Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Could No Longer Contain Themselves

Elizabeth J. Colen

John Jodzio

Tim Jones-Yelvington

Mary Miller


Me!

Buy it here!

Sean Lovelace reviews Jason Bredle

THE COVER:

It was the cover made me want to buy the book, not those claptraps at HTML Giant who kept kicking the book around like a tennis ball, bop to bop, fleckled blows of ass, etc. Usually it is HTML. I $$ a lot of books because I read about them on HTML. It’s a fucking sickness. I like HTML, to read it. I do. Sometimes I write there, but it isn’t so good. Later tonight I will drink 8 beers.

But here, now today, I dug the cover, a kid vomiting. Look at that kid vomit. BLAAGGHHH. Ha, ha. And then one day, a while ago, maybe like that awful, awful February,  I “go to see a man about a dog” and this man tells me, “That kid ain’t vomiting. He’s bobbing apples.”

Well, shit. People, pay attention. This is a lesson. Things are not what they seem.

A man walked in and ate 48 tacos

What was he talking about?

What do I talk about?

A kid bobbing apples. In Ireland they call it “snap apples,” which sounds sort of sexual, to me.

A medium apple is about 80 calories.

A medium car is a funny thought.

World’s top apple producers are China, United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy.

When an apple is sliced in half the seeds form a pentagram, motherfuckers! AHHHHHHHHHHH

It’s all satanic. And Pagan. And maybe Roman.

Rome invades up in your land and always brings an apple tree. These Romans, they surround things or like your soul, etc. and they say, “Hey, eat this apple or I’m going to eat you.” And so you eat the apple, but that’s not humiliating enough. I mean it gets bored watching people eat apples. I think. So they toss the apples in a pig trough or cesspool or whatnot and say, “Git them apples out that, with your teeth!”

Oh, the hilarity. And, you know, you’re in that position there, kneeling, very easy for a Roman to lop your dern head right off.

So, yeh, you bob the apple. So these people look ‘vintage’ to me and possibly you could buy a poem at a Salvation Army.

Eons pass like gas.

The popularity of bobbing apples has waned because we are a bunch of sissy people, squeamish people, sad, sad people who can’t even change our own oil and think bugs are “gross” without any real examination of the thought and we hate snakes (Sweet DH Lawrence poem here) and don’t like spit/saliva near buckets of water with someone’s head and hair all in that–In a word, it’s NASTY to bob apples.

That is obvious.

Bob them apples, then an orgy!

An orgy will never save a relationship,
it can only enhance an already meaningful relationship
is a sentence I hope to use someday, either to console a friend
who considers taking his wife to an orgy
a way of saving his failing marriage
or to convince the person I love
that our relationship
is so meaningful that to participate in an orgy
would only enhance what we already have.
It would! It so really would!
Justin’s situation is completely different!
They’re unhappy and doomed to divorce but us,
us! Look at us!

Let’s talk theme: kid don’t even want to bob the apple. You make him bob the apple, he has no idea why. Now he’s all wet-faced and wet-clothed and newspaper dye on his hands and for what? A fucking apple. Dad shaves his head and Mom makes him wear the CANDY CANE SHIRT. It’s one of those things adults lead kids into, those shirts, this apple bobbing like a damn DRINKING BIRD, and that is why Jason Bredle approves this cover. It represents Bredle’s epigrammatic observations of our daily plunge. We adults are kids and kids as adults some and we are bobbing for something real in this watery existence, floaty existence, don’t know what we are doing on our knees with our heads down in the water with our heads bobbing for some goal we can’t grasp, can’t understand, can’t know what we are doing or why, and what if we do get this thing–what? It’s a fucking existential apple? Oh, I am talking theme now. I am slobbering water and shaking my wet head like a dog. Let’s move on to the THE PRESS.

THE PRESS:

You know I glow Magic Helicopter. Hell, they put out Daniel Bailey’s DRUNK SONNETS.

[My interview with Daniel where I ask this pertinent question: Several students at BSU (where you were recently a student, and I am now a prof) told me you worshiped Satan. It seems to be an English dept rumor among the undergrads. Is that true? If so, how does your Satanism affect your writing, if at all?]

Aren’t helicopters already magical?

THE TITLE AND THE NAME:

The title of SMILES OF THE UNSTOPPABLE is too large. It fucks with the vomit apple kid. That makes me sad. Next edition, move that title out of there, folks. The greater glory is the vomit boy.

The name JASON BREDLE is OK, because (though clearly too large, not occluding the vomit apple boy child).

Odd sentence I just wrote there. Odd, odd. The punctuation is offensive.

