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Brendan Constantine was born in 1967 and raised in Los Angeles. The second child of  two working actors, his parents named him for Irish playwright Brendan Behan. He is an ardent supporter of Southern Californiaís poetry communities and one of its most recognized poets. He has served these communities as a teacher of  poetry in local schools and colleges for the last fifteen years. In addition to this, he has led similar classes in hospitals and shelters for the homeless.  In 2002 Mr. Constantine was nominated for Poet Laureate of the state.

His work has appeared in numerous journals, most notably Ploughshares, The Los Angeles Review, The Cortland Review, RUNES, and LA Times Bestseller The Underground Guide to Los Angeles. New work can be found in the spring editions of Ninth Letter and The Boxcar Poetry Review, as well as the anthology Bright Wings, forthcoming from Columbia University Press and edited by Billy Collins.  His collection, Letters To Guns, was released in February 2009 from Red Hen Press.
 
Mr. Constantine is currently poet in residence at the Windward School in West Los Angeles and the Idyllwild Arts Summer Youth Writing Program in Idyllwild, California. He holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in Hollywood at Bela Lugosiís last address.

Last Night I Went To the Map of the World
and I Have Messages for You


America says it has misplaced your number.
I wasn't comfortable giving it out. I said
I'd let you know.

Africa's Birthday is this weekend.
There's a party. No gifts.
Just come.

If you're planning to go, Greece wants 
to know if it can get a lift. Awkwardly
so does Turkey.

Russia wanted me to say The worm knows
the cabbage but the worm dies first.
I have no idea what that means. Do you?

Japan looked really uncomfortable all night
but never spoke. Is something going on?

Ireland asked to be remembered.
I sang to it for you.

I didn't get to connect with Europe
but, as the French say, Isn't that just
too bad.

Is that everyone? Oh yes, the oceans.
They asked what they always ask
and I promised I'd repeat it,
Why do you never call?
When are you coming home?

ONE MILLION YEARS BC  


The oceans were hot 
and spat toothy fish into the air 
like olive pits. Mountains
drooled florescent paint, 
valleys filled with loose change 
and lost sunglasses. In the jungles 
great lizards walked on two feet, 
carried flasks of warm lava,
and lied and lied and lied. 
Cats with knives for teeth 
stalked each other under skies
crowded with sharp birds calling 
"Oh, baby!" The trees wore
bad tattoos and dropped handbags 
full of money on the ground. 
At night nothing walked, 
the moon hissed at the ocean, 
and the stars held each other 
at gunpoint. 


Brendan Constantine Poet at Moonday Poetry

© 2010 Brendan Constantine


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