Señorita Death / Douglas K. Currier


Señorita Death

poems by

Douglas K. Currier

ISBN: 978-1-59948-923-0, ~52 pages, $13 (+ shipping)

Release Date: July 19, 2022

The Advance Sale Discount price on this title has expired. For those who prefer to pay by check, the price is $17/book (which includes shipping) and should be sent to: Main Street Rag, PO BOX 690100, Charlotte, NC 28227-7001. 


Douglas K Currier holds a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from the University of Pittsburgh and writes in English and Spanish. He has published work in several journals: The Café Review, The Main Street Rag, The Comstock Review, Anaquel Literario, Herederos del Kaos, Periodico Poetico, Revista Rito, and others, as well as in the anthologies: Onion River: Six Vermont Poets, Getting Old, Welcome to the Neighborhood, and Poemas Zafados II in North America and Latin America. He has retired from university teaching and lives with his wife in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Douglas K. Currier’s Senorita Death is one of many possible guises of Death—neighbor, waitress, jealous half-sister, wedding guest—the poet conjures in this frank and provocative collection. The eponymous title poem and dedication “To my children—”a remedy for grief “and another, “The Prettiest Girl in the Room,” signal the tenderness, humility, and irony sustained in puzzling out anew what is unpredictable but the same for the “old poet,” for bygone family and friends. ~Daniel Lusk, The Shower Scene from Hamlet


No ordinary collection, these poems —evidence of a poet’s profound engagement with mortality —have flamenco’s powerful dynamic of restraint and intensity. The partners in this dance aren’t equal, the outcome is never in doubt, but the strength of the poet’s imagination and his skill with language make the contest dramatic and vital. What emerges from this brave confrontation is true poetry: urgent and alive. I was informed and enlightened by reading it.  ~Joan Aleshire



I’m too old to be addicted to anything but death
– so varied, so close, I can smell her breath
– one night alcohol, another embalming fluid,
gasoline, or highway exhaust.

She had me at birth, and even when I ignored her,
I didn’t. Who can forget his first love, his out,
his exit, his ride home, that beautiful woman at the curb,
motor running, ready to floor that son of a bitch into oblivion.



Building a death


We play at this, rehearse an advance directive,
living will, dole out organs selflessly, pretend
a nonchalance in the leaving: wait a week or so,
no tubes, no appliances, for God’s sake, no undue expense.

Ever mindful of others, we pile on the aftereffects
– the tasteful music meant to mediate our departure,
the decorations, flag-draped and solemn, floral
and candle-lit to befit whom we were, the really last words.

We prescribe as if someone’s listening, as if we
will hear any of it from that narrow hallway,
the bathroom light on at the end. We’ve always left
a light on for those poor bastards stumbling ahead in the dark.




for Alejandro Mauriño


My friend, I know what it is to present yourself,
your body, to prep and reassurances even though
you’ve signed the acknowledgement that death
may well result. If you’re me, you ask for odds,
as if you had money on the outcome. You wouldn’t
mind so much not winning, but you’d like
your horse at least to show.

Anyway, I have smiled into the anesthesia, all hope
and good wishes, all “See you after” and “How long
the recovery,” put myself in the capable hands of medicine
– half-sure of a bit more time — and will again.
Such is our optimism, our yearning.

This last time, was, of course, your last. Did you know
somehow, intuit that some of it was last, remember
last times for poems and sex and good meals you so enjoyed,
the friends and laurels and lecterns of literature.
Were you tipped in advance? Did you take any of it
seriously? Were the odds in your favor?
Are they ever for any of us? Ever?

Anyway, I wish you on. We know that sometimes
the revision doesn’t take, and the poem doesn’t improve,
doesn’t survive the meddling ink, the rewrite, the edit
we put it through. We won’t know if your leaving
was opportune or not. You were often the last to leave
a party, but it is at times good to exit before you’re kicked out.

We might have wanted some more poems. Old men
write old-man poems, often copying the brittle, yellowed pages
of youth in a starker light and calling them new.
You know that trick. I do too.



Señorita Death


She’s in the “Ladies’.”
We’ll be leaving in a bit.
It’s time.
After a night of hard drinking,
dancing to loud music, a few laughs,
a few fights, it’s good to leave
while you can still stand —
hit the “Head,” then wobble out
the door into an endless night
without stars or curbs to negotiate.

It’s nice, for a change, to leave
with the one you came in with.
She’s been nice, so young,
so beautiful, it’s hard to see
what she sees in an old guy,
but she’s been with me
the entire time, give or take,
and we’re leaving together.

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