Douglas K Currier
~90 pages, $15 (+ shipping)
Projected Release Date: October/November, 2023
An Advance Sale Discount price of $9 (+ shipping) is available HERE prior to press time. This price is not available anywhere else or by check. The check price is $13/book (which includes shipping) and should be sent to: Main Street Rag, PO BOX 690100, Charlotte, NC 28227-7001.
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Douglas K Currier has published poetry and short fiction in various journals and anthologies in North and South America. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh MFA program. His poetry collections: Señorita Death (Main Street Rag Publishing Company) and Regreso (Moglia Ediciones) were published last year. Currier has retired from college teaching. He writes in English and Spanish and divides his time between Winooski, Vermont and Corrientes, Argentina.
In Death Studies, Doug Currier continues his ill-fated love affair with Senorita Death–the ultimate femme fatale, seductive, heartless, always irresistible. She’s a barfly and a gambler. She’s cruelly honest — “Your halting Spanish and travels/fool no one….You’ll die a gringo.” The queen of sarcasm – “Let’s pretend you’re/not going to die, she says./Oops, she says.” These poems invite us to examine our complex attitudes towards our own mortality and, ultimately, our reluctant acquiescence. ~Angela Patten, author of The Oriole & the Ovenbird, In Praise of Usefulness and other
The personification of Death in Latin America often takes female form; the Spanish word for death, muerte, is a feminine noun, as morte is in Portuguese. Currier, who spent years in sudamerica and writes in Spanish as well as English, works from this poetic tradition in Death Studies. The collection embodies the best of that tradition while unironically evincing its machismo. These poems face Death directly, with evocative imagery, surprising humor, and a classical Romanticism. ~Ralph Culver, author of A Passable Man
I don’t know her well,
but I remember her
– adolescent fantasy
– invariably, improbably
beautiful and arrogant.
Whenever she singled me
out, it was magical and brief.
That would be love or
infatuation remembered fondly,
a moment when I held
my breath for as long as I could,
not believing my luck.
Death plays the lottery
While she likes choosing
random numbers and using
her long fingernails on the
gray paint of scratch cards,
she has nothing to lose, thus
wins nothing she can use.
Still, it’s a harmless diversion,
trivial undertaking, akin
to her work, but without the drama,
the tearing of hair, the gnashing
of teeth, relatives ranting and
raving at the injustice of it all,
when it is perfectly just, perfectly
planned right from the start,
Death in the afternoon
Afternoons of sun, she’ll put on a bikini
bottom and lay out to tan – scandalizing
and titillating the neighbors – They’re
just tits! she wants to say, but she likes
the attention and knowing they, the neighbors,
have an abiding, enduring interest, something
that will carry them through fear and desire
and fear and depression and fear and make them
forget that they will eventually die and have
their chance to finally fondle the tits of death.
It’s not the candy, flowers,
expensive restaurants, lingerie,
or weekends on the Riviera
that entice her; she’s easier than that.
Give her a high window with a nice
view or a little more of your drug
of choice or a dark beach – swim
together out to the riptide or fall asleep
on a park bench any winter night
wrapped in her arms or just close
your eyes doing 80 on I-81 – any truck
will give you an introduction, help you
make an impression. Now that we’re
over that whole “hallowed ground”
shit, death loves a suicide.