Brendan Constantine, Easy Street’s October Poet in Residence, is no stranger to the stage. Hearing him read his own poems, a mixture of bittersweet, hilarious punch-to-the-heart, the reader/listener grows yet closer to the dynamism of Constantine’s work. So sit back, grab your coffee and your headphones (if needed) and enjoy this curated selection of spoken word work.

Cold Reading

The Last Thing I Want To Do Is Hurt You

The Translation

In the Spring of 2016, Constantine will release his latest collection, Dementia, My Darling (Red Hen Press). The eponymous poem that follows is brilliant on the page, but also takes additional weight as read. To listen to the audio, recorded at the 2014 Dodge Festival, click here.

Dementia, My Darling
(Poem made from lines spoken by my mother)

If someone finds me on the road
If someone finds me on the road
in my nightgown, barefoot and talking

in my nightgown, barefoot and talking
If my talking nightgown
finds the road in me
and someone on barefoot

Or I’m throwing my money to the cars
Or I’m throwing my money to the cars
convinced I’m just feeding the ducks

convinced I’m just feeding the ducks
I’m feeding the money,
the cars, or the ducks,
I’m just convinced to throwing

Please lock me away
Please lock me away
and live your life

and live your life
and lock your life away
Please live me

If my talking convinced someone,
my barefoot lock on the road,
ducks in the cars throwing money to live

and the feeding finds me
and I’m me
or I’m your life
please just nightgown away

Ω
Brendan Constantine’s work has appeared in FIELD, Ploughshares, Zyzzyva, Ninth Letter, Poetry Daily, ArtLife, and Hotel Amerika among other journals. His first book, Letters To Guns (2009 Red Hen Press), is now taught extensively in schools across the nation. His most recent collections are Birthday Girl With Possum (2011 Write Bloody Publishing) and Calamity Joe (2012 Red Hen Press). He has received grants and commissions from the Getty Museum, James Irvine Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. A popular performer, Brendan has presented his work to audiences throughout the U.S. and Europe, also appearing on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” KPFK’s “Inspiration House,” numerous podcasts, and YouTube. In October of 2014 Brendan headlined at the Dodge Poetry Festival with many of the nation’s most celebrated authors. He currently teaches poetry at the Windward School in Los Angeles, California. In addition, he regularly conducts workshops for hospitals, foster homes, & with the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project. Visit brendanconstantine.com.