poem index


Bradley Paul

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Bradley Paul was born in Baltimore in 1972. He received a BA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He is the author of The Animals All Are Gathering (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010), winner of the 2009 Donald Hall Prize in Poetry, and The Obvious (New Issues, 2004), winner of the 2004 New Issues Poetry Prize. Also a screenwriter, Paul lives in Los Angeles. 

by this poet

I am arguing with an idiot online.
He says anybody can write a poem.
I say some people are afraid to speak.
I say some people are ashamed to speak.
If they said the pronoun "I" 
they would find themselves floating
in the black Atlantic
and a woman would swim by, completely 
dry, in a rose chiffon shirt,
Grendel appears as a wolf in the kitchen
Grendel appears as a shark
beneath the dining room floor
Grendel appears as a monster named Grendel

Might I have some money? asks a man
and you turn: is this the monster?
Here, says a nun, let's watch TV together
I knew and liked your mother

Grendel Grendel Grendel