PF detail from Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Beach Scene, Guernsey (Children by the Sea in Guernsey) - 1883;


Copyright © 2009 Pirene's Fountain.


All Rights Reserved.

Last updated:
April 2010


Currently an MFA student of poetry at The New School, Amanda J. Bradley is a poet and essayist living in Brooklyn. Her first book of poems, Hints and Allegations, appeared in September 2009 from NYQ Books. She completed her Ph.D. in English and American Literature at Washington University in St. Louis, specializing in twentieth century poetry. She teaches Composition & Rhetoric and tutors in the Writing Center at Yeshiva University in Washington Heights.



I. First Cup      
I am half human.
Do not speak to me
until my nostrils
fill with bitter bliss,
stunning me to attention,
until my tongue,
furry with that
black intensity,
loosens from a land of
silence and vision --
a world I quickly
forget, sipping that
thin, watery nectar,
that elixir, that brew.


II. Second Cup

Jolted, I join
the land of the living.
The first intimations
that I might survive
this day after all
sink in, begin to
take hold. I am
mastered. I need
more of this joyous
juice. Sipping sends
me into great
awakenings, into
wild imaginings.
You may now speak to me.


III. Third Cup

Sneaking up on me,
caffeine crawls
through my veins,
its slender tentacles
reaching my outer
limits, hinting at
potential frenetic
energy, potential
loss of control,
driving semi-spastic
movements of my limbs.
An utter melt down
or a bona fide eureka
is on the horizon.


IV. Fourth Cup

I reach a jittery crescendo.
Speech shoots forth
from my mouth
with freakish vehemence.
Words chase one another
like rollercoaster cars
racing downhill.
My forehead buzzes
as if my frontal lobe
were lit up, neurons
firing furiously.
Vociferous swilling
sweeps me into activity.
Oh glorious feeling!