The Little BIG Book of Go Kill Yourself

by Eirean Bradley

Publication Date: September 2013
Trade Paper; 110 pages; 4.37″ x 7″ ISBN 978-1-938753-08-4


one day
I will stop punching my liver in the face
for mistakes my mouth makes

Eirean Bradley finds poetry in the dark corners of the human experience and lights it up with prose. His material is bold; his words authentic. Bradley knows that to correctly convey the humor of the gallows, it is essential to have had your head in a noose. This collection has more than its share of rope burns.

The Little BIG Book of Go Kill Yourself is a small book with a big message, one that will linger in your head and heart long after you’ve turned the last page.

Selections from The Little BIG Book of Go Kill Yourself

the population of glendale, az dropped by one person for nine hours in the spring of 1989

the population of glendale, az dropped by one person for nine hours in the spring of 1989

when I was 13
I committed suicide.

this was not an attempt.

I popped all 87 sominex
that I had stolen from albertsons
one at a time.

I let my tongue memorize
the smoothness of each capsule.

my mouth so full,
that even if a cry for help was to
no one would have heard it.

I tucked myself in
and laid the note across my chest
under my not-trembling chin
after the proofreading was done.

I did not want to be misunderstood.

I did not want sloppy syntax
to cause undue pain.

I slipped off silently.

I did not dream.

when my eyes opened the next day,
relief was not the correct word,
neither was regret.

I hid the note
and joined my parents at the
breakfast table.

I said very little, but was not
I made as little eye contact as

I didn’t want my father
to see the new man I had become.

there are rules to everything

there are rules to everything

us skater kids
used to make fun of
the way the rich kids would slit their

it was just so obviously

lose the keys to the jetta for a
and brittany would show up to
biology on monday
with a paper thin pinkish cry for
wrapped around the underside of
her wrist
as dainty as a charm bracelet.

her friends would be dinner theater
productions of concerned.
for about a week.

the gossip would fly like darts.
for about a week.
so lame.

daph came back from the hospital
we threw a house show at maria’s
dad’s house
while he was graveyarding at the

as we passed the joint around in the
living room
daph’s hoodie slid up her arm
and we saw her scar
thick and angry
stitches black and obviously cheap
zigzagging from the meat of her
to the crux of her elbow.

mikey let out a low whistle,
several of us nodded in quiet

we all agreed.
daph was punk as fuck.

john q. shotgun

john q. shotgun

let’s be honest.
lately we’ve been slipping.

through mornings when it seems
like beautiful and ugly
are two separate dialects
and in the shark-infested silk of sleep
we lost the ability to be bilingual.

lately we’ve been slipping.

through days
when a random act of human
kindness seems
so unlikely
you could give me your fist
to the ash of my jaw
and I would call it
honest human touch.

give me a crowbar to my spine
and I’d call that a marriage proposal.

lately we’ve been slipping

through days
when we go to every church
within a 30-mile radius
and place our phone number on
every podium
along with a handwritten note,
in perfect penmanship
that says
pretty please.

it has always seemed like god was too
busy to hear us, but
I have this theory.
nietzsche was wrong.
god ain’t dead.

he’s just insanely busy.

on the gates of heaven
there is a help wanted sign
“associate christ needed”
“must have excellent customer
service skills”
“the ability to multitask”
“and thou hast no idea of the
meaning of the word paperwork”

just practice your phone skills
I’m sorry
I’m sorry
I’m sorry
I’m sorry

god is in cheap sweat-stained khakis
bent over a plywood desk
praying to himself in fractured
that we will take the initiative
and bless our own goddamned

god created us in his image
so he wouldn’t have to do all the
fucking work.

we used to understand this.

at 10 years old
we let our hearts birth across our
like public square chrysanthemums

at 14
we discovered that the veins in our
wrists could tell time
and it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere.

at 16
we figured out the quickest way
to prove that you have a heart is to
break the motherfucker.

and at 17
we began our descent into
an infinite array of dimly lit bars and
coffee shops
like a bargain basement orpheus
armed only with a flashlight
and a dime store mirror
looking for one honest man
and making sure that the reflection
that greets us
is not our own.

and at 36
I’ll admit it.
I’m a slow learner
but every trophy and tourniquet
has led me scathed to your doorstep
and I’m not afraid to say it.

I love you.

you are my religion.
we are what turns the word
hallelujah into a verb.

and we remember that
god will cash in his sick days
and turn the stereo to 10
and we won’t know the words to the
but we’ll sing along anyway
like there are ten thousand
pentecostal choirs sewn
into the rough hem of throats

and we will be holy
and we will be bulletproof
and we will be clean
and we will finally be good enough
and we will be screaming as we sing
and screaming as we sing
and screaming as we sing.