The Nature of Clarity by Dana Curtis

Spring/Summer 2015

The Nature of Clarity

The Safeway is full of dying
women, colorful scarves wrapped around
stretched tight skin. I buy some fresh
shrimp and tomatoes, wait
at the register next to a box of
Slug and Snail Death. Everything
is dying or waiting to die. I would
coat the trashcan with pepper spray –
just a bad taste in the squirrels’ mouths. Across
the street is an apartment building where
I expect to see something out of
Rear Window but these neighbors
are private about their murders.
During the last blackout, nothing
happened except a horse
escaping to run naked down
the street trailing sparks
like a grinding wheel, unlike the sky,
this temple, an ocean appears
out of everywhere.


Dana Curtis’ second full-length collection of poetry, Camera Stellata, was published by CW Books. Her first full-length collection, The Body’s Response to Famine, won the Pavement Saw Press Transcontinental Poetry Prize.  She has also published  seven chapbooks: Book of Disease (in the magazine, The Chapbook), Antiviolet ( Pudding House Press), Pyromythology (Finishing Line Press), Twilight Dogs (Pudding House Press),   Incubus/Succubus (West Town Press), Dissolve (Sarasota Poetry Theatre Press), and Swingset Enthralled (Talent House Press). Her work has appeared in such publications as Quarterly West, 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.