NAME Bradford Middleton
LOCATION For the last couple of years I’ve been trying to con myself into believing I could live back in London but I remain here in Brighton where I get to see the sea, the pier and random street drinkers on a daily basis. I occasionally see something I’ll like, such as tourist getting there sandwich stolen by a ravenous seagull or another Bermudan short wearing idiot getting soaked in October. Despite all of this I still hate it but have nowhere else to go.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING? About eight years although I won my first poetry comp aged ten. I can categorically say that my style has developed a lot since then! I began writing because I was in a new town and knew no one and had no money to go out and get drunk.
DO YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC WRITING STYLE? Not really. It depends on my mood when I sit down to write as to what comes out. This is especially true with my poetry. Occasionally I write to calm myself down, say next door is having another one of their forty-eight hour parties and again I ain’t been invited so I just sit writing about what horrible people they are whilst worrying how I’m going to get to work the next day. I have a horrible flat so I do spend a lot of time outside therefore some of my stuff gets called ‘street’ or ‘punk’.
DO YOU WRITE AS A CAREER? Nope. I work part-time at a local supermarket.
DO YOU WRITE FULL-TIME? I’m always writing or doing things related to writing except when I’m sleeping, drinking or at my job.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT AS A WRITER? I’ve been lucky so far I suppose; I’ve been published by some great people in some great places including obviously Ppigpenn!
WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL AS A WRITER? To become as good as I can.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST CHALLENGE AS A WRITER? Recently I’ve been finding inspiration for new story work. When I first started out it seemed much easier to come up with a crazy idea for a story but now, not so much.
WHAT PROJECTS OF YOURS HAVE BEEN RECENTLY PUBLISHED? 2014 has been pretty busy. I’ve had pieces featured in Electric Windmill #9, Locust (May), Zygote in my Coffee #144, Sentinel Quarterly (Oct), Fuck Art Let’s Dance (August) as well as stand-alone pieces at Mad Swirl, Camel Saloon, Fuck Fiction, Postcard Shorts, Dead Snakes, Near To The Knuckle, Blink-Ink and Horror Sleaze Trash. At some of these you can read lots of my stuff so have a dig around. If anyone wants to do a book of mine please get in touch!
WHAT ARE YOU CURRERNTLY WORKING ON AND WHAT INSPIRED THIS WORK? I’m just writing poems at the minute as life has been pretty cruddy of late and I find poetry to be a great way to deal with life. After finishing Dive, my novel, I’ve decided to take some time out from writing new stories and have turned to re-writing older ones.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOUR WORK? All over the place but if you want an easy way to keep up with where and what follow me on Twitter or Facebook. I generally get around to updating them occasionally or alternatively just Google ‘Bradford Middleton poetry’ or ‘story’. There are quite a lot so enjoy, have a rummage and find some new names to investigate too!
HOW OFTEN DO YOU WRITE? I sit down with the intention of writing almost every day. When I’m not I’m working out where to send my stuff to.
HOW DO YOU REACT TO REJECTIONS? It’s never really bothered me unless it’s for some trivial reason such as the use of a swear word.
HOW DO YOU REACT WHEN ONE OF YOUR SUBMISSIONS IS ACCEPTED FOR PUBLICATION? With over one hundred now I do still get excited and it is definitely one of the things that make me want to continue writing. I love it when someone new accepts a piece, especially when it’s a top guy like Catfish!
WHAT IS YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE ON HOW TO STAY SANE AS A WRITER? Don’t! Some of my best poems have come out of moments of complete derangement of the senses. If you embrace the madness I often find it takes you to places you wouldn’t normally contemplate writing about.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK? There are far too many to list. I read a lot all the time and it’s always difficult to say which the best is. A recent discovery would have to be Steve Earle’s Get Out of This Alive.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR? Again, far too many to list but a top five would have to include Charles Bukowski, Jim Thompson, John Fante, George Orwell and a live one in the shape of Willy Vlautin. I think Motel Life by him is one of the best novels of this century.
IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH ONE FICTIONAL CHARACTER, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? Betty, as in Beatrice Dalle, from that French movie Betty Blue as she is such a stunningly mad glorious beauty I doubt much food would be consumed!
WHAT IS THE GREATEST OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD FOR A WRITER? There are too many again but if you want the writing life you’ll get over them.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WORD? I’ve got to have a few but I love all these words - zygote, neon, death, hell.
WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? All manner of things! Terrible things happening to tourists but the one thing that is guaranteed to get me chortling would have to be any of the mad kung-fu scenes in Return of the Pink Panther. The moment when Kato comes flying out of the freezer covered in ice always makes me scream with laughter, the look on Peter Sellers’ face when he’s chastising Kato in the restaurant before his epic failure at a flying death kick! A poet can laugh.
WHAT MAKES YOU CRY? Life, despair, rejection, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Teenage Fanclub’s November.
WHAT IS YOUR PREFFERED DRINK WHILE YOU WRITE? Whatever is lying around.
BEACH OR MOUNTAINS? I’ve lived by the beach now for almost five years and don’t really like it so maybe I should move to a mountain range next. What do you think?
CATS OR DOGS? Cats. They don’t bite and they are cool.
THE BEATLES OR THE ROLLING STONES? The White Album by the Beatles for me anytime.
JIMI HENDRIX OR FRANK SINATRA? Hendrix.
SHAKESPEARE OR BUKOWSKI? The English education system made me hate Shakespeare and stopped me from reading for ten years until I discovered Bukowski in my late twenties. He saved me and reminded me that words could be fun and interesting and powerful.
FACEBOOK PROFILE OR PAGE
TWITTER PROFILE @beatnikbraduk
OTHER PAGES OR PROFILES
BOOKS FOR SALE AND/OR PRESS No, want to publish a book by me? Get in touch!
ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT YOUR COUNTRY, ITS PEOPLE, OR NATIVE ANIMALS? I’ve already taken up too much of your time, go read some poetry rather than sit and listen to me moan about how terrible the UK is right now. The sad thing is I can’t see it changing for a long time; the youth are just too apathetic.
QUESTIONS: Please answer in 5 words or less
1. Where do you live, city & country or state? Brighton, south-coast UK.
2. From your country what is the most unusual food you like, that most foreigners would hate? My diet isn’t exotic.
3. If you had to live in any country besides yours, what would be your favorite & least favorite, in that order? France or the US favourite, some dry country would be my least favourite.
4. If you were stranded naked on a deserted island & were allowed one thing, what would it be? (No transportation allowed) A sexy woman who smokes!
5. If you could only choose one book as your favorite, what would it be? Down And Out in London & Paris, Orwell.
6. If you could have a conversation with anyone, dead & alive, who would it be, in that order? God and Lemmy from Motorhead to see if they are the same person!
7. If you could have sex with anyone, dead & alive, who would it be, in that order? Lauren Bacall and Beatrice Dalle
8. What is your favorite movie & television show, in that order? Rumblefish and X-Files.
9. If you could only have one super power, what would it be? I could seduce any woman
10. If you found a magic lamp & got three wishes, what would they be? Beatrice Dalle, booze and typewriter!
GOING HOME: THE TRILOGY
By Bradford Middleton
The road to London is tempting me again
I’ve been priced out of a town that never really felt like home anyway
To a life at the edge of the big old town
Where will I land, right now it’s difficult to say.
Could be out west if it’s time for a real change or
Maybe it could be another place;
A place I grew to despise within two hours of moving there many years ago.
Moving back feels like a failure
But I don’t care what you all think
Life has got to be better than this lifetime in this hellhole of a town.
AT LAST (THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS)
Right now all I can think about is the countdown
The countdown to escape makes me delirious with joy every single day
The thought of a return to London and the feeling that somehow anything is possible
London, it’s not like Brighton by the Thames.
But don’t get me wrong, it ain’t been all bad; The Ranelagh from first night to last in Brighton town, rums at the St James Street, I’m Being Good deafening me in some small hole uptown, cheap absinthe and poetry at the Green Muse, these where things I shall always remember.
London, from here, sat in my cold windswept flat feels like a paradise of possibilities
I’ve decided I don’t want the 9-5; I don’t want to do the shirt and tie routine
I want freedom to live a life that is more mundane but a whole lot less insane
Brighton, I gave you my best, but I’m afraid to say it’s adios after seven long years.
Back to London and I can’t believe my eyes
Everywhere I look it’s all fucking changed
A great big hole is all that remains of the Soho playground
As commerce pushes on ignoring history, fun and a place to be weird
It seems they don’t mind me being DSS round this way
A small but decent flat in Paddington is mine within two days
And after so long searching by the sea it seems life here will be fine
So long as I get a transfer to a shop nearby
A few days later after winding my way round central London
I can’t believe it I moan as a bottle of rum and case of beer
Cloud my inability to get to anywhere
Brighton, I’m back, treat me well for my heart no longer has a home
London is no longer mine, this town is still keeping me down
So the only question I got to think about now is if not here then where can I go, feel at home and live a life of some ease?