A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

                                                Jason Bredle




It’s hard to milk a werewolf.
They have really sensitive nipples.
I tried to once, sort of.
He had me cornered
so I gave him a titty-twister.
I’m partially to blame
because I’d coaxed him toward me
in order to milk him
in the first place.
What can you do?
We were at a water park.
I thought the all around good vibe
of a water park
would make a werewolf
more laid back
and easier to milk,
but it didn’t. I guess
it doesn’t matter where you are,
a werewolf is going to lash out
if you try to milk him.
He’s dealing with a lot of strange
new feelings. He makes
incredible milk, though:
rich, creamy, low fat.
It’s the best. God bless
the werewolf milk farmer,
otherwise it would be impossible
to get. I wish they had chocolate
werewolf milk but there’s no
such thing as a chocolate werewolf.




But you can view her
with a pinhole projector
and she’s quite radiant on cardboard.
Fantastic boobs, too.
Lips more red than rose hips,
the taste of cinnamon and clove
and teeth as white as snow.
The sound of her voice?
A million angels can’t compare:
considered so rare
that it could kill you,
which is why you should wear
earmuffs and take this pill.
Who cares what it is, take it.
You might think it hard, having
a sun-eyed, multi-angel-voiced
mistress, but it’s pure joy,
and really convenient
to have around, to be honest.
I let her answer the door
when solicitors come a-knocking.
It usually freaks them out.
The best part is when she hovers
right above the ground.
It’s so convenient for large crowds,
emergencies, and when you just
don’t feel like dealing
with the madness. Plus,
she smells so good.



Whereas the air was so thick
that evening, with trees and plants
making love to it
as we breathed it in,
that flowers blossomed
in our chests,
as if spring leapt out
from behind a honeysuckle,
threatened us with a switchblade,
and tore two buttons
from our shirts.
Confusion penetrated our hearts,
causing a deep,
throbbing, persistent ache.
We made an appearance
at a party. Everyone
wore headphones and danced
to music only they could hear.
A guy with a dog
in a bone sweater looked
as if he were about to
blow our minds with acrobatics,
but never did.
The night had once again
coaxed us into that dream
of a far away place
of limitless palm tress and sunsets.
We would disappear there




They were everywhere: starlings, 
collectible swords, bearded guys
with dogs in bone sweaters
What’s the best way
to get from Budapest
to Bratislava? Use the possibilities
of our call center.
Remember, Kalashnikov
thought of himself as a poet.
I don’t remember.
I’m busy working out
for the upcoming season.
I’ve yet to be tazed by a dancer,
though I’ve been told
the previous tenant of this room
was killed here.
Tragedy at the poetry factory:
I need to write this poem
is one of the stupidest things
I’ve ever said.
A murmuration passes overhead.
Are these words? Do they make sense? 
What does it mean if you don’t
have a shadow? 
There are eleven things  
I need to tell you. 

I’ve never really been big on physical objects as souvenirs – they take up space, and we’re all going to die anyway, so what’s the point – but when my wife and I got married, she had our ring pillow designed with a picture of our cats sitting together saying ‘we do,’ which I wasn’t expecting, but which was very cute. We each had a cat when we met, and we put a lot of effort into getting them to like each other when we moved in together. It was a reluctant ‘we do’ in their case.


Jason Bredle is the author of four books of poetry, 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. A recipient of a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, his work has appeared in the Knopf anthology Poems About Horses180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day from Random House, Gulf CoastLIT, Denver Quarterly, and elsewhere. He lives in Chicago.