Reality Bytes is a book of short poems, some just oneliners, neatly summed up by its punning title.

Canvey film-maker Brad James, 33, has much to say about the struggle for existence, “the reality”, lived by many people in Cameron’s Britain, including himself. Most of the poems are quite pithy, hence the “bytes”. At the same time, Brad wants to convey the way life can bite us all in the backside.

At times, his world vision is grim by any standards. “Death mocks birth/What am I worth? What are we worth?” he pleads despairingly. Most of the time, however, he is more challenging than despairing.

“I want to make people think, not just to be entertained,” he says. Then Brad, whose conversation is full of questions, goes on to ask: “Does that make me sound a bit like Russell Brand?”

Brad began to write his poem sequence in 2012, when the country was caught up in Olympic fever.

“There was all this great excitement, and everyone was saying how great it all was, but they didn’t see the underbelly, did they? There are all these people struggling and not having their full potential tapped and still living with their parents when they are 30. And they’ve got this sedentary lifestyle.

“They all think they can smother everything in technology, but behind all that technology, people are struggling. Like, why are they shutting down the NHS?”

The indignant questions about modern society come tumbling thick and fast as Brad talks. In his attempt to address the questions, Brad decided to dump technology and go for a low-tech approach.

“I took a notebook along the seafront and when an idea came to me, I wrote it down,” he says. Many of the poems in Reality Bytes appear to have been written on the move.

Brad himself lives a life of almost monk-like frugality. He appears never to have done a conventional job, avoiding distractions so that he can concentrate all his power onwriting and film-making.

“I’m a writer, that’s what I am,” he says. “I live with my parents, so that helps.”

He does scrape a small income by working on films, made by his friends.

“There’s a group of us, and we all help each other out. Like, tonight I’m doing sound editing for a friend’s film.”

Hs own oeuvre includes Benchmarks, shot in Leigh Library Gardens, about “a woman’s struggle after being made redundant by the NHS”.

He has completed the script for a full-length spoof horror comic. It has attracted the interest of Ewen Macintosh, who plays the overweight accountant in the Office.

“He really likes the script,” says Brad, who is currently in search of financial backing to make the film.

Brad is also working onamagnum opus novel, the Fate of Orital: Volume One: The Return of the Mighty Ones.

Some of the poems in Reality Bytes are not much longer than the title of that novel. “Poetry can do things that films and novels can’t do,” says Brad.

“I like to work from multiple platforms. Poems can say things more succinctly than films or novels.”

The poems in Reality Bytes are a response to the condition of Britain, as Brad sees it (the line “a perpetual problem of the chained masses” is typical). But they are also highly personal – just how personal, Brad himself may not be fully aware. The opening lines of the title poem, Reality Bytes, are a giveaway. “Reality bytes and illusion stings...Staying motionless as an aching heart sings.”

Brad says: “I met this school teacher who said she wanted to use my poems in her classroom. She thought that they could get through to young people and their issues in a way that other stuff couldn’t.”

ý Reality Bytes is available from Amazon for £4.60.