Dana Curtis

Eccentric City

Nothing to breathe,
not anymore, found under
a resurrected carpet, the city
made of frost, made of fire, made
contagious and inarticulate. Dragonflies
surround us and whisper the last
of time’s promise. I am there as the world
waves goodbye at an antique gas
station near the border, in the desert
where I used to hunt for iron pyrite
under an invisible sunset. I remember
all these unknown arteries and
plastic flowers. Every street is named
with blank signs. Every fountain rejects
water and feathers. Now the doors
ache for what is normal, what is
a nation hanging from trees. And again,
waves goodbye to the newly invented gods.



Chthonia Calling

to the New World, to the flattened
wheat fields, from the old radio towers
and empty oceans rolling over the lost
cities fallen into this final conception
of beauty. We arrange a meeting of each
faction and find the final declaration
of hope unraveling in our confused
and messageless streets. Civilizations only
really survive when we are all fed
on sugar and tasteless bones: no
real sense of what might be found
the farther down we go, the closer
we get to the underground river, aquifer
pumped out and now so many echoing
dark houses, caverns always closing
in while our telegraph wires tangle into
new artworks. We’ll have to sit and
worship what we have created, what calls
to us in the night. Drowned and unwanted,
we unbuild the bridges and skyscrapers, we
unfurl every artery, destroy the faraway
dreams of mania; set our plates on our
shattered windows and hopes. Here
we have it. We call and we call.



Dana Curtis’ third full-length collection of poetry, Wave Particle Duality, was published by blazeVOX Books you 2017. Her second collection, Camera Stellata, was published by CW Books, and her first book, The Body's Response to Famine, won the Pavement Saw Press Transcontinental Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in such publications as Ploughshares, Hotel Amerika, Indiana Review, Colorado Review, and Prairie Schooner. She has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the McKnight Foundation. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Elixir Press and lives in Denver Colorado.