The Pockets of My Brain
by Constance Breen
PageTurner Press and Media

"Eating a fudge pop and staring at the walls
In my mind I am wandering down these strange halls"

In this genuine, hearty collection of more than 140 individual poems—each approximating a page or two in length—Breen pays homage to her dying mother, her father, her friend Donna, and a range of her own experiences and emotions. To be sure, there are certain moments within these 160-plus pages that stand out as exemplary. In the poem “How I Am Still,” Breen begins, “There are no oceans between the oceans / Time is swept swiftly into the undertow.” In “For My Dad,” the poet writes that she will “always be your little girl / The one that you called monkey.” She paints a touching image when she adds, “With the side burns I used to twiddle,” of a baby girl playfully smitten with her father, and that is a beautiful thing. One appealing aspect is that with each poem presented, the exact date the poet authored it is shared with the reader.

This is raw, confessional poetry. In other words, these poems do not necessarily attempt to paint a “poetic” picture or describe in poetic terms any particular narrative; rather, in the same vein as the accomplished poets Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, the speaker of these poems is telling the reader how she feels about a wide range of subjects and people close to her in her life and without holding back. The author here is to be applauded for producing a solid work of both length and breadth in which she uses the mighty power of the pen to create a book within which lovers of verse and words will find much to cherish.

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