The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Brad Rose

Like an Accident


Saturday night, I drove out of town, into the desert, so I could count lightning strikes. Like a black balloon splattered with streaks of white paint, the sky stretched and spread until it popped. A couple of forks struck pretty close. On the way back, I stopped at Cannibal’s for a drink. I love it when I order a Bloody Mary there. Nobody bats an eye. Charlene was there, drinking alone, so I told her about the time they wouldn’t let me take my emotional support gator on the plane. She laughed so hard she nearly dropped her darts. It’s the damn government, she said, as she recovered and hit the bullseye.  I said, Yeah, they’re everywhere, but what are you going to do? I like Charlene. Not sure whether her 4th husband just died or not. I don’t think she’s available, yet. If I had a life insurance policy, I’d let it expire. Never liked my next of kin. No sense of humor.  Of course, thinking about the end is something everybody should do. It’s perfectly natural. When my time comes, I’m going to make it look like an accident.



Brad Rose

Dinner Party


It’s tear gas season and everyone is weeping. They think the dead are unoccupied, but actually they’re quite busy. Today, the clouds are drowning in the shallow end of the sky. Some people want to burn their bridges, but I prefer to get my energy from plants and animals. Although I hate heights, I’ve never been accused of a bad altitude. I am my own best friend. With a little luck, I’ll wake up exactly in the same place where I fell asleep. Outside, like the approach of war, it grows darker and darker, but it’s always daylight-saving time on the bright side of the moon. Of course, meal time occurs at all hours on different planets, but I’m hungry as the Donner party on its last leg. Let’s eat.




BRAD ROSE was born and raised in Los Angeles and lives in Boston. He is the author of a collection of poetry and flash fiction, Pink X-Ray (Big Table Publishing, 2015, and Brad has three forthcoming books of poems, Momentary Turbulence and WordinEdgeWise, from Cervena Barva Press, and de/tonations from Nixes Mate Press.

Brad’s website is:

Selected readings can be heard at


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