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The Idiot on Fire

Brad Casey

72 pages
Cover art: Marc O’Brien
ISBN 9781988355078
Spring 2016

it's like
an ocean

of butterflies

of me

Let Brad Casey’s poetry debut put 27,000 rays of light into your body and then take you through ‘the sads.’ From Leonard Cohen to Louis Riel; Instagram to the Tarot; Anne Carson to Carl Sagan; and everything in between (ghosts, shamans, mermaids and dogs), The Idiot on Fire is an exploration of love—in its many incarnations. In a world of violence, distraction and inevitable disappointment, the result is a text that blurs the line between subject and narrator, between love and home.


“Uncommon IRL intimacy is the blood that pumps through the heart of Brad Casey’s teasingly minimalist poems in The Idiot on Fire. In a continuous stream of historical tragedies, private urges, and sudden snacks, Casey — like a new Sappho — asks us to consider again how so much suffering and bliss can co-exist even, and especially, inside days where nothing else happens, except a conscious experience of being apart from another. It’s a long joke that sets our common hearts aflame. Consistently sensual even when it’s wry, this book is also a love poem to love poems and an ode to adored subjects.”
Monica McClure, author of Tender Data

“pomes abt
evreewher n evreewun n all th
beautee n sorrow a brillyant n up
lifting xperiens reeding ths great
Bill Bissett, legendary poet

“Brad Casey is a young man on a motorcycle with his long hair blowing in the wind. He oughtta have been born in the 70s, but he’s here, now, with a laptop of poems and a wandering spirit. From Mexico to New York City, he encounters hippie magic, nightmares of ghosts, fucking and falling in love, and a trail of url links and usernames.”
Sook-Yin Lee, broadcaster, musician, filmmaker, and actress

“Brad Casey’s work reads like a meal of summer fruit so ripe that it is nearly alcoholic; Each poem dangling so heavy that every word brings the fruit closer to earth, closer to a palm, closer to a mouth.”
Brooke Manning, Likely General


The Cascade – “Always displaying the curiosity and humour of someone who, despite obvious experience, has remained open and unjaded, Casey fills The Idiot on Fire with some of the most fervent and convincing contemporary love poems.”

Broken Pencil – “Brad Casey’s debut collection of poetry is a quick, honest, breath of fresh air.”

Queen Mob’s Tea House – Being Grateful for it All: A Conversation with Brad Casey

Maudlin House – Travelling Poetics with Brad Casey

Brad Casey

Brad Casey is a Montreal-based writer and photographer. His debut book of poetry, The Idiot on Fire, was published by Metatron Press in 2016. He is a former staff writer for VICE, and has had numerous articles published internationally and in dozens of languages. In 2014 he founded and was Editor in Chief of the limited-run literary journal The 4 Poets. His writing has appeared in Hobart, Peach Mag, The Puritan, BAD NUDES, GlitterMOB, and more. He has organized reading events and performed his work in Toronto, Montreal, New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Gothenburg. The Handsome Man (Book*hug), his first novel, was published in 2020.