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Friday, 1 April 2011
Featured Poet: Brad Bard
Born-again, beefy, and twice recipient of the Bronze Star for Conspicuous Gallantry in the Face of Homebased Terrorism (CGFHT), Bard knows that poetry is freedom with a capital F. He first came to prominence after the Iraq War, when, due to poor eyesight, he was unable to be shipped out, but instead uncovered illegal foreign poetry in his local New Mexican bookstore. Establishing the "Paperbacks not Wetbacks" scheme, he burnt all Latin American publications he could find, including those by Seneca. Bard, upon release from prison for arson, published his first collection, No Fire Is Green Or Red, Just Blue, which promptly won the Exxon-Mobil Prize for Best First American Poetry Book By A White Person.
Bard has been Visiting Writer of Creative Language For Paper or Electronic Devices at the Salt Lake Bible University and Technical College, North Carolina Branch, specialising in long-distance MFAs and phone calls. He has read his poetry across the country, especially in Alaska, Georgia and some of Florida. Bard is known for refusing to carry a passport - his famous poem "travel light and speak white" - won him the National Rifle Poetry Awards.
Bard's poetry is all about plain-speaking, clear imagery, metaphor, and Jesus. He believes that "nature belongs to me and you to be killed and used." While I tend to be a left-leaning bleeding-heart limey-loving Canuck, I have risked all, and especially the ire of that guy who keeps emailing me at three in the morning because being a famous poet is really really boring without a personality disorder, by publishing his Christian Poetry here today. But, I have to. I heard a voice and it said unto me: If you believe in God, mate, you better not hide that under a bushel.
Bard is currently on trial, and we hope to raise money for his appeal. Surely, hitting a funny-looking different type of person with a poetry stick (baseball bat my ass) can't be a bad thing, especially if one is reciting "slam poetry" at the same time?
The Bigger Sky
Sometimes the dawn arrives like Jesus, surprising and ghostly,
asking to be followed. So, I follow.
I believe in such nuances of light. My four-by-four
kicks up the dust we all go back to.
Arriving at the place in the desert where the sky is as big as war,
I stoop to cup the ground to listen.
I can hear the Indians that had to be buried nearby, crying
their tomahawks, and mocassins.
Then a squawk, like some preternatural memory of Abaddon,
or Dallas. Always, in these quarters, it is best to kill
the figure who holds out the hand of peace like fear.
Being strong now, I shoot the lizard in its lone thrill
of moving across the sun-baked morning. Clouds, tracer-
bullets, flood overhead, and overhead.
Once we had to tap a lover of Obama-men to lesson him;
the air is lung-rich with unbibled dead.
poem by Brad Bard; reprinted with permission of the author