Today's poem is "All the Ape-Gone Songs"
from You Don't Know What You Don't Know

Cleveland State University Poetry Center

John Bradley is the author of Love-In-Idleness: The Poetry of Roberto Zingarello, Terrestrial Music, and War on Words. He also edited Atomic Ghost: Poets Respond to the Nuclear Age, Learning to Glow: A Nuclear Reader, and Eating the Pure Light: Homage to Thomas McGrath. The recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, and two NEA Fellowships, he teaches at Northern Illinois University.

Other poems by John Bradley in Verse Daily:

Books by John Bradley:

Other poems on the web by John Bradley:
"Parable of the Indeterminate Cave"
Three poems

About You Don't Know What You Don't Know:

"Reading John Bradley is like holding a flashlight and staring into the abyss. His poetic vision is, by turns, terrifying, humorous, and illuminating. Each poem conveys something of the psyche of contemporary life, the texture of our own peculiar madness, where the senseless seems normal, and logic but a figment of one’s imagination. In this new collection, Bradley clearly establishes himself as one of the premier prose poets in our country today."
—Nin Andrews

"Bradley’s You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know reinvigorates parables, legends, and lists to both familiarize and destabilize sacred and secular histories. By turns surreal and humorous, chilling and strange, Bradley’s work engages pop culture and politics, making a rare and intelligent music. Bradley’s linguistic prowess will have you reading these poems aloud at parties."
—Denise Duhamel

"Amid the current prosperity of the prose poem, there are masters responsible for the rise of the form and Bradley is one of them. The result is a poetry that goes beyond the tradition by finding different approaches toward revelation and mystery. This book proves that a lifetime commitment to one’s art is also the road to a language where the prose poem is the center of all things. Reading this book honors those who have changed poetry, but also welcomes those who are about to be transformed by encountering the idea of ‘paragraph.’"
—Ray Gonzalez

"‘I once dated a woman who had a miniscule role (she bit the head off a marigold) in a movie that was never released but gained cult status mostly because it was never released.’ Thus speaks a narrator in John Bradley’s You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know, who gives hints at the shenanigans we might expect—like another narrator (or is it the same guy?) who lives in a sealed cave with Madonna, who, unfortunately has no interest in sex. In the hands of a lesser poet, these scenarios would be merely amusing, but by now Bradley has become a master of creating modern parables that take on the superficiality and narcissism of our personal and public lives. No one escapes his scrutiny. And for us, that’s a good thing."
—Peter Johnson

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