away the
Unrelenting gloom of lock-down and some
Seem to think that as the
Mercury hits 30 degrees C that life is back
To normal.
They crowd on the beach
Red like boiled lobster they’re just desperate to be seen
Just like those fools who
Cluster at the bars each night with no social
Distancing anywhere in sight.
Just last week I heard how
Two of those bars, those damnable bars
Who cater for the young and
Beautiful, had to shut as covid came a-calling
As people got positive responses
Hopefully meaning those fools will stop thinking
Their youth
Their wealth and
Privilege will save them this time.
Because right now it seems we’re already
Too late to stop another lock-down but I’ll just make sure
I’m not sitting here when it kicks in as the
Bodies pile up high in this here covid
Death camp and soon that is all that’ll be
Left of this damn isolated Brexit island;
Death and
Somehow more death will come to fix all
Our problems a lone civil service drone
Will appear on a screen telling anyone
“You’ve never had it so good!”

Gut Punch for Lunch

A shit day can always be improved
By a heavy gut punch as lunchtime
Passes in the haze of a cheeky pint
Whilst waiting on word from my #1
Drug connection whose promised
Some primo gear to kill off another night
Another week
Hell, the rest of this goddamn miserable
Existence of a life lost in a haze of regret.
A horror fills me of what this life has
Become as life comes battering me
Into submission with my Dad passing
And last weekend, on the cusp of actually
Properly starting to mourn him some
Desperate fool with even less to live for
Than me sent me down tumbling,
Crashing to the ground and soon I was
Back home and back to bed with every
Bone aching and all I could think was
That bastard interrupted the whole goddamn
Process.  So this morning there I was
And I knew she was calling me in, the
Blessed Saint James and that’s exactly what
I did and life has been better ever since.

Bradford Middleton lives in Brighton on the UK’s south-coast. He works part-time in a supermarket job but spends most of his time either drinking in the many many bars this town has to offer or at home writing. His words reflect the environment around him and some of his poems have been published by the likes of Chiron Review, Evening Street Review, New Reader Magazine, Razur Cuts, Paper & Ink. His four chapbooks are all sold-out but he’s working on getting a few more out there.