Two Poems by Bradford Gray Telford

BOMB 103 Spring 2008
Issue 103 103 Cover

Kate Moss Queries Her Counselor on The Nature of Love

in that the “Green Group” is facility shorthand for the sex addicts whom everyone feels
        can’t dress which may be a part of their problem—

a problem with a range of symptoms and behaviors treated by No-Fraternization
        Contracts and the Ten-Second Rule and volleyball—

which she enjoys—volleyball—

although why there’s a swimming pool is quite beyond her—

in that why Staff permits the Green Group pool privileges—

what with their doughy bodies—

their worn-out sex organs and their shattered families—

is one of only several disagreements she’d like to discuss with someone in

although she won’t because she wants everyone to think she’s interested in recovering
        and not causing problems or being a diva and—deep down—

she wants everyone to like her—


and wanting everyone to like her—they keep pointing out—

in their clever and at times roundabout ways—is part of her problem—especially since
        she hates everyone—

although during the last volleyball game they got so good she threatened to charter a bus
        so they could take on Betty Ford and beat their drunk ass—

and everyone laughed and loved her which she loved—

which of course made her hate them more which she hated which of course she loved—


To The Blue Group Marc Jacobs Explains His Haunting

by the fact that he is the one who regulates desire—

when I design a dress that looks as if it has been run over by a car

hundreds of thousands of women want nothing more than to be run over by a car

and now—look at him—god—

as the doctor’s wife shreds Kleenex into three neat piles—

as the record-exec winces at the words his father used on him lo those many years ago—

as a truck-driver picks at the scabs pinwheeling up his railroad-tie forearms like a pair of
        lace gauntlets—

and Marc Jacobs sits here amid these scraps and discards—

Marc Jacobs thinking that if America were a store the Blue Group would be its sale

this Blue Group full of factory irregulars and marked “as is”—

and this is sad—is tacky—but this is America—

there exists therefore the possibility of the absurd and the possibility of the miraculous—

so Marc Jacobs therefore feels compelled to tell the story of Madeleine Vionnet—

Madeleine Vionnet who invented the bias cut and who some believe invented the 20th
        century woman—

although why he now feels compelled to talk of Vionnet—to unspool and trick out this
        old yarn—it mystifies him

utterly but then so what

since Marc Jacobs finds himself in the middle of the American desert trying to rediscover
        what it is he does and how it is

he sees—

Fernand Léger once said that one of the finest things to behold in all of Paris was a
        Vionnet cutting—

Léger would skulk over to her atelier when he felt depleted in his own work—

and while Marc Jacobs feels depleted in his own work he now finds himself beholding
        these men and women of the Blue Group—

in what could be—in fact in what is—truly—when you think about it—

the rarified atelier of the American psyche—

where artisans and technicians refashion the soul—

where artisans and technicians try and invent the 21st century human—perhaps an
        American innovation and perhaps not—

of course probably not and yet at best

a prototype—and whether it’ll work or not that all depends—

so Marc Jacobs skulks back to an old story and Marc Jacobs begins—

Bradford Gray Telford has published or has work forthcoming in the Yale Review, Pleiades, Gulf Coast, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Columbia, Ninth Letter, Laurel Review, and Bloom. A doctoral candidate in literature and creative writing at the University of Houston, Telford recently won a Morton Marr Poetry Prize from Southwest Review and, for his work on the poetry of Geneviève Huttin, the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize. His translation of Huttin’s The Story of My Voice will appear in 2009 from Host.

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Satirizing the “late-capitalist late-patriarchy” in Catherine Lacey’s The Answers

The Kardashians by Brienne Walsh, Chelsea Knight & Elise Rasmussen
Kardashians 01

“They own their own image. In a world where image is everything, that’s a very serious kind of ownership.”

Jesse McLean by Pamela Cohn
​Still from Just Like Us

Celebrity, language, and the pull of popular culture.

Originally published in

BOMB 103, Spring 2008

Featuring interviews with Joseph Bartscherer, Steve DiBenedetto, Jonathan Lethem and Lydia Millet, Zachary Lazar, Harmony Korine, Tav Falco, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Read the issue
Issue 103 103 Cover