Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bird Facts - Dave Currie (Apt. 9 Press)

Today's book of poetry:
Birds Facts.  Dave Currie.  Apt. 9 Books.  Ottawa, Ontario.  2014.

Dave Currie does the almost impossible, he makes, for a short period of time, birds the most interesting subject on the planet.  Currie's creative micro-fiction/prose poems soar.

Bird Facts is a deliciously snarky collection of prose style poems that painstakingly break down the ornithological mutterings of an etymological Birdman of Alcatraz if he were a modern Scheky Green.


There are more than twenty four billion Chickens living on planet Earth, and nearly all of them lead miserable lives. No large-scale pharmacological solution has ever been attempted to deal with this epidemic of  Chicken misery. However, science is ever changing.
     By the mid-15th century BC, the Chicken's quick egg deployment brought the species worldwide stardom. Presumably somewhere around this time scrambled eggs were invented.
     Chickens have individual personalities. When allowed to live outside of the prison industrial complex, they are actually quite gregarious. As can be intuited from children's cartoons, Chickens attract mates through choreographed dance routines. Not on display in cartoons is the headlong mounting that ensues immediately following these dance routines.
     Apart from using these socially inclined animals for nuggets, humans like to train them for "Fancy Chicken Shows." In some places, ten thousand people will show up to catch a glimpse of one of the three hundred birds on display. Fancy.


Dave Currie really is marvelously funny in a sustained and disciplined poetic vigor.  It might have been an easy project for Currie if he allowed himself to release the hounds of comic poetry but the smarter poet, that being Currie, is a restrained as he is brilliant.

You don't show all your feathers at once.

Unless you're a peacock.

Each and every one of these slightly alarming avian deconstructions follows a particular rigour. These prose poems are as consistent in form and style as they are in fowl punch line.


Ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand. They never have -- no one has ever seen them do it. Not even once.
      Ostriches only eat the highest quality of foods. They can run 50km per hour. They never got tired of walking. Ostriches like to keeps things casual. Freewheeling hippy birds do not pair for long but they do split parental duties. Except of course laying eggs, which the lady ostrich does every second day. Ostriches tend to be democrats. Egyptian Vultures attack unguarded Ostrich nests by tossing stones at the enormous ostrich eggs.
      The infant mortality rate for Ostriches is 85%. If let to die of old age, Ostriches die in their fifties. An ostrich does not chirp -- it booms. Ostriches look ridiculous when they dance. Adult Ostriches spent the majority or their time alone. Their eggs are the largest and smallest on the planet; they are largest in size but smallest in comparison to species. Spinster Ostriches often help guard nests. This comforts them in their ugliness and makes them feel useful.


Once again Ottawa's Apt. 9 Press ups their design game.  Bird Facts is as attractive as it is amusing.

Dave Currie can be very proud of his avian poetry.  Cameron Anstee can be proud that he continues to find work that lives up to his handsome designs.

This is not Colonel Saunders or finger-licking good -- but these fowl poems are hard to put down, you will want more of this delight.


The Roadrunner preys upon rattlesnakes. The Roadrunner preys upon bugs. The Roadrunner is the only one who can take down the Tarantula Hawk Wasp. Roadrunners live in the desert, they nest around cacti.
     They have been known to grab humming birds at nectar feeders. At family reunions they avoid the Cuckoo like the plague. They can control their own body temperature by adjusting their position to capture sunlight on their black spots. Roadrunners, in their family units, claim territory and never leave. Fleeing is for the weak. Roadrunners are also called Snake Killers, which is pretty damn badass.
      Roadrunners make good parents. They often eat the last baby to hatch, as a family. Cannibalism is their yahtzee, infanticide on family game night. Maybe this is why they are the state bird of New Mexico.


Dave Currie has given Today's book of poetry the first big poetry laughs in a while.  Bird Facts is the most fun you will have without pulling the feathers off of something.  The most fun you will have until the crows come home to roost.

David Currie currently lives in Ottawa.


Poems cited here are assumed to be under copyright by the poet and/or publisher.  They are shown here for publicity and review purposes.  For any other kind of re-use of these poems, please contact the listed publishers for permission.

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