Brad Johnson
2012 Chapbook Contest Winner


You said I was a genius who wrote beautiful poetry
but you were from Florida and never read Auden
or Stevens or Larkin. Then you said I was the best
you ever had but you'd only slept with two before me
and one was from Tallahassee and the other ended up
being gay. Before I had a chance to forget your face,
I met a woman who would talk over me; interrupt
my daydreaming with demands for money; refuse
to read anything I, or anyone else, wrote. She noticed
every wrinkle in my shirts and had me cleaning
her bathroom within a week. She was such a lazy,
inconsiderate lover. She looked at me with about the same
interest she read ingredients labels on pasta sauce jars
in the organic food aisle of the local supermarket.
We married in December, divorced in June.
If only I could recall which highway off ramp is yours,
I'd empty the moon to deliver its contents to your door.

© 2012 Brad Johnson

Author Biography

Born in Ann Arbor, MI and raised outside Baltimore, MD, Brad Johnson earned his MFA at the University of Miami. He is currently an Associate Professor at Palm Beach State College in Boca Raton, FL, where he lives with his wife, daughter and dog. The Dichotomy Paradox is his fourth chapbook. His poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times and has appeared in Nimrod, Permafrost, Poet Lore, The South Carolina Review, The Southeast Review, Southern Indiana Review, Willow Springs, and other journals.

Critical Response

"Johnson's style always puts pleasure before plunder: the pleasure of communication before the plunder of literary artifacts that might help to make his case. In this sense he remains a poet of his time and at the right time for his poetry. And we, his readers, remain the lucky beneficiaries."

Fred D'Aguiar, author of Continental Shelf (Carcanet, 2009)

©2013 Longleaf Press at Methodist University | Fayetteville, NC