Bradley David is a writer living in California. His work appears in Dispatches from the Poetry Wars, Beyond Queer Words, Stone of Madness, Seisma Magazine, and Porridge Magazine. His piece, ‘Tides of Isolation’, can be found in EPOCH Issue 01: Beginnings, available to purchase here.
Where do you find inspiration?
The creature of inspiration is a curiosity I enjoy and I try not to examine its origins too deeply. If a poem or story idea wakes me in the middle of the night, I will write it down, but I’m not at all disappointed if that process is not replicated the following night. So rather than trying to source inspiration, I prepare for its arrival. I’m pretty good about stopping in my tracks to take a quick note. I suppose, then, inspiration is about being a silent witness to my internal and external environments. It’s also about being vulnerable and accepting that my vulnerabilities, if I’m willing to tap into them, may just resonate with someone who is craving that kinship.
I think mindful awareness has been important to my work. I like to make space for observations to enter my awareness, jot them down, especially the tiniest quirks, and then let them marinate and ruminate on their own somewhere. When we’re constantly full of chatter, analysis, and judgment, we have to work a lot harder at rewinding back to particular moments to conduct the fine archaeological dig of subtlety. When I’m frantic or blustering, I become forgetful and blundering. I find that the fine detail has been weathered off the face of the moment and I have to employ imagination and research to do the restoration work. And, honestly, I don’t have a great imagination. In my more mindful and present moments, I can sort of float above everything around me and watch the pieces interact. It’s simply an open curiosity for taking in richness and detail. And it should be said that, just because I see something interesting, doesn’t mean I know what to do with it. After all these years I still feel like a collector (hoarder?) of inspiration who often lacks the faculties to bring them to fruition. Occasionally a piece of writing unfolds quickly, but more often than not it’s a difficult and frustrating slog. Sometimes I’m not sure I should be doing it.
Why do you write Creative Non-Fiction?
I’ve been writing non-fiction/creative non-fiction longer than other forms. More recently, long-form fiction, poetry, and hybridity have arrived rather unexpectedly. I have no formal poetry training and I really don’t know what I’m doing with it; so, when I can incorporate poetic lyricism into my non-fiction, it feels like kind of a sweet spot these days. As I mentioned in response to the previous question, I don’t have a tremendous imagination. I wish I did. Creative non-fiction allows me to be playful with what I witness or participate in in real life or harvest from memory. Good thing, because my brain is not generating a speck of sci-fi or fantasy.
What are you reading now?
I’m simultaneously reading Do Not Go On by Bryan Furuness and Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong. Visually, I’m very drawn to pottery right now.
Where can we follow you and find your work?
I’m rather averse to social media these days. My sleepy Twitter account is @strangecamera. On Instagram @mystrangecamera I post constraint project images. It’s purely a space for flexing my brain beyond the black and white text of my daily writing practice, into the world of color, texture, form, quirk, etc. Within each mini-project, there is one, if not several, visual constraints that force me to look for connections among disparate objects and places. When my writing website is launched, I’ll announce on Twitter and Instagram.