The Sunday Poem: Brendan Constatine & Peggy Dobreer... Cold Reading, across the ribs of red canyon

Even "the guerrilla fighter of poets" can end up teaching in a classroom.  Brendan Constatine is currently reading in Albuquerque with fellow Southern California poet Peggy Dobreer.  Constatine writes, "I'm honored to be a guest in NM, a place with such a rich tradition of art. Honestly the idea of bringing poetry to NM is like brining your own sculptures to Greece."


Ms. Dobreer, with a keen eye for nature, has a different kind of insight.  Both will be featured this Wednesday April 6th at the Blackbird Buvette for the monthly Poetry & Beer night starting at 8:00.  There will also be an open mic and slam.  Oh, and pass the hat.


Brendan Constantine is a poet based in Hollywood. His work has appeared in numerous journals, most notably Ploughshares, Ninth Letter, The Los Angeles Review, Redivider, RUNES and LA Times Best-seller The Underground Guide To Los Angeles. His first book, Letters To Guns, was released in 2009 from Red Hen Press.  Peggy Dobreer is co-author of 64 Ways to Practice Nonviolence, A Curriculum and Resource Guide, and is an advocate for the practice of nonviolence in our schools and everyday lives.

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.

--Brendan Constantine



across the ribs

       of red canyon


at the mercy of planets

rants in bold letters echo

through layers where a river

once birthed a teeming bosque

ran so full it punctured rock 




jutting around the next cliff

there's a cherry tree explosion

giant script stippled of orchards

misplaced in a moistless landscape

sweet white blooms wet on emerald

fittings merge at impossible junctures

as kindly as two submissive moons

orbiting ever without implosion

volunteers grow from shale rock

survive to deny any absence of 

blossoms O sing wayward comet

stay alive in a merciless sky


--Peggy Dobreer



Poetry submissions are welcome.  Email

Views: 158

Comment by Gabriella Duncan on April 3, 2011 at 8:26am

As beautiful as the eyes of those who wrote it!


Comment by Margaret Randall on April 3, 2011 at 8:37am
Welcome Brendan and Peggy, to the poetry mecca of the southwest, if not the country, maybe even the world. May your stay be beautiful and the reading go well. Thanks for these preview poems.
Comment by Dee Cohen on April 3, 2011 at 11:27am
Thanks for the poem previews and enjoy your stay in ABQ. I've heard Brendan read at Tebot Bach in CA. Always a treat. Hope to make the reading on Wednesday. Dee
Comment by Merimee Moffitt on April 11, 2011 at 2:41pm
ha ha Brendan, You are an understanding teacher--love this poem.  Love that you read it where I also read--how fun to meet you and know a couple of your poems.  Thanks for coming to the territories.
Comment by Merimee Moffitt on April 11, 2011 at 2:44pm
Lovely prayer poem for survival of the Earth and blossoms and us, Peggy.  Where are your travels taking you now?  Thanks for the chapbook--looking forward to it.


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