No. 187 - From our poetry archives - Jamie O'Hara Laurens - "

In November of 2017 we visited with Jamie O'Hara Laurens in Carroll Gardens. Over an hour or two, amongst other musings and explorations of the power and importance of poetry, she filled us in on what she enjoys about living in a garden floor apartment in the city: "it was sort of a long term dream as I was living in New York, eventually, to move into a garden level apartment and to be able to grow some things," along with the catalyst for her first collection of poetry, Medaeum.

The interview, along with her poem, "The Weak Calligraphy of Songbird Cages," below, appears within Issue No. 2 - Autumn 2017.

All of our best,

Curlew Quarterly

The Weak Calligraphy of Songbird Cages

Jamie O'Hara Laurens

Starved for trees

              they find the empty lot

                            and climb the fence. No-

They peer through the links, intent,

                             and pour their bodies through,

      land at eye level

with hay in the shape of a bell––

skyscrapers, eschalons of grasses

           striving for height.

Here they are floricultured,


            they lurk over nests of spiders

            & liken to fire & folktalk.

Shoppingcart wheels rattle on by.

           They sing O, and Over the day.

           Your hair is the color of the wheat fields, little one.

           This is the finite garden.

           Three walls and one fence––

            finite. But a garden. 

A burlesque monarch surveys street awnings.

A cage becomes calligraphy.

Hope is a guitar string unrolled on the sidewalk.

Fear nothing, even undoing. 

                             Undo us, undo, O garden.

                 Unstrung us, undone. 

January 28th, 2020 - From Issue No. 2 - Autumn 2017.

Photography by Emily Fishman

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