Did I ask you to ask me what I thought the title meant? Why don’t you ask me what other things mean? For example, a decaying laugh or an invisible touch or a dappled odor of cheese or a growling sky or a red soda bottle rolling on granite or a wet footprint or a sexual tension in an elevator or an old, old, crippled rainfall of jelly beans or swimming from Paraguay to Mexico or a Velveeta sunrise or a river, just a river rolling by, the way it suffers and rejoices, the extreme ellipticisms of water or many brandies, many, many alcoholic forgettings, stitched together in light and ripples and Smiles of the Unstoppable or thoughts and potato pebbles and kisses and cackles at our Boston Harbors, our antiseptic lives we don’t understand why clean or dirty or in-between slobbering bobbing apples so much we vomit.

In other words: shut the fuck up.

DOES BREDLE HAVE POEMS ONLINE I COULD SAMPLE BEFORE I MAKE THE BIG DECISION, THE OH MY GOD DECISION TO BUY THIS BOOK IN THIS TIME OF DEPRESSION AND STRIFE AND ALSO I WONDER WHY WE WERE EVER PLACED ON THIS EARTH?


What are you, stupid?

What are you, stupid?

What are you, stupid?

What are you, stupid?

What are you, stupid?

and so on.

THE FIRST POEM:

We will now examine the first poem of the collection! Attention, lovers of first poems, those that love poems, those that love, physically love, grasp and choke and thrust, physically make love to, love the idea or ideas shall we say of first poems, of the long vowels and nasal coughs of first poems, the doubts and ambivalences, the dips and uprisings and bathtubs, the evoked idioms and slaughtered idiots, the implied desideratum of these first, very first poems, their firstly way, the happy accidents of impeccably varied or possibly even nonexistent meters, meter maids, chicken thighs, or shall we say heart beats or even:

…something you once wrote on a piece of paper

and tore into smaller pieces

and threw from the observation deck of a tall building…

And Excuse me. Let’s move on. Tidy? No. Titty? No. Title. Title? Yes:

RED SODA

Sticky, frothy, bubbly, fizzy, fucked–we dive right in. Ah, RED SODA, the thing, the taste, the opening poem.

Red Soda tends to stain.

Calories 100, carbs 25.

Communications, missed communications, attempts at love, shredded. Flailing or litter. In many ways, Bredle’s book as centrifuged Chekhov, a close examination of our inabilities to truly communicate, to be together and be alone, to nod our heads while we misunderstand. Bredle opening his book and stating here, here are shreds of torn paper I am tossing into the windly ways and I hope you find one, I hope you find one and glow that shred, that little code or puff of smoke or word, and I hope it says something, but if it doesn’t say something I tried. The people here try. They are not sure why. But they try. Woke up, got out of bed…

and I want to run away run away run away
but I didn’t know why I was feeling this way

For this reader–me, the man with the ponytail and need for vast stretches of moving cheese–the appeal of these lines lies less in their perceptions than in their aural felicities–the artful deployment of gurgling consonants, the quasi-rhyme of want and why and way, the subtle thumping of run and run and run, each step at a time. Also I like carbonation.

STANDOUT POEMS:


We will now address the poems that did glow. The poems that removed themselves from the pages, that levitated from their brethren, that smelled of linseed oil and tortilla:

BREADFRUIT

Why are you reviewing the second poem? You just did the first poem. What? Excuse me, this is my review, not yours. Fuck off. I am talking about BREADFRUIT because it makes a move, it makes a move I see in this book. The norm is quickly fracked open and split like a Chevy. It drives away rattling and I like the sound. It is representative in its way, like when you see a bird and think, “Well, I’ll never be a bird and that makes me sad.”

To mix metaphors is holy.

BTW, I generally hate any literature titled BREADFRUIT. It seems affected. This is an exception.

The poem opens like this:

Sometimes I write my name on my underpants

to remember who I am and sometimes I write

someone else’s name on my underpants to forget who I am.

The opening line, the “writing on my underwear” is a bit expected, a bit done before, a tad alloyed, but Bredle immediately accepts that, eats that, and vomits it out all red-gluey and anew as he follows with writing on someone else’s underwear. It is these twists and transfigurations that electric me in this book. It’s a spring mind, a wired brush, buzzing fence of feeling, often with cocktail cherries affixed on each individual barbed wire.

Suck a battery, is what I am saying, I think.

Traffic lights break progress.

Don’t you want a poem?

INFORMATION DESK

Hole fucking image:

I no longer drink milk

because it reminds me of clouds, blossoming

like blood in a glass of water.

