Two poems by Chris Bullard


Free Willy as a Cryptic Reference to Free Will

We freed it

from a sandbar a kennel insolvency an evil stepmother,

but the damned thing refused

to swim out to sea bark write thank-you notes marry.

It only rolled its anime eyes

waiting for us to feed it.

It was as useless as a football bat.

Fortunately, we had the mind-controlling parasites.

After a few applications, it

looked for a job sought a variance rolled up its sleeves sued.

Self-respect education hope a belief in a higher power

was all it took.

We’d done the right thing

the mind-controlling parasites assured us.


Robot Old Age Companion

I took the machine from the box.

It sat on the floor and hummed.

I attached limbs to its outlets.

It offered me a hug.

I gave it receptive devices.

It asked if I wanted milk with my tea.

I slid a mask over the machine.

I kissed the mask.

I took the machine to bed.

Darling, I moaned, you’re the best.

I put a gun in its prosthetic hand

with the barrel against my chest.

Only then did the machine begin to understand

what our relationship was all about.


Chris Bullard is a native of Jacksonville, FL. He lives in Collingswood, NJ, and works for the federal government as an Administrative Law Judge. He received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and his MFA from Wilkes University. Plan B Press published his chapbook, You Must Not Know Too Much, in 2009. Big Table Publishing published his second chapbook, O Brilliant Kids, in 2011. WordTech Editions has accepted his book of poetry, Back, for publication in November of 2013.

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