Jason Bredle has published three books and three chapbooks, his poems have also appeared in journals such as Denver Quarterly and in anthologies. Mr. Bredle lives in Chicago and works in the patient-reported outcomes translation field. His fourth book, Carnival, has been published by The University of Akron Press in 2012 and encompasses a tilting and revolving world of animals, humans, and unusual encounters such as finding tiny people and towns in his bathtub. It is an entertaining read and I am happy to share below:
Suburban Love Song
Suddenly you realize you’re in the middle of it and it’s heartbreaking. You get a telephone call from yourself in the future telling you to run. All I want to know is if you’re mad at me. If I could, I’d tattoo your name on my skeleton. I love to look outside. I love to be outside. I love when you touch the back of my head. I love when you hold me in your arms. I hope summer never ends. It’s twilight. I hear children playing. I hear sprinklers, a lawn mower. Airplanes descend over the backyard onto the nearby runway. This is where we live. Hell at its most tranquil. To flee is life. To linger is death. The only thing wrong with this picture is everything. It’s the eve of a hostage situation. Will you do one thing for me tonight? Will you put on your favorite dress and sit with me?
This poem is one of the more “concrete” ones in the selection and I like it selfishly because I’ve been in search of a house to move into and I wonder with each house how I will really feel about it in the future. In this prose piece there is a telephone call from the future saying to run and if only that could happen for all of us. I love that the neighborhood is painted in the typical suburban light and then you find out airplanes land nearby and it is described as “Hell at its most tranquil” which sounds lovely and heartbreaking to me all at the same time. It’s a wonderful poem about life and living in a neighborhood and taking in the sounds and wondering about the present and the future.
Tiny Hurricane Season
My bathtub’s fishing industry has created a tiny community. They call themselves Tinyville. I’m a little disappointed, but I guess it’s the best they could do. At least they’re not like those dumb fucks in Tubtown. I know it sounds mean, but Tubtowners are a new breed of idiot. Yet they’re strong and athletic, which is why the Tubtown Tiny Champs continue to dominate the tiny baseball circuit. They destroyed the Kansas City Tiny Monarchs 13-3 last night. Did you see the game? I like to watch Tubtowners celebrate their success of their team and revel in their stupidity. They’re nothing like the citizens of Tinyville. Tinies are hard working, proud, and they’ve created a striking image of me that they worship, though I have no control over their lives. And that’s the thing. That’s why I’m so nervous about the upcoming tiny hurricane season.
This poem reminds me of the wild imagination I had as a child, that a whole world would exist in a bathtub and that its occupants might worship the giant that enters their world from time to time. It could also easily be a reference to God standing off to the side and watching the world at large unfold and not being able to do anything about the world’s surroundings, environment, and its creatures. Either way it is an entertaining poem that gets my imagination reeling again.
You forget so much, and it makes me sad. I like holding your hand on the Ferris wheel because it makes you happy. There’s one little dude in the Gravitron. A girl with a bloody nose is escorted from the Himalaya. Do you like corndogs? I’m committed to living and dying in the fast lane. I want to lose my wallet on the Hellbender while the operator enjoys a fried chicken dinner with a side of baked beans and coleslaw. I want to win an enormous stuffed pig and save the lives of hundreds of goldfish. Everywhere there are lights and music and children with blue lips. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to bury yourself in candy? I’m a little paranoid. If only I knew that in a few months we’ll never speak again. Now it’s the time to celebrate—wear white all week, wear red all weekend. After I die, I want my friends to take my corpse to all my favorite places. I want them to begin at the carnival.
This poem strikes me because I love carnivals and all the colors, lights, people. The view from the Ferris wheel is typical of what I’ve often seen, and the fact that the poet has someone he cares about by his side only to lose them later begs the question of what happened? As a reader, I search for some clue but there is none, just the idea of living in the moment, watching the children with blue lips and wondering about burying yourself in candy. The end makes me think of the movie Weekend at Bernie’s, since the writer wants his corpse, not ashes, brought to his favorite places. Plenty of visual moments in this piece which make my imagination soar again.
If you enjoyed this sample you may order a copy of Carnival by Jason Bredle in paperback for $14.95 at:
Thanks always for reading, please click in again tomorrow…