So like an image like that, if you heard it drifting out a bar, you were walking past the bar feeling all deadly or dead, then you would stop and listen and walk inside and buy Jason Bredle a good beer and buy his book, too, and go outside and vomit into an apple vat.

CLOUDS

I will now discuss the epigraph. He is going to discuss the epigraph! Sean is going to…Holy shit I just saw a raccoon walk by my window and in its maw a yellow sleeve of French fries. Wild.

Ok, epigraph, a certainly anti-redemptive recollection of the void between life and dreams:

This is not the scene I dreamed of. Like much else nowadays I leave it feeling stupid, like a man who lost his way long ago but presses on along a road that may lead nowhere.

J.M. Coetzee

I am discussing CLOUDS.

With me, I’d been heightening my love of mashed potatoes
to a level of parody
to illustrate a point I’ve since forgotten.

And here you have your epigraph. Here you have graceful precision of authentic emotion, the fabric of a thing floating.

Hey, listen:

LOOKING AT CLOUDS=POETIC

BURLINGTON COAT FACTORY=PRACTICAL

I’ve been staring out the window at clouds,
remembering that day we were driving to Burlington Coat Factory,
how the sun was setting
and you said something about clouds

None of this is easy.

INVISIBLE TOUCH

Part of what make the Phil Collins
the portrait of the brilliant mellifluous God is that he radiates
the perfection like the entire universe shot through the cannon
of unbelievableness
toward another entity of unbelievableness
as like another Phil Collins being shot out of a cannon toward a third
Phil Collins singing his smash hit
Don’t Lose the Number
to a crowd of hugely glowing Phil Collinses
all a million feet high
and singing their smash hit
the Sussudio
in the Phil Collins Del Monte Stadium
of dreamland amazingtown—
Rock!

The asses at HTML have been discussing the idea of clever. Shouldn’t we take this Jason Bredle poem into the conversation? Is he being clever? Is he making fun? I mean this is Phil Collins, a depressed man, a man so cracked-up by a long-ago divorce as to often think of throwing himself into a river.

But Jason Bredle doesn’t make fun of Phil Collins.

But Jason Bredle doesn’t make fun of Phil Collins.

But Jason Bredle doesn’t make fun of Phil Collins.

Here, Phil Collins is the poet’s darker resonance of our daily grounded days. Here, Bredle goes all joy and loops, goes all dramatic context suggested, all labyrinthinian (sentence level) and true juxtaposition, Sussudio off In the Air Tonight, etc.

Drums Machines (the Roland CR-78 Disco-2 pattern, plus some programming)!!

Ah, shit, Phil Collins takes two years off music because he’s heartbroken, man, and he goes all, “If you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand.”

love enveloped in the chandelier nothing of wherever

love enveloped in the chandelier nothing of wherever

love enveloped in the chandelier nothing of wherever

love enveloped in the chandelier nothing of wherever

Why am I talking about Phil Collins? Because Beckett once said, “If you really get down to the disaster, the slightest eloquence becomes unbearable.”

As Jason Bredle knows.

A peck of apples weight 10.5 pounds.

Conclusion! Don’t you hate it when people announce their intent to conclude? You do? Me too! Fuck off.

As I have noted, Jason Bredle has a lot of work pinned online, but not his most perfect poem, CITY OF GHOSTS. This seems wrong to me, so I will now type the poem and place it online right now. This might be illegal? Fuck it. You get your lawyers, Magic Helicopter, and I’ll get mine. And I will win, win, win, because my brother is a lawyer and he “fixes” problems I get into, more than once. What was that, a siren or a howling dog? Also this poem deserves to be online. It is serious and playful. It smacks of uncanny. It breathes vision and re-vision. It is a grid of cadence. It deeply defines itself as itself. It is exhilarating to read and was exhilarating to type.

CITY OF GHOSTS

I visited the place and did the thing.

It’s something you have to do.

Later I went to Jane’s.

There was a guinea pig.

I took a hot shower and almost fainted.

I lay on the shower floor.

It was my birthday.

A sailboat of grenades drifted ashore.

The grenades were filled with black moths.

It was the coast.

I couldn’t pronounce the name of the village.

I counted everything I’d ever done

and the answer was 36.

Making music makes me happy

but I’ve never known how to make music.

Yes, yes…

Ever felt like a guinea pig? Ever felt your NAME called, when you aren’t from guinea and you are NOT A PIG?!

Many apples after harvesting and cleaning have commercial grade wax applied.

Yes, yes…

Thank you, Jason Bredle. For these particular words.

S

The Velveeta Continues

1. Velveeta Review.

227. Velveeta Balcony.