It was like I was faking an accent.


by Chris Bullard

Selected by L.M. Cole

Struck dumb by 80’s Rock
I tried choosing
the right words
the right influences
the right structure
combining the classical
with the vernacular.
It was like I was faking an accent.

Then Monk walked in.
Breaking structure
challenging the ear
putting beats between the beats
I found being bad
could make you good.
No wrong words
if they set up the right ones.

Not telling stories, telling sounds
makes the words swing.

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.