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May 27th
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Poetry of Brendan Constantine

AE-2

 

This week’s Poetry Corner features the work of Brendan Constantine, a poet based in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, Ninth Letter, The Cortland Review, and other journals. His collection, “Letters To Guns,” was released in February from Red Hen Press.


Fall Memo
Please be aware of the following students and their sensitivities
Miranda R.    peanuts, common wheat
Lucas P.    dogs, strawberries
Kimmy D.     aspirin, penicillin, rhubarb
Alexis M.    trees, grass, sunlight
Hilary M.    gift soap
Bethany M.    old skin
Jennifer K.    wool, cotton, anything yellow, anything
Cody R.     cuttlefish, handshakes, eyeteeth
Dylan H.     the mere mention of hornets
Brandon L.    foam pillows, roach motels
Susan W.    Indians, music, Indian Music
Lauren B.     twice sealed letters
Grace J.    candles, perfume, party sounds over water

The Things
The things I gave you—Victorian postcards, 
a wind-up bird, the marzipan skull from Mexico
—don’t recognize me

When I come to visit, Buddha slouches 
in his ashtray, the wind mobile chimes 
among itself  
What have you told them

In my room, your picture looks me in the eye
I don’t know who it’s seeing

The things you gave me—a cup, a compass, 
the tiniest flashlight—are all about going
What do I tell them

Even now, your music waits in the car


Cold Reading
It’s really cold in here now,
easily forty below something,
and half the class is asleep.

Snow dazzles in the windows,
makes a cake of each desk.
It’s really cold in here now.

I’ve been lecturing on the same
poem for twenty six hours
and half the class is asleep.

I want them to get it. I start
to talk about death again
and it’s really cold in here now.

One student has frozen solid,
her hair snapping off in the wind
and half the class is asleep.

“See that” I say, “Lisa gets it.”
But it’s so cold in here now
half the class are white dunes
shifting to the sea.

Aubade
My love,
you have the right to remain
silent. Anything you say
can and will be recorded
in my pillow. If you desire,
you may request a transcript
of every crushed feather.
You have that right, too.

Knowing
and understanding these
rights as I sing them,
are you willing to answer
without a moon present?
Put your hands in the air
and walk toward me.
Tell me what you know.

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Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.
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