Suburban Love Song

Suddenly you realize you’re in the middle of it and it’s heartbreaking. You receive 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?



Jason Bredle is the author of two books and four chapbooks of poetry: A Twelve Step Guide (New Michigan Press, 2004); Standing in Line for the Beast (New Issues, 2007); Pain Fantasy (Red Morning Press, 2007); American Sex Machine (Scantily Clad Press, 2009); Class Project (Publishing Genius, 2009); and The Book of Evil (Dream Horse Press, 2010). Individual poems have appeared in the Knopf anthology Poems About Horses, 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day from Random House, TriQuarterly, and other places. He lives in Chicago, where he works in the patient reported outcomes translation field.

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Wetlands

Every time I devise a plan, I realize it’s going to fail the moment I enact it. I think I’m in love with you but I don’t think you’re in love with me. I like walking with you across the wooden footbridge. Do we hold hands? Around us we hear the noise of insects and birds I wish I knew the names of. Is the sun low in the sky? Tell me the angle of our shadows. I feel sad but it’s the sad you feel when you realize the world itself is intrinsically sad and you want to drink tea with it while holding a neighbor’s cat hostage in a small mountain home heated only by a stove. Do I sound crazy? Can you believe I used to hate the wetlands? I thought they were boring. My plan had always been to get as far away from them as possible. It was even my quote in my high school yearbook: “My plan is to get as far away from the wetlands as possible. Stay sweet, don’t ever change.” What will become of us? There’s a gazebo here. Inside, we huddle together until you pee into my cupped hand. It feels warm. I don’t really know what happens after this. Do I already feel loss? It is the end of one life, it is the beginning of another.




Jason Bredle is the author of two books and four chapbooks of poetry: A Twelve Step Guide (New Michigan Press, 2004); Standing in Line for the Beast (New Issues, 2007); Pain Fantasy (Red Morning Press, 2007); American Sex Machine (Scantily Clad Press, 2009); Class Project (Publishing Genius, 2009); and The Book of Evil (Dream Horse Press, 2010). Individual poems have appeared in the Knopf anthology Poems About Horses, 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day from Random House, TriQuarterly, and other places. He lives in Chicago, where he works in the patient reported outcomes translation field.

Family Feud

Quilting a flower is easy. When beating someone with a musical instrument, never underestimate the piccolo. It’ll surprise you. I used to have imaginary conversations all night long with women I loved. The next morning was depressing. It’s the typical story. What begins as a fun family outing quickly dovetails into bitter resentment and anger. Who takes onions and Grand Marnier to the beach? Sometimes I call the neighbor’s cat C.R. Bottomsly, international super spy, and we take it from there. I think the cat likes it. We happened upon a restaurant that serves the best bowl of goo. They say at the moment of death to carry everyone’s suffering. I’ve seen a man shoot a cat in the head with a revolver. Are we watching a fight scene, an abusive relationship or a home movie? Richard Dawson sort of creeps me out. You need to wrap your medicine in bread. They say after death our experience will be choiceless. I would’ve written this sooner but last month I broke all my fingers and thumbs in a wide-receiving accident.



Jason Bredle is the author of two books and four chapbooks of poetry: A Twelve Step Guide (New Michigan Press, 2004); Standing in Line for the Beast (New Issues, 2007); Pain Fantasy (Red Morning Press, 2007); American Sex Machine (Scantily Clad Press, 2009); Class Project (Publishing Genius, 2009); and The Book of Evil (Dream Horse Press, 2010). Individual poems have appeared in the Knopf anthology Poems About Horses, 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day from Random House, TriQuarterly, and other places. He lives in Chicago, where he works in the patient reported outcomes translation field.