Florida Man / Chris Bullard


Product Description

Florida Man

poems by

Chris Bullard

ISBN: 978-1-59948-902-5, ~40 pages, $12 (+ shipping)

Release Date: March 30, 2022

The Advance Sale Discount for this title has expired. For those who prefer to pay by check, the price is $15/book (which includes shipping) and should be sent to: Main Street Rag, PO BOX 690100, Charlotte, NC 28227-7001. 

PLEASE NOTE: Ordering in advance of the release date entitles the buyer to a discount. It does not mean the book will ship before the date posted above and the price only applies to copies ordered through the Main Street Rag Online Bookstore.

About The Author

A native of Florida, Chris Bullard lives in Philadelphia. He received his B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.F.A. from Wilkes University. Grey Book Press published Continued, a poetry chapbook, in 2020 and Moonstone Press recently published Going Peaceably to the Obsidian Knife, his chapbook of environmentally themed poetry. His work has appeared in recent issues of Nimrod, Muse/A Journal, The Woven Tale, Red Coyote, Cutthroat and The Offbeat.


Hang on for a wild ride with these tight, high velocity poems. Florida Man navigates contemporary life mortality-haunted but with the pedal to the metal, urgent to shed inertia of all kinds. The mash-up of theoretical physics, epistemology, and theology prismed through outhouses, dog sled teams, illusionists, and that screwball Internet phenom, Florida Man ensures you’ll be encountering the meaning of life from a fresh angle. Bullard is a native Floridian and I initially associated the title with the poet himself, forgetting what I already knew about the running gag of real but surreal doings of clueless Floridian males pratfalling through their lives, not infrequently criminally so, but I suspect I was not entirely wrong about that association since along with the layered observations and careful craft, one factor that most distinguishes Bullard’s poems is the dark humor, a mordant wit that is nearly always aimed to be inclusive of himself. ~Christine Gelineau


Chris Bullard’s Florida Man dazzles and provokes at every turn. This poet sees the everyday from a skewed and tremulously comic perspective in which “the Grey Goose bottles on the dining table/look like a scale model for the city of the future.” A man of broad learning and agile wit, Bullard contemplates profound, often grave, ideas (usually) playfully. In “Pick a Card, Any Card,” he explores the concept of random chance, opining that “god or some god number/is always rigging the outcome.” In “Monster,” Frankenstein’s creation laments his painful fate with tragi-comic irony, “Whine, whine: the rusty bolts, the mismatched parts.” Reader, be bold and dive into Chris Bullard’s disturbing scintillating poems. ~Lynn Levin, author of The Minor Virtues


Pedal to the Metal


Merging into the bumper
locked traffic of suburbanites
defaulting from office work
to domestic blahs murders
my RPMs. I’ve got to get
untracked from the regular
routes to grab momentum
as I jolt into the steady swing
of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” or
“Jumpin’ Punkins” set to loop.
I say driving without urgency
isn’t driving and going places
you’ve got to go isn’t going
anywhere worth the wear
and tear. Most find turn-offs,
but there’s no map-marked,
arc-lit exit up ahead for me.
I’m putting my foot down
to move faster, not to arrive,
a Citizen Car slipping around
the official signs of warning
with my speedometer proof
I’m shedding mortal inertia.
Those standing still think
I’m diminishing, but looking
out a different windshield
you’ll see me blue shifting
into whatever’s interesting
enough to be called eternity.
So nail my name to a cross
at the side of the Interstate
and let people wonder how
I could have leapt the asphalt
on a straightaway stretch of
highway. I wasn’t sleeping;
my eye was on something
far ahead and wondrous.



The Holidays


I guess candles weren’t a good idea. The soot
on my walls might have come from Lascaux.

In case the landlord asks, it’s an aurochs.
We don’t tell our creation stories to outsiders.

But the Grey Goose bottles on the dining table
look like a scale model for the city of the future,

so, maybe, I shot ahead a few New Years.
How did it all come out? Is the Archduke dead?

With all this seasonal time-traveling
it’s hard to keep a calendar in your head.

I’m just trying to remember whether
there’s something I needed to remember.

“Don’t go there,” is probably what
someone said, though it looks like I went.

I’m sure the past is a lot easier to live in.
You already know all the answers.





coughing through   meditations
can’t tell what   invisible stuff
I’m taking in from the air

might be   breathing complex
petrochemical discharges   might be
living off heavy metals

wish I could rest    down in the river mud
let water running   through my gills
calm me like morphine

any ambitious lungfish    I saw
playing that    evolutionary skin game
trading fins for legs

I’d say    buddy, you don’t know
how good    you’ve got it
snuggling in those equivocal depths

upstairs you start believing how clear
everything is    start thinking you’re sure
you can see what’s coming.


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