ABOUT THE BOOK
In free verse, prose poem, and micro-fiction formats, Pink X-Ray explores the interior lives of a variety of characters— from precariously balanced war veterans and jilted lovers, to disaffected police detectives and widowed husbands—each of whom find themselves navigating the often surreal terrain of everyday existence.
In pieces ranging from “Safety Dancing for the Recovering Arsonist,” to “Ken Plans a Trip to Toys R Us” and from “Honey Gets Her Wish” to “Abandoned House,” Pink X-Ray traverses the themes of loyalty/betrayal, emotional connection/alienation, vulnerability/resilience, and love/desire.
As the poet Howie Good writes, the poetry and fiction contained in Pink X-Ray, “remind us that good literature is not only something to read, but also something to experience.”
Over and over Brad Rose delights with his ability to make us stop and see the world in a new way; from his candid observation that King Tut looks like a girl and the real reason we cry at a stranger’s funeral to his elegant explanation of Death ("it's music and it isn't") and an evening with Buddy at the Pink Elephant. Each story in this collection urges you to examine life in celebration, playfulness, and sometimes in mourning.
Comes now Brad Rose with this collection of tiny stories. True: thumb through the book and you’ll see poems and, more expectedly, given what I just wrote, very short pieces of fiction that only occasionally exceed a single paragraph or page. But they are all narratives, complete with a character or two, the necessary conflict, a beginning, middle and end—or, at least, an end that points to a range of possible endings, some warm, and some that remind us that the world can be cold and heartless. Rose’s narratives bring us tiny snapshots of terrible things, funny things, scary things and, fully human things.
Brad Rose's latest collection of spare and powerful monologues combines the emotional immediacy of micro-fiction with the precision of poetry to confront the twists and turns of our distorted psyches. The Pink X-Ray teems with voices in extremis — the homeless veterans, mug shot photographers, pedophiles, arsonists, murderers and their victims who have lived lives "beautiful with mistakes" (not to mention Wittgenstein and Gertrude Stein, horseflies and hummingbirds) — filtered, with sardonic humor and unblinking directness, through the referential arsenal of Schrodinger's Cat, Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem, Munch's Scream and Vegas jackpots. If "redemption is the shortest distance between two points" then these gut-punching monologues are sure to help us on our way.
Brad Rose enhances our understanding of life, death, and everything in-between through manic images that challenge conventional perception. His poetry and short shorts remind us that good literature is not only something to read, but also something to experience. "Pink X-Ray" provides the kind of reading experience that rattles the brain and refurbishes the heart.
Table of Contents
- Veteran’s Benefits
- Note to Self
- Tehachapi Seven Eleven
- Abandoned House
- Honey Gets Her Wish
- March Snow at Arlington
- Quarry Lake
- Death Explained
- An Apostate Visits the Temple of
- In Golden Gate Park
- The Mug Shot Photographer
- Burnt Ghost
- Safety Dancing for the Recovering Arsonist
- Everything Happens for a Reason
- A Passenger
- Rouge Canoe
- A Prisoner of Love
- The Distant Shooting I Hear Reminds Me of the Boys in Marketing
- Two Buds at Cotillion
- Perfect Background Music
- Not Enough Bullets
- Ken Plans a Trip to Toys “R” Us
- Visiting Los Angeles’ National Veterans’ Cemetery, Westwood, CA
- I Drive to North Carolina the Day After the Execution of My Wife’s Murderer
- Oh, How I Almost Loved You
- Horse Fly
- The Last to Know
- Hatchet Job
- Last Night at the Holiday Inn
- The Next Thing You Know
- Naked to the Waist
- Las Vegas Jackpot
- The Snow Leopard
- Second Cousins
- The Scream
- A Stabbing
- What I Heard from the Girl who Tends Bar at “The Blackboard”
- Shaving Mirror
- I am a Telephone
- They’re Reading My Mind Again
- That’s a Whole Other Story
- Friday Night Drive to Watertown
- Amateur Advice
- Doppler Effect
- Since Dad Left
- The Truth about Love
- Waiting Room View
- A Bite, Not a Sting
- Your Words Are Like Heaven
- Cyborg’s Blue Quantum Love Dance
- Makes No Difference
- Tattoo Lover
- Me and Buddy at the Pink Elephant
- Rented Tux
- Escape Artist
- The Traveling Salesman Problem
- True Religion
- Even the Trees
- Bull-Leaping to Bach Cantata No. 54 (Stand Firm Against Sin)
- Mr. Wittgenstein Writes to Ms. Stein
- A Girl Like You
Brad Rose was born and raised in southern California, and lives in Boston.
He is a Pushcart Prize nominee in fiction, a 2013 recipient of Camroc Press Review’s, Editor’s Favorite Poetry Award, and the 2014 winner of un-Fold Magazine’s “FIVE (5) Contest” for his found poem “Signs of Reincarnation at Le Parker Meridien Hotel, NY, NY.”
His poetry and fiction have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Boston Literary Magazine, The Baltimore Review, San Pedro River Review, Off the Coast, Third Wednesday, Right Hand Pointing, Midwest Quarterly,The Potomac, Santa Fe Literary Review, The Common Line Journal, The Molotov Cocktail, Sleetmagazine, Monkeybicycle, Camroc Press Review, MadHat Lit, Burning Word, and other publications.
Links to his poetry and fiction can be found at: http://bradrosepoetry.blogspot.com
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