A timely book about forgetting, Dementia, My Darling constructs a thesis on life as we remember it from moment to moment. What is your first memory of love? How soon will you forget answering that question? There is no history but biography, and the heart is a biased historian.
“Brendan Constantine’s Dementia, My Darling is a mediation on memory. Poems address the difficulty of the death of memory and how does a survivor deal with recollections of a father’s lie, a collective lie about snow, school desk carvings, sleep talking, moths, and hospital ceilings. This collection examines consciousness, connotations, and relationships. Constantine is a master poet illuminating the ordinary and extraordinary with his distinct voice holding humor and heart equally.”—Steven Reigns, author of Inheritance
“Dementia, My Darling is a suite of acute, beautiful poems about coming apart, slippage, love, emptying out, transformation, and carrying on. Every absurdly human moment in them is handled with smarts and just the right mix of inventiveness and delicacy. Each poem leaves its mark on the reader. Tender and humane and unsparing, the poems never surrender to despair. They all have a kind of brightness. Constantine renders the creeping surrealism of dementia from many angles, with the awe that is its due. Gaps, anagrams, collage and montage are employed to convey the myriad ways we fragment, multiply, dissolve. A fly is described as ‘an ink blot with wings / a blood spot / that sings a thin hymn.’ (!!) This book is a lyrical wrestling match with mortality.”— Amy Gerstler, author of Dearest Creature
“I love this collection. I’m dazzled by its spectacular acts of imagination, the places it invents, the ways it invents of describing those places. Its most wondrous feat, though, is the heart it allows to beat behinds its intelligence, the person that peers from its intricate, sharp, brilliant latticework: so much structure, so much sharpness, and that softness, too. Bravo.”—Mandy Kahn, author Math, Heaven, Time