2 poems — Jason Bredle

ARTIST STATEMENT

I write from the depths of Brooklyn in whatever
cafe will have me because my persistent
issues with chronic irritable bowel syndrome
and insistence upon not wearing
a diaper in public have led
to my ejection and banishment from most.
I take refuge in the McDonald’s
on Flatbush Avenue, with whom
I have an unspoken agreement that the staff
let me exist in their establishment
with the understanding
that should a moving being come within
five feet of me while I’m sipping
a McCafé and working on my little writings,
abandon will be forgotten, the gravest
wave of aggression will spring from me,
and I will not be responsible for my actions,
be they spork, McNugget
or switchblade related. It’s uncommon
to be approached, anyway, given
the offensive odor of my soiled unmentionables.
But such is the way of a writer.
We always refuse the diaper.
We pretend our way through our lives,
spiritualizing the things around us
and cataloging our favorites so others can partake.
We suffer for our art.
It seems like nobody understands the words
coming out of our mouths,
even though our staged reading
of part one of our dream journal
written from the point of view
of multiple racehorses was well-received
in front of the post office last week.
We carry switchblades.
We’ve spent countless hours dreaming
of what people will say about us when we’re dead.

***

RECENT WINNERS

Blasting out of bed
like rockets of productivity, we get aggressive
with toast in the kitchens of friends
of friends whose pads we’re crashing
while we have a really serious
amount of worms removed from our homes.
We feel nostalgic, but for what,
a question mark? A beekeeper’s widower
is only as good as the honey he excretes,
Uncle Grandma used to say,
and he was kind of like a grandma.
He wore a diaper and a robe, drove a Mercury
and spent every Sunday in church.
Congrats on the face accoutrements,
someone might shout
from the sidecar of a passing motorcycle.
You can scream wherever you want,
just watch out for Uncle Grandma,
he gets violent on that place.
I dunno. I think you could wear a mask,
walk by a crow and have it recognize the mask
as the same one you were wearing
when you implanted a chip
in a different crow a year and a half ago.
Uncle Grandma could get a replica of his face
tattooed on his face.
It would bend the spoon to the void,
if you know what I mean,
even if the elks have already been velveted.

***

Jason Bredle is the author of four books, most recently, Carnival, selected as an Editor’s Choice for the Akron Series in Poetry and published in September 2012 by the University of Akron Press.