Buffalo, New York
Wave Particle Duality
by Dana Curtis
Copyright © 2017

Published by BlazeVOX [books]

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without
the publisher’s written permission, except for brief quotations in

Printed in the United States of America

Interior design and typesetting by Geoffrey Gatza
Cover Art by Katsushika Hokusai, 1760 - 1849
Beneath the Waves off Kanagawa, also known as The Great Wave, from
the series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery

First Edition
ISBN: 978-1-60964-282-2
Library of Congress Control Number: 2017931721

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Dead Children and Their Many Joys

Having fled the midnight calculations,
having swallowed teeth, teeth, abacus
beads, I am at the edge of the well counting
11 seconds till the splash, child clutched
in one hand. No, the child is falling. No,
the child is dead; no, the child
laughs at distant water. No,
there is no child, has never been,
will never be: she moves further
into the grassy plain
of the non-existent. Behold:
the fluorescent moss eating into the silver
rock opening to reveal the empty socket.
Because I am the desert without oasis,
diseased mathematics with
the spectacular proof just
out of reach.

Nyctophobia (Names of the Full Moon)

Under the Blood Moon, combines
or rivers like murmurs of memory
gone into loss or loss of
time as worms. Old Moon, Wolf Moon, Ice Moon:
and the air is broken glass, inhaled, the key, lungs,
white fire — we learn
not to die. Hunger Moon, Storm Moon:
it was the only thing I could control,
the only truth my body would tell,
I wanted to know if the birds
died in flight or when they hit the ground. Crow Moon, Crust,
Sugar Moon:
for my birthday, I asked for a lemon cake with coconut
frosting —
I got chocolate. I suppose
complaining would be ungracious. It's not
that I don't like chocolate. . .the crows fell like all
the other birds but more blackly. Egg Moon, Pink:
the opposite of blue, the imminence of birth,
obsessed with endings,
I took the child from its dead mother
and made her my own. Milk, Flower, Corn:
is it always? We wander (lycanthropic)—
confused by growth,
lunatic white light. Hot Moon, Strawberry, Rose:
we prefer the obvious names —
roses and strawberries –they need repetition—
more lies, pretend as the wine fades to black.
They never realized just how aroused
her broken body in the moonlight would make them —
they found another girl, and then another.
They blamed the full moon. Hay, Thunder, Buck:
alone at night, I felt the ruins
shift beneath my feet,
it's what we understand
and fail to comprehend. Dog, Lightning, Red,:
nothing reflects

except a threat. Surrounded by glass,
I could enjoy the lights —scraping as the lid went on.
Harvest, Fish: your eyes disappeared
at the end of growth; walking toward the river,
you look like new. Dying Grass Moon:
except it's been happening for a while —
since the beginning of summer —
drying up and blowing away —
everyone says it isn't right, it isn't natural —
meanwhile, Snow Moon:
the sky is white and reflected
by the Earth — we huddle within ourselves —
bright night as if crystal, and if a mirror
that never reveals. Long Night's
Moon: in this mythology, the world will die
in snow and darkness. (I fell asleep
waiting for the eclipse.)
But where we really end —
endless blue, (fear of
night). The fear of where we live
transforms like moonlight
on the water. Nameless. Body
the color of moons.

Windowless Eye

No looking through lenses, fashion decisions:
the place to go when you're going
blind, blind and there's just not a thing
to do but submit—in hell-black night endured—
to tests, to fate, find out just how
blind you are, how fast light
fades—one eye a pendulum, the other
a clock—the time told: circadian, digital,
binary, celestial, eyeless in Gaza, at the mill
with slaves, last meal, final will, cyclical—maybe
the rats will save you or Foucault or some nameless
physicist squealing: let there be light!
In the country of the blind. . .the muted bulbs must be
for dilations: lines of pupils blotting out color, eyes
become holes the twilight gods soon
enter—here, the one-eyed is king, queen,
banished at last to some strip
mall to pick out designer frames, drive
off without a care (a vacation of sightseeing) better
dead than blind and living. It's dark
and getting darker—-open
a window, night is your friend:
there must be
something in darkness not found in light.

Lassitudinal Verses

My mouth stuffed with chrysanthemums,
whisper the enemies.
Feel time's languid breaths.
How much they must hate us—.
Keep us young and spiteful.

Contraindicated: toxin
accelerated and I wanted to die,
wanted to kill. And how easy
it would be. Even blind,
I am the silhouette, the empty
battle that combs rocks, bushes,
cabinets—brushes our hair like
unseen wings.

Not another injection; someone
always dies. The garden twists
through my bones under the red
sun. Flame become iris.
The machine stops, grinding
itself. What the silence tells:
not even a whisper,
a feather; a virus in its
dormant stage opens
luminous eyes.

Pray with me elementals.
I am the fire sign.

Shadow, silhouette, whisper
the silver reflection. We'll be
digging holes on each planet,
excavating the zodiac
I stopped beside the star
filled foundation. Tiny fish
dart in vaccines. I rest
my face against the icy
marble, green scented as sand.

Fireflies in a mating frenzy: everything
is the ice serpentine under
unseasonable sun. Leaves
demonstrate its fluted axioms.
Biology coats me in honey.
Archeology drinks my eyes.
Desire turns on the light.

