Bradley Paul

What Kind of Vampire Are You?

The bald kind. The rat teeth kind.
Is it sad to sleep all that much
or is it nothing?

A pretty boy in pomade forever
with a pretty girl agog?
A boy by the ocean
all Ferris wheel and hair?

The black felt kind against
more black felt.
The scissors kind, the paper kind.
The kind who transports
all that dirt.
Everyone on the ship is dead,
and that's just fine with you.


What Kind of Emperor Are You?

Get some rocks.
Now stack the rocks.
Now seal the rocks.
Now run some water
over the rocks.
The piscinae fill
with your favorite fish.
Just like all the people.
There are fish
in their fishbowl eyes.

That's the kind of emperor you are.
Public works guy.
Crown of laurel guy.
Succeeded by a madman
so the people love you 
that much more.
Look at the coins they minted:
Your face on one side.
A fish on the other.
The fish that draws
a cart of palms.
The fish that bears a bridle.
So substantial and leaden
beside the wall of rosemary.
Look at all this water!

Bradley Paul

<em>Edit Poetry</em> Bradley Paul

Bradley Paul is the author of two books of poems: The Obvious, published in 2004 by New Issues Press, and The Animals All Are Gathering, which won AWP's Donald Hall Prize in Poetry and was published in 2010 by University of Pittsburgh Press. His work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Smartish Pace, O D Y, Iowa Review, and other journals. He lives in Los Angeles.