Current Curation

Issue 4:
Lindsay Dragan

It is a sunrise or a forest fire. There is not enough sympathy to go around anymore, I think, as we evacuate our houses of happy. Couples married seventy years exhausted, hold hands as they wait for the flames, but it’s usually the smoke first. Thanks for your body, thanks for nothing, says the world, and that’s why my husband says he won’t retire, because it’s dying and knowing it.
It is a sunrise or a forest fire. The promise of shaking the shell off of this old day into the new, the first breath of the morning, breathing exercises for singing, dilation of the capillaries with the rush of caffeine. The air is always sweeter in the morning. And I have to believe in it, you know. It will keep going just like we must.

Vigil When she calls at night, she wants to know if I’m safe. And I get it, now.

Perceived/Actual I unroll:

Understand: There are no men.

Human Nature School Report Capture rate of a jumble of bones offering strong evidence of the search for happiness and
student stability rate. Termite mounds in the delta and 40 possible new species of systemic
sexism abound. A cadre of people in the floodplain did not meet the standard. Fire is a natural
part of grassland and forest cycles and he groped me because of boredom. The pre-engineering
magnet program is slurring their words again. Charcoal-making for the fire-driven hunting is a
storm that is coming in three years’ time. Imagining themselves as next year’s champion, the
school climate is ideal. Sixty-six percent of students were chronically absent.

July in a Brooklyn apartment

Every season will end eventually.
I dream by nine in the morning
of steaming cups of coffee
and that nip in the air, where I won't

feel guilty about running the AC
and contributing to strain on the grid.
I dream of sliding into my old pink robe,
the one I've had since undergrad,

watching my daughter stack blocks
in a fleece sleeper. When we walk
down the street, people aren't angry,

because they aren't wilting

like the burning, earthy leaves
over a cool Autumn night.

Particulate Matter I woke this morning to the smell of sulfur on the nose, in the air, reminded When smokestacks kept vigil over the rivers, darkening the sky like harbinger advent candles. I wen through the day, the haze filtering the distant city, 
reminded when they pushbroomed soot off the streets. When history remembers itself, it remembers the country
estates and Fourth of July parties with
“Liberty Punch” in crystalline glass that will sing you a song as the fireworks pop off. It forgets the inversions, the damaged airways, the ash clinging to the stone, the rivers on fire, the suffocating exploitation. Because these, too, are part of the good ol’ days.

Comfort Feed
I will stop nursing
 But I will always slip in
 To check your breathing.

Open City The kind of fog that isn’t really fog: the factory lets off over the weekend, still, something in my bones hums - the tubes in an old amplifier when I see the sunrise over the river. I think I had to be gone for awhile to love this place. I used to find my street and walk down it just to feel the bricks under my boots, and then feel frustrated that the street would end. If you followed that street a little while longer in your car, you’d find an old ice cream shop, wrapped in silver as gaudy as vintage Christmas tinsel, that’s been open since the 1940s. You can find a lot of those places, but now there’s a lot of new, like the city finally decided to be an open city after the iron curtain fell. I guess I became one of those outsiders when I went away. Kind of. I learned some things that you can only learn when you leave home. Perspective. How things are done Elsewhere. Not everywhere else takes Christmas so seriously. But I’m glad it does here. I’m glad to see old buildings being re-purposed, people starting businesses, families, making art. This is home, now. Finally, it’s everything Home should be.

Editor's Note: The editor feels lucky enough to have gone to graduate school with this featured author. She fell in love with Lindsay Dragan's work almost immediately and has been a fan of her poetry and her music ever since. The editor was glad to extend an invitation to her to send work; happier that she said yes. Dragan is a Pittsburgh poet, an urban poet, a small fierce dragon poet, a poet in love with city spaces. The work she does in interpreting urban spaces and their connection with a natural world, allows us to feel it in new ways. We see its hard edges and its undeniable charm in the way it moves within our lives. A new mother, Dragan's work also reflects the navigation of this new space in the similar raw and vulnerable style she uses in her work about urban environments. Examples of both are displayed here.

Lindsay Dragan is a musician and poet living in Pittsburgh, PA. A graduate of Pitt and Northern Arizona University, she spent her 20s playing music in New York City and elsewhere. She returned to also writing poems after the birth of her daughter in 2016. She loves Pittsburgh sports teams, craft beer, and Italian Greyhounds. Find her online here