Plasma by Bradley Paul

I have been looking forward to getting a copy of this book since the publication was announced. I’ve really enjoyed Bradley’s previous two books (my recommendation of The Obvious), and we went to undergrad together. He’s one of the major influences on my own writing. Plasma is my favorite book yet of his. Like much of Bradley’s writing in both poetry and for TV, the works use humor to get at truths. The images get weird, and it’s wonderful. You’re never bored reading Paul’s work. I had to pace myself so I could make it last two days. Buy here.

From “Palimpsest”

Bodies skinned / but for a purpose. / The vellum remembers / the calf it was.

From “Everyone’s So Smart and Funny”

Without resorting to Wikipedia I know / that archaeopteryx is a dinosaur bird. / I think it had feathers. / Most dinosaurs did, didn’t / I read? / I assume it laid eggs and preyed / on the eggs of others. / But already I’m guessing. / It’s shameful. / We should be able to write poems / without the internet.

From “What Kind of Decay Are You?”

Here’s a family that drinks Mr. Pibb. / Their what tastes different / and the microbes that eat their sweat / smell different when they die / and fall with the skin flakes / into the rugs and mattresses. / They look so similar but / the death of your skin is different / from the death of my skin. / Your home is a coffin of weird.

From “Shut Up, Poem”

I can’t remember if I wrote it or read it but / there was another poem saying / Everyone dies! Everyone dies! / like a whiny gothy cockatiel. / Hey, Poem: / we know.