(Pray with me, invertebrate, pray
and be praised.
Life might still be sweet.)

I swore I would not tell
that story again: the compass,
magnet, room full of
flowers and sweets. The enemy
has indicated the roles.
Good-bye memory. I pretend
it is not the dream
I always forgot, the prayer
of ceilings and torches.



If the gravel pit, a graven
image, the grave and the chart
zoned full of leaves. I am
not. You are my garden and my
leviathan: activated
by kites. Your hair spreads
out in the water, and
the stones pave your back.


At the shore in mirrors,
what she sees, what is reflected
is not the ocean and sun.
She lives in the hostile night,
and the world's glamour
a spiral hole in memory.
The stagger, dead light: she
is diamond. She is starred,
drowned for the unilluminated.
She is dust
aglow with our most persistent
forgiving new poison.


Velvet plays the river,
sunfish instigate silk,
pleasure extends ruined forest,
for the cochlea, membrane:
she doesn't know
her name anymore—down
to the water's edge. It's true
but all is forgiven as rhythm
penetrates the feathery drink.

Mariana Trench

Light reaches the end
of everything, penetrates
the depths: illumination but only
after the kiss that shuts
our eyes forever.

I came up, not a mermaid,
but noir. Not merely the femme
fatale, also the man who knows
he shouldn't but just can't help himself,
the rain bleeding from starless skies,
shimmering the lamplit streets. Because I need
the pressure. Otherwise, fly
to pieces: my eyes splatter
the clocktower, my hands clipping
birds, my hair coating forests
like a new born toxin.
No glistening: I'm bound
with future and

in the dream, I sit beside a fountain.
My unconceived daughter, so like me, has nothing
but cruel words. A man I don't know
joins us with a book.
The fountain spews red
and black birds erasing
droplets of perfect water. He shows me
what is written, a stunning
calligraphy: words I recognize and
even remember when I wake
childless as context.

The lowest point is the Vitjazdepth:
worms wait there, and
all worms want a body
to devour, and all bodies

end here. The anemone call us back
when the light reaches my home:
the sun and the moon will have disintegrated into
the dream will be exposed.
The fountain dried out and still covered
with feathers, the murderer revealed too late;
it was unknown creatures glowing against light.
But the light underwater will embarrass origin.

The book is open next to a shattered glass, the remains
of sea cucumbers:

Even in your Zen heaven, we shan't meet.

I will kiss you someplace that is dark.

My Life as a Groupie

I spent a summer following a musician from town to town, my
foot on my car’s accelerator, barely able to see the road. I was

far away
from the sky
indecent with lightning, the bridges
shaking under semis; after
diagnosis, before onset,
I'd already stolen
six song lists. I sat at the back

with a screwdriver. I was in love with a man who trespassed
on me like a razor in a handful of violets. It's so hard to hear
anything with all these lies buzzing around my head. I chased

the snakes
to the ravine,
stood knee-deep in sawdust. I dug a hole
on Mars, and its shape—you
guessed it. I considered myself
fortunate; I'd become acquainted

with my death's name. Soon, I'd meet my husband and say,
"Darling, meet my death." It's real this time. Meanwhile, the
edge of the stage cuts into my chest. I drank vodka

after vodka and
slept in the car. I never
went backstage, begged
an autograph, waved. I watched
a guitar and felt my future
at my neck. It wasn't really my future
nor my past; it was

my death again—a brand new future, the one that stayed
away from dreams. I'd forsake the man I didn't love for the
one I did. I was in the bathroom with a girl suffering morning
sickness at midnight. I held her hair and read the graffiti: "If
we can send a man to the moon, why can't we send them all
there?' I drew a lizard on the wall. Years later, it will be
tattooed on my back. The encores never ended. Slither these

crowded bars to wake
on the mountain,
these hollyhocks and highways,
the well I dug on Mars
with its thick red water—
and not really think at all—
just listen.


She bleeds poison out of her eyes
into this evening’s porcelain — a cup
fractured to prisms and far too willing to accept
the violation of yellow liquid.
The pack hunts our beloveds;
the pieces are everywhere we refuse to look,
moving fast because we walk on the knife.
Who will save us this time?
Everything poured breaks the receptacle —
grasp at light underwater —
to be your own gravity
and in being, drink what is there.

That white-eyed bitch finds everything
lost and frightened, alone.
From the bar, we watch the spectacle
the hunt provides. And I think I recognize
those teeth. They float
in this broken cup – translucent and
patterned with tiny blue flowers, tiny
yellow birds.

Is it color she's desperate
to replace or a lunatic
liquid evil? Sunglasses won't protect us,
but we sit in the sundrenched rooms.
Swaddled in wool, we sip
Darjeeling and Oolong, fragments
cutting our fingers — disintegrating
into a song we've never heard
but can't forget.

The moment I chose the wrong
direction glitters in the cupboard —
another starless night.
They brought me down like any
other frightened animal.
My bones are porcelain in their teeth.

Surface Tension

A crevice in conscience,
or faith, desire or
liquid: venom. The bird's
shadow whispers the wall
while all the snakes
emerge from vague houses
to cross the river and circumnavigate
the crisis center. The snake
devours the bird:
the shadow swims the cathedral.