Danielle A. Durkin (Dani) was a finalist for the FOUR WAY BOOKS Intro. Prize in 2006, and has had poetry or fiction published in Green Mountains Review, The Siren (at Smith), GoodUseNYC, and Doorknobs and Bodypaint. She contributed poems and stories and co-edited Daifuku, a chapbook published by LAMIA INK! Art Bridge. Danielle acquired and edited fiction and nonfiction at Arcade Publishing and Random House, and continues to edit books on a freelance basis. She has a B.A. in Philosophy and French Studies from Smith College and studied literature, philosophy, and religion at The Sorbonne in Paris, France. She receives her Masters of Fine Arts for Fiction at The New School in May 2008, where for 2007-2008 she is a teaching assistant in the Riggio Writing and Democracy program for Greil Marcus’s course on “The Old Weird America: Music as Democratic Speech from the Commonplace Song to Bob Dylan” and for a course with acclaimed writer Jeffrey Renard Allen. She has also been on the faculty at the San Diego Writers Conference and participated in fiction panels in New York, including for The Small Press Center/New York Center for Independent Publishing. She grew up in Santa Monica, Ca., has lived in Paris, France, and lives in Brooklyn, New York where she’s editing books, working on a novel, and writing poetry.

 

 

 


 

Danielle A. Durkin '97

 

Risk

The first one you ever saw
was small and high,
yet deep enough to drown a small child.

It carved into the ground,
or it was between rocks,
and wide enough in the air
to exhaust an eagle,
who might move through it,
its deadly beak and talons
uselessly extended,
glittering eyes cataracted
with the obstinacy
of flight.

The air up there
is more breathable than you’d expect.

Still, and close enough to cling,
and were it a pool,
instead of atmosphere,
you’d likely choose the breast stroke:

extending your arms and elbows
in that heart-shaped prayer
all swimmers perfect
in order to navigate,
the thick,
slow water
pressing in
pressing in.