Jason Bredle received degrees in English and Spanish from Indiana University and an MFA from the University of Michigan. He is the author of Pain Fantasy (Red Morning Press); Standing in Line for the Beast, winner of the 2006 New Issues Poetry Prize; A Twelve Step Guide, winner of the 2004 New Michigan Press chapbook contest; and A Pocket-Sized Map of My Heart, a self-published collaboration with Leigh Stein. He lives in Chicago and works at a translation agency in Evanston, Illinois.
Also by Jason Bredle
- A Twelve Step Guide (2004)
- Pain Fantasy (2007)
Standing in Line for the Beast
Standing in Line for the Beast
$14.00 paper | 84 Pages
Publication Date: March 2007
Buy: Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | ShopWMU | UPNE
Winner of the 2006 New Issues Poetry Prize
Barbara Hamby, Judge
"These poems attack basic human desires, such as wanting to turn into a werewolf so you can tear the throat out of a crashing bore. Or picturing hell or characterizing death, which in a Jason Bredle poem can take you from listening to his friend Anne read a poem to a thunderstorm in Memphis to Mexico to 'an 18 / wheeler hauling Little Debbie snack cakes up I-75' and beyond. Jason Bredle is in that truck, eating Little Debbie cakes and being kicked in the ass by Kierkegaard, heading to Mexico to fall in love or die, because either one could be just around the corner."
––Barbara Hamby, from the foreword
"Jason Bredle has swagger, smarts, and talent in abundance, not to mention impeccable comic timing. He is also confident enough in his command of tone and in his emotional range to never allow himself to settle for shtick and the easy tour-de-force. His poems always delight and surprise us, but their ultimate aim is pathos, even heartbreak. Standing in Line for the Beast is a collection of unusual promise."
"Funny things happen to Jason Bredle while he's Standing in Line for the Beast, waiting for the Apocalypse—not funny to him, perhaps, but deliciously funny to his readers. In poem after poem he makes us smile, chuckle, snort, chortle, but never loses sight of the tragedy that gives rise to his comedy. Reading Standing in Line for the Beast is like eating a rich, complex dessert, where hints of acidity and underlying bitterness make the sweetness rare and delightful."
"In Standing in Line for the Beast, all becomes event, even the image actively assembles contexts for decisions, directions, regrets, and compensation. There are no empty moments; each moment is the start of something that immediately gives birth to the next moment. The result is that Jason Bredle has decoded pulse. . . . Jason is clever enough to put everything into the perspective of how unstoppable the motion of existence is, in its raggedness, in its ability to seek comfort in the longing for what at any other moment might not sustain, but does right now, but does as every preceding moment feeds this incredible now.”
"The poems in Jason Bredle's first full-length collection, Standing in Line for the Beast, spill off the page like a whole closetful of Ray Kroc Youth Achievement Awards—a thousand individual moments so strangely and vividly crystallized you want to hold onto them forever."
" . . . while I was never quite sure where Bredle was taking me next, I somehow liked where I was going."
—Jay Robinson, Barn Owl Review
" . . . Standing in Line for the Beast is a promising book, at times dazzlingly sharp and funny."
—Jason B. Jones, Bookslut
"Objects are springboards for the poetic imagination and Bredle comes across as a bit stunned over what to do with his overwhelming accumulation of them, turning out piece after lengthy piece of list-laden free verse, cramming every nook and cranny with a cacophony of catch-alls. We, in turn, come away from these poems a bit stunned ourselves. Stunned by the breadth of his wit, by the boldness of his voice, and by the endless inner monologue of asides, false starts, circumlocutions, detours, digressions, pitfalls, and pratfalls that guide nearly every poem in the book."
—Peter Matera, RATTLE's e-reviews
The horse discovered a gateway to another
dimension, and with nothing else to do, moseyed
into it just for grins, and man, you
don't even want to know what happened
next-it was just, like, Horse at the French
Revolution. Horse in Franco's living room.
Horse on the moon. Horse in a supporting role
in an episode of ER. Horse being shot
out of a cannon. Horse on The Price Is Right.
Horse in a Whitesnake video. Horse
at Kennedy's assassination. Horse in the Tet
Offensive. Horse at the Gap gawking at some
khaki pants. Horse in Julie Piepmeyer's
bathroom. Horse being tossed out of an airplane
with a parachute strapped to its back, plummeting
toward Nebraska. Horse on Capitol Hill
(Yes, I'd like the floor to recognize
the distinguished horse from Arizona). Horse
on the subway. Horse authorizing a peace treaty
between the U.S. and Iraq. Horse
in the Evansville State Hospital. Horse caught up
in a White Hen robbery. Horse in the Kentucky
Derby. Horse staring at the merry-go-round
at King's Island in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The list goes on and on. And so goes
the horse's adventure, where one minute
it's standing next to Pat Sajak and with a violent
flash like that of a murderous camera or the twirling
screen and music of a Batman episode
it's standing in the middle of US-23
with a screaming motorist speeding toward it.
And this horse, whirling through dimension
after dimension, spiraling carmines, suicidal
jasmines, and mathematical theorems tornadoing
past it, being placed in situation
after situation-what had it learned
when all was said and done and it was back
at Tom Wallace's farm? Nothing is better
than Rachel Wallace while they stand in the barn
in the middle of February and she draws pictures of it
to take to school tomorrow.