J. Bradley

Writer/Performer/Producer

Tag: prose poem

I Fought The Site Admins (And The Site Admins Won)

I need to stop using the word “never” whenever I say that I won’t ever do a project again. I’ve done this with running a poetry slam (which I started doing on and off again in 2015), writing new Jesus Christ, Boy Detective stories (I’ve written a one-act and a three-act play) and my Yelp review project.

Some background: from September 2013 until early 2015, I wrote prose poems disguised as Yelp reviews and posted them on Yelp. I also submitted them to literary journals. As literary journals published them, I took them down. Yelp started catching on and took them down as well for violating their Terms of Service (ToS). Once they took down over 40 of them in a great purge around late 2014, I knew it was time for me to stop. I said then I wouldn’t ever do them again. Then a couple of things happened.

First, I got into Art in Odd Places – Orlando last year because of my Yelp review project and I started writing Yelp reviews reviewing each project. There were over 40 projects to review but I only got to about half of them. Overall, they were well received.

Second, we elected someone not qualified to be president and I started writing Yelp reviews reviewing the various properties that our president (still) owns, and then moved onto government buildings that his (incompetent) cabinet members would inhabit. After the site admins took down more of my Yelp reviews, they emailed me this.

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After that, I posted two more reviews, one on Yelp’s HQ building and the other on Melbourne International Airport. Those were the last straw for the site admins.

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I have no regrets doing what I did. I only wish the site admins had a better sense of humor about it, a sense of artistry. There are a lot of shitty Yelp reviews out there that, while they may confirm to the ToS, don’t necessarily have anything to do about the place that they reviewed.

I have a favor to ask: if you enjoyed this iteration of the Yelp review project, please pick up a copy of my book, Pick How You Will Revise A Memory, which contains some of the Yelp reviews from 2013-2015. Also, reviews about it for Goodreads would be helpful (which you can add over here.)

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Refer below to some recently published work that I have either been too lazy or too depressed about the current state of affairs to properly promote.

This Hobbit Takes Manhattan

I refer to myself as a hobbit from time to time because a) I like to walk long distances and b) my feet tend to be dried and cracked probably because of a) but also because I don’t moisturize my skin enough. Next week, I am indeed going on a journey, a long one, but not walking because it would take me weeks to get to where I’m going.

I’ll be doing two readings from my novel, The Adventures of Jesus Christ, Boy Detective at the following places in Brooklyn next week (links to the Facebook event pages).

  • January 24 – Cool as F*** Reading Series: I’m excited that I’ll get to meet Bud Smith (finally) and get to read with this amazing line up of writers.
  • January 25 – J. Bradley Reading: There’s a ton of people who I have not heard read before at this one that I finally get to. (I promise I’ll read something different at each show if you come to both).

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I’ve hit the post-MFA emotional rut that seems to happen after getting conferred with your MFA. I was driven by imposed deadlines (and maintaining a 4.0 GPA) and, while it was stressful at times, I appreciated the structure and the discipline needed to manage all of that. I’m working on some new things but it still feels a little directionless at times. This emotional lull seems to always happen at the end of something big. I have to constantly remind myself to let the next big project come find me, not the other way around.

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And now for some recent publication news:

  • I have a poem as part of Indolent Books’s Transitions: Poems in the Aftermath. Please check that out over here. I would also encourage you to check out the rest of the poems in the series, as well.
  • I have new flash fiction in Stoneslide Corrective’s Aftermath issue, which you can read over here. Again, I would also encourage you to check out the rest of the pieces in this series, as well.
  • I have new flash fiction over in the inaugural issue of (b)OINK, which you can read over here. Yes, I am going to again encourage you to check out the rest of the content in this issue, as well.

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I’ve been posting Yelp reviews again, partially to promote my Yelp review collection, Pick How You Will Revise A Memory. You can follow me on Yelp over here. If you like these reviews, please consider getting a copy of my Yelp review collection over here.

Lastly, please also add the following to your Goodreads. They both need more love and attention.

Art is Hard

I’m currently recovering from my first Art in Odd Places as an artist. This was the first time I crossed over into public art and I learned a couple of things:

  1. Don’t have a project that relies on power. I didn’t realize the limitations that power requirements would cause in terms of where I could have my digital frame showing my Yelp reviews. I also didn’t realize the role the sun played in terms of people being able to see said project.
  2. Set a performance schedule. It’s challenging to be with your project for the duration of the festival. I underestimated the endurance that it required (and overestimated my own endurance, which is a personal issue I have to deal with). It would have been easier on me physically if I set times that I would be there.

Would I do this again? Absolutely. It allowed me to engage people who typically don’t read poetry or literature in general. I have an idea on what I would do for next year if the curators are willing to have me back again.

Click here to watch the project.I also wrote new Yelp reviews reviewing projects at Art in Odd Places (there were 41 and I could only write 21). You can check out the ones posted on AiOP Orlando’s Instagram feed here.

My Yelp review collection, Pick How You Will Revise a Memory, is still available for pre-order. Go here to pre-order a copy. You should be able to use the code NEWTITLESFALL2016 to get $3.00 off until Friday, November 18.

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A ton has happened as well on the flash fiction front/Jesus Christ, Boy Detective front.

First, I talked about the musical DNA of Jesus Christ, Boy Detective over at Largehearted Boy. You can read about it (and listen to the playlist) over here.

I have new flash fiction over in the following places:

I also interviewed John Jodizo for Maudlin House, which you can read here.

Also, I recommend heading on over to this article to see what organizations you can donate to. They will need all the help they can get to fight against the incoming sexist, racist, xenophobic Trump administration.

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