The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words



Let’s get real for a moment: we have all had dark thoughts. Sometimes those dark thoughts overtake us for a while, and we have an essential need to either act upon them, get help for them, or laugh about them. Eirean Bradley seems to have done all three – though the second one might be a bit hazy.

There’s a difference between a poet who writes prettily about his deepest afflictions, lowest points, and general grievances, and the one who gives you suggestions, like “oops,” for your one word suicide note. Luckily, Bradley is the latter. Eirean Bradley is funny. He’s funny in a very dark, sardonic way, but he’s funny. He will punch you with his words. He will kick you when you’re down. But most of all, he’s going to tell it like it is, and make no apologies for doing so.

Recounting suicide attempts, recalling moments with friends and their scars, giving lists of the multitude of prescription pain killers, and talking about the naivety of God can lead people to being easily offended – if, of course, you are unwilling to actually listen to what Bradley wants you to hear. Quite early in The Little Big Book of Go Kill Yourself, he lets you in on a little secret:

do not be your own ghost.

you are not an obituary waiting to be written.

you are not meant to haunt your own chest.

you are created from stronger material than death. 

everyone fails sometimes.

failures have just decided to go professional.

you are a frayed quilt, 

woven out of miles of amens.

act like it.



Eirean Bradley is not a poet for the weak of heart, but if you’re willing to be real for a moment, he will make sure that you’re not alone.

Head to University of Hell Press, and grab your copy of The Little Book of Go Kill Yourself. 

About Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin spent more than a decade in Education as a high school English teacher, and is now an Instructional Coach for the Longview School District. He is also the founder of The Poetry Question, an online journal which focuses on reviews of small press poetry publications, and runs a regular series called "The Power of Poetry," where notable poets share their personal stories of how poetry has affected their lives. Margolin resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, and daughter.

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