and you never stop being afraid to fall by Bradley Mason Hamlin

the words got lost
I slipped
into a daydream
the way
her boobs
against my face
had a good poem
ready to be
like new wood
a totem to whittle
something to
at the universe
a poet’s
monkey claw
stumbling over
the brook of mind
but I got lost
along her curves
and the wet
of her kiss
spinning dials
of the animal wild
a preview
a small look
at where we came
the other world
we left
because of this.

Hustled Again by Brad Hamlin




“It is time.”



“No, I mean no! This isn’t what I was taught! This isn’t the deal!”

“It is the way.”

“Listen, one lifetime is enough! I’m not going back down there and do everything over again: the bone growing, the gut hunger, disappointment all the time, brushing all those fucking teeth, cleaning house and body and taking out garbage, getting up in the morning, going to work, all those drinks, drinking, drunk all the time, depression haunting the skin, rejection from people you don’t even like, the bad movies, bad music, bad jokes … Do you hear me? I can’t do it all over again! You live the life, you survive, you die, then you get the peace you deserve – the peace you earn!”

“Shall we review your record again?”

“Oh man, not that again!”

“Peace is not earned by living a common life. Peace is forged by learning.”

“Forged? You mean beaten and shaped like a sword under flame and hammer? That it? We’ve got to take the beating to learn something, to become something? Why?”

“Your soul is like a sword, yes. Each lifetime, if you learn in the positive aspect of soul development, you come closer to the light, then, one moment in the lifetimes of your experience, you simply become the light.”

“Bullshit! Why the hell aren’t I the light right now! Do you have any idea what I went through down there? Have you ever been to a poetry reading? Have you ever sat during a one-hour sermon that seemed like a lifetime? Do you have any idea how boring televised sports are – and no one seems to realize? Do you know how many commercials you have to listen to on the radio? Don’t I deserve a rest?”

“The rest comes for those who no longer require respite. Now go. It is time. You see the tunnel? Go there. It leads to the mother. Good luck.”

“Hey, it’s dark in there, bro. You sure it doesn’t lead down, like way down?”

“Are you scared?”


“You see? You still have things to learn.”

“Well … any advice this time around?”

“Sure, stay away from the coffee shop poets and TV evangelists and … try to remember.”

“Remember? Remember what?”

“Your gardener is a piece of the light. The ice cream man is a piece of the light. The librarian is a piece of the light. The woman working at the DMV is a piece of the light. The man hiding in the shadows is a piece of the light. The children starving in their mother’s arms in foreign lands are pieces of light. And, well, you too.”

“Huh? What? Then why the hell can’t I stay? You said …”

“Next time, perhaps, you will not have to be reminded.”


The End