0 Menu

BAD POET: Poems by Brian Alan Ellis

$12.00 / On Sale

100 BAD POEMS ABOUT the pursuit of empty validation ★ waiting tables at restaurants ★ astrology ★ Brie Larson ★ love ★ flip phones ★ death ★ Carly Rae Jepsen ★ therapy ★ half-eaten bowls of refrigerated breakfast cereal ★ blood ★ sugar ★ sex ★ magic ★ what to do when confronting dead squirrels on the sidewalk ★ prison pen pals ★ Netflix ★ goths ★ professional wrestling ★ Danzig ★ Twitter ★ the “I’m no Superman” part from the theme song to the hit TV show Scrubs ★ loneliness ★ compulsively repeating the phrase “nightmare person” while self-reflecting in the shower ★ smoking weed laced with dog hair ★ childhood trauma ★ junk food ★ spiritually identifying as the Pigeon Lady from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York ★ anxiety ★ Facebook ★ creepily stalking 7-Eleven parking lots at night while wearing a trench coat and drinking a Slurpee ★ Uber ★ nightmares where you’re just watching TV with your stepdad ★ social distancing ★ ageing ★ substance abuse problems ★ the latest version of Microsoft Office ★ slow motion videos of trust falls gone horribly wrong ★ semi-shitty bicycles ★ tearing up during the cornier Rocky movies ★ chasing Jell-O shots with warm cans of PBR on the fourth of July ★ severely depressed giraffes ★ wet dreams about being mauled by dogs at Toys ’R Us ★ smiling knowingly while getting buried under burning piles of trash AND SO MUCH MORE!



“[Ellis’s] despair can feel like a performance. He seems to recognize that public persona is a sort of theater, but one with no lobby, no exits. So when viewing Ellis’s works, it’s worth asking, Is that real blood?”—The Rumpus

“I love [Bad Poet] for the same reason I love all of Ellis’s writing: it reminds us that we should never trust anyone who claims to be a good poet, a good writer, a serious artist. [His] genius lies in the fact that he’s not just making fun of himself; he’s making fun of all self-important artists, and while each of us hopes to be better than self-important, the depressing reality is that sometimes we are not. [He] looks closely at all of it—all of us—and then he laughs and lights a cigarette. I don’t know if we deserve him.”—LINDSAY LERMAN, author of I’m From Nowhere

“[Ellis] has a dissociate’s degree in existential malaise with a concentration in self-deprecation. Consider Bad Poetry his dissertation. It needs no defense.”—KIM VODICKA, author of The Elvis Machine

“[Bad Poet] made me laugh out loud multiple times. Had some great twists and turns. Lots of life to it.”—BUD SMITH, author of Double Bird

“[Ellis] does not write bad poetry. His poems cut swiftly to his and our baser instincts with more genuine honesty than nearly anything else being written. In fact, with this collection, he has written his most complex and deeply moving work to date. The result is a collection of poems that question the reality of an easy or normal life while, in the same breath, harboring that small refrain of hope rising up beneath the hurt for the hearts of anyone willing to listen. My advice is to do just that—listen closely, and learn what Ellis is truly offering.”—Enclave

“[Ellis] catches lightning in this revelatory, hollow-eyed collection that keeps delivering twitchy, anxiety-bound miracles of unsolved miseries, abyssed connections, and posts with 0 likes.”—ALEXANDRA NAUGHTON, author of a place a feeling something he said to you

“With [Bad Poet], Ellis is not only confessing, he is acting as rescuer, a liberator who is battle-scarred and full of insight, a voice to friends in need. His statement that he might seem ‘easy going’ to some of his readers is his way of directly speaking to the possibility that, in the midst of his word play and satire, he hopes his larger message isn’t lost: yes, the world is difficult, life is hard, but you are not alone. Ellis is the host standing in the doorway saying, ‘Come on in, join the club; we have jackets.”—SHELDON LEE COMPTON, author of Sway

“[Ellis] is a bad poet, but not because he’s bad at poetry. It’s because he’s defying the preconception of the poet as someone whose lofty concerns aren’t subject to the demands of survival. It’s because we don’t conceive of the poet as someone who wakes up in a pool of urine of indeterminate origin, rolls over and pulls at your heartstrings with their beautiful words. He’s a reconciliation of two metaphysical realms that we have thought of as separate since Plato—the dirty, sensible realm and the pure, intellectual realm of thought.”—Heavy Feather Review

“[Bad Poet is] well-formed and incisive. Ellis knows exactly the right number of words he needs to make you feel something you didn’t feel before you read them… juxtaposing the superficial and the profound in such a way that he seems to be constantly working on two levels. His depression is hilarious [and] his anxiety brings joy.”—CHARLENE ELSBY, author of HEXIS


140 pages // Paperback


$4 shipping (United States) // $7 shipping (Elsewhere)

E-book available at Amazon.com


BRIAN ALAN ELLIS is the author of several books, including Sad Laughter (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2018). His writing has appeared at Juked, Hobart, Fanzine, Monkeybicycle, Electric Literature, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Funhouse, Heavy Feather Review, Yes Poetry and Queen Mob’s Tea House, among other places. He waits tables in Florida.