“From the Big Book of Games for Girls” by Brendan Constantine

Brendan Constantine


Place your head in the split
of doll’s house, so you can look
out a window like a doll.

Tell yourself a child is coming,
one who loves you, who will
move you, give you her voice.

Wait for her. While you wait
try to read more from this book.
It won’t fit in the house.

You must leave, get heavily
to your feet and rub your chin.
Now you’re the girl.

Look in the windows, pull
the house apart; the doll is gone.
Go, check the neighborhood.

It’s awful outside: bright grit,
the weight of shine, your face
held down like a doorbell.

from Rattle #52, Summer 2016
Tribute to Angelenos


Brendan Constantine: “I have to say, I get a lot of inspiration from just going out and pretending I’ve never been to this planet before. It’s a great way to remember just how absurd, strange, beautiful, and unlikely everything is around you. If I can stay in that childish frame of mind, in that place of possibility where you watch somebody get into an elevator, the doors close, then open again and five people come out and it occurs to you “That’s where you go to become five people!” Or you cut your hair and more grows out and you cut your hair and more grows out and you deduce, “The human head must be packed with hair.” If I can practice daily astonishment, I find that I’m a little more pleasant, patient, and forgiving. You never know what you’re going to hear outside your window. Sometimes it brings a whole world with it.” Note: This quote is an excerpt from Constantine’s 20-page conversation in this issue. (web)

Rattle Logo