TR Brady

2021, Poetry

not pictured

I want to tell you what it looked like    I was in the yard the yard with the truck

stuck in the ruts of its own making      of rain             joy replaced by another

more available feeling              the truck always getting stuck moving branches

to the burn pile                        I was scraping up my calves     red lugging limbs

to finish the weekend work                  the neighbor’s Husky had been downing

chickens for weeks so it’s no surprise it eventually got the Maltese

so we had to bury him out back           I was reluctant to eat   

from the nearby honeysuckle bush      I was reluctant to eat    that kind of nature

sleepless, I tried to hunt           a locust one night but              

just their shells and their shells soundless         I ran around shirtless for long as I could

wanting my image                    to be reproduced         in just cargo shorts and sandals           

I never swam               in the pond past the pile but when warm

I would lay on the water          warped deck and swirl the oily surface

the hands stretched out on the water were like mine

because of course they were    treading          


[[wobble twilight, river landing

I’m not my muscle man, I keep spinning
the creation of spinning
the product of spinning
the byproduct of spinning
ravels along the paved tributary path
I skate to skim off my estrogen
in the wet summer where everything is edging
forward I flicker along the stream
which for most of the year is flood or freeze.
the river, the rocks banking the river,
the rocks loved up on by the river,
are sharp and naked and new
as new as rocks can be and actual
and ugly in their unnature. too far down
slope to touch. far from the real hawk
minding her own. the late x transforms to early
y. I am building corporeal.
my sweat stings, my eye says so.
a long coming cloud. the late day transforms
to early night. I pick up my pulse.
the dam churns the rapids out.
I’m downstream heading up.


TR Brady is a poet and fiber artist based in Iowa City. TR’s writing has appeared in Bennington Review, The Spectacle, Denver Quarterly, and Copper Nickel. TR holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is the co-founder/co-editor of Afternoon Visitor, a new journal of poetry and hybrid text.