Review: The Bones of Us

J. BRADLEY & ADAM SCOTT MAZER
Poetry by J. Bradley | Artwork by Adam Scott Mazer
80 pages
8” x 9.8” perfect-bound trade paperback
ISBN 978–1–936919–27–7
First Edition
Review Copy: PDF version
YesYes Books
Portland, Oregon, USA
Available HERE
$18.00
Review originally published on 1/22/15


The Bones of Us by J. Bradley and Adam Scott Mazer is a beautifully grotesque study of the human condition. This book of graphic poetry takes you through a rough divorce and breaks apart human emotion into blunt yet relatable pieces — be it missing your ex-lover, aching more than you thought possible, seeking revenge and feeling anger burn inside you, or complacently accepting the life that now lies before you. The intense imagery created by the author and artist only furthers the depth and understanding of the poems themselves. This is especially essential in some of the shorter poems, such as:

Though she spreads like carrion,
the wake of your hands
will never know of her spoils.
(from “for the skeleton who wanted my ex-wife’s phone number,” p. 23).

In this poem (featured above), the artwork of a skeleton’s hand tearing across the page that the poem is written on reveals a woman’s rotting corpse beneath it. In this depiction, as well as in the handwriting font used, you are forced to feel the agony and see the racked state the author is in because of what his ex-wife has done to his outlook on his life. This entire work is an emotional journey through an incredibly trying time — a brief glimpse into the very real thoughts and desires of a divorcee.

Warning! This collection of poetry is not for the faint of heart. Proceed with caution.