The Obvious by Bradley Paul

Bradley and I also went to undergraduate school at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga together.  I'm enjoying rereading the work of old friends, it seems.  The Obvious was Bradley's debut collection, and won the New Issues Poetry Prize in 2004.  There are so many startling, surprising images here, and I laughed out loud on several of them. Buy here.

 

from "Why I Left Nepal"

There are some lakes in Nepal that hate me. / I think, "Nepal, how you do terrify me to the quick." / I lie down, as one might, in a lake pink with evening. 

 

from "Instructions on Macbeth"

Smidge the forest a smidgen to the left. / Nail it. Good. Again. It's leaning. / Or is that you? Whatever. / At least now we can see.

 

from "Seventh of Twelve"

Truthfully, the Minotaur usually slept. / The centaurs had a still / and were getting to be quite savvy. / They had to live here too / so they kept things toned down. / It was only while the Poet was here, / they said, "Keep up appearances, / Poets talk!" And unless he saw / some real wages-of-sin spectacle, / some truly woolly-bully penitence, / we were liable to get real supervision.