Alzheimer’s With V. Putin and Mittens, the dog, Gladys Justin Carr

Fish Slough Petroglyph



With V. Putin and Mittens, the Dog


My husband, the plein air painter
has become obsessed
with V. Putin.

No longer does his brain work
in the service of words
in the tantric art of dialogue.

No longer is he googled, facebooked, twittered, or linked.

So, Mr. Putin

Vladimir Vlad Vlad the Impaler

Why do you seek to rearrange the world
and why annex my baffled
near-ended husband?
Though I suspect it is the past glory
of your country he covets.
Lara, Lolita, the Karamazovs, Anna K.
He speaks his pain, his joy
only to a dog
to an old dog.

Oh Mittens

Be a good dog
and bite the Putin
before you leave us.

Follow my husband
to Never-never land.

Fly with the birds of America
to the land of a thousand cookies.

Comfort my lost husband
and banish the Putin
from your world

and ours.

Gladys Justin Carr


Review by Ettore Fobo

In the intense poem about her painter husband’s Alzheimer’s, Gladys Justin Carr offers a stark exploration into the depths of the disease. If the patient has lost “the tantric art of dialogue,” what remains are fragments of obsession, such as his fixations on Vladimir Putin, a synthesis of something foreign and sinister that erupts from within like an allegory of indecipherable moments lost forever. In addition to the obsessions, his dog, Mittens, becomes the primary referent of his sorrowful monologues of wounded monad.

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