Poetry by Dana Curtis

Sometimes there are coincidences that draw you to a poem or evoke a work in your mind. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been planning my summer field work seasons in Greece and Cyprus (in my day job, I’m a field archaeologist). As I’ve been working to stomach the exceptionally high airfares and working with colleagues to coordinate with their travel and research, I’ve started to think about evenings in the village of Ancient Corinth or Polis-tis-Chyrsochous on Cyprus when the swallows emerge for their prandial hunts. 

Of course “Bird on a Wire” is a famous song by Leonard Cohen, apparently written on the island of Ydra not too far from Ancient Corinth. Somehow I missed the book by Matti Friedman, Who by Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai, which tells the story of where Cohen goes next, but it was brought to my attention earlier this week.

This is a long way to introduce Dana Curtis’ poem “Bird on a Wire” which will appear in NDQ 90.1/2. I hope that it promotes some enjoyable coincidence in your life.

Bird on a Wire

Bird made of wire,

can you see the bridge—
you grow hands to pluck
it away like a guitar
you threw away—all love
for the birds living in the land
of lost music, in the kingdom
made of wooden feathers
and fragile architecture. It’s time
to put you in the bone cage,
for me to emerge
from within your tiny lights:
you are the star
of my aviary; you are
the casual creature moved
from yard to altar to
nightmare—I miss you
in my stockpot echoing
with drums and violins,
hello, wire bird; walk as if
you have no wings,
no soul, but on the bridge,
we are not found
as we look up
and interpret our endless wings.


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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
%d bloggers like this: