Michael Dickel works to move beyond the edges of understanding—combining language, imagery, philosophy, theory, life, politics, and sound in musical landscapes of words that seek to articulate the felt sense of the world. His pieces range from recognizable genres to experimental new forms to pure sound-language-thought play somewhere beyond surrealism. His latest collection, Nothing Remembers (due out late summer 2019 from Finishing Line Press— http://bit.ly/2HNeCB9), uses all of this to explore memory, loss, and hope and our (in)ability to “know” the world even as memory constructs the images that people our world and of the people in our world. His poetry explores the world and ideas, touches emotions, and (as one reader put it) “scrubs the inside of my brain.” When reading Dickel’s writing, expect a wild ride that will, by the end, leave you feeling hopeful for our human possibilities of making meaning.
Three Poems from Nothing Remembers , a forthcoming poetry collection.
RETURN FROM POMPEII
I write this from storm clouds
tumbling over a mountain
like ghostly echoes of its
famous volcanic eruption.
I saw them whip by
the train’s window
and decided to ride
them, slipping out of
the passenger car unnoticed
just when you stopped my heart.
The rain of sound would form
meaning with lightning and thunder
if I had not fallen under the spell
of this place that is not formed.
Ashes fell down
from the sky, cinders, molten rock.
The living lay, buried there. Their
corpses eventually dried out, ashes
to ashes and dust to dust transcribed
literally, without translation. In a millennium
and a half, a little longer, the empty spaces
left behind become molds, the dead
become casts of cement.
So it is with the dead.
of living fall around the lives
once lived, leave a hole in the
pumice. The emptiness fills with words—
narrative and song. That is why I write
with rain drops on your windows
as the train speeds by the valleys
indifferently. That is why the ghosts
do not speak to me or to you.
That is why no one noticed
as I left the train again.
SILENT POETRY, APRIL 21, 1988
The dark blue wind of early autumn
ran on the early autumn sky… —Robert Frost, “Sleep Impression
i Dust blasted in the wind dries my mouth and words fall
away, autumn’s leaves scraping pavement on their way
to being caught in grass filament.
I don’t know what to say to you about distances,
money, crackling leaves and filtered dust, white sand
that has not been said before, fast and easy.
I do not know what to say to you about silence—
because I don’t know it, but it pushes me
like the wind into the soft green tendrils of your arms.
I drift on the lake bottom, with the white sand,
and on the surface with the dry leaves, soaking up
water but not able to fathom the distance between us.
ii Silence outside of your door, inside your room,
falls across the floor, a dark shadow.
I reach to touch your olive skin, you
asleep in the dark night, illumined
by the strobe flash of the mute TV.
Your breath whispers in the silence—a regular, quiet
plea—never singing out to fill the shadows
with the light of your holy passion.
I cannot feel you anymore, the space
has become so huge, and your once throbbing
body breathes so deeply, it fades into shadow.
I turn the TV off, walk downstairs.
Night birds call and I answer.
iii Dusk, and clouds obscure evening heat
lightning across the river and miles away—
I wish it was the bright moon, that odd dream-
shade opposite to the midnight-sun and blue-dawn color
that surrounded it outside my window early this morning.
The orange circle stunned me so that I woke you up and asked
you to witness the world—the orange circle a sun deep beneath a
perfect sea, heat lightning cooled and purified and poured into coin.
I wish my silence was that cool moon, encompassed by its complement
blue. I wish it would wake you up, dark blue wind. I wish it would wake
you up and you would say, “How beautiful!”
where in our times we these rocks piled into buildings
that fell down a thousand years ago dis(re)membered from war
or earthquake raised and razed again into where nothing
recalls again the warm day anemones bloom hollyhocks
poppies forget no one and another rain day another dry day
pass hot and cold while an orvani drops blue feathers in flight
a hawk sits calmly on a fencepost and flocks of egrets
traipse toward the sea no cattle no grains all harvested
in this place we would call holy land nothing left to it but conflict
with the passing of her life that tried so hard to hang onto one
moment many moments missed so many more empty echoes
a difficult way to say goodbye to a mother watching her
evaporate like rain in the desert her mind dust that dries
lips her droned words faded as warmth from a midnight rock
meaning what the layers of history these rocks un-piled
reveal sepia photos a couple of tin-types dust school
reports cards newspaper holes the shells of bugs raised and razed
again and again into our times where nothing remembers
MICHAEL DICKEL (https://MichaelDickel.info) has won international awards and been translated into several languages. His latest poetry collection, Nothing Remembers (http://bit.ly/2HNeCB9), will come out late summer 2019 from Finishing Line Press. A poetry chapbook, Breakfast at the End of Capitalism, came out in 2017 (free PDF http://www.moriapoetry.com/dickelechap.pdf). His flash fiction collection, The Palm Reading after The Toad’s Garden, came out in 2016 (http://amzn.to/2g0znNc). Previous books include: War Surrounds Us (http://amzn.to/1SfOMQi), Midwest / Mid-East (http://amzn.to/1O3FAOl), and The World Behind It, Chaos…(archived free PDF https://www.academia.edu/1812035/The_World_behind_it_Chaos). He co-edited Voices Israel Volume 36, was managing editor for arc-23 and 24, and is a past-chair of the Israel Association of Writers in English. He publishes and edits Meta/ Phor(e) /Play and is a contributing editor of The BeZine.
Nothing Remembers (Finishing Line Press): http://bit.ly/2HNeCB9
Academia dot edu: https://independentscholar.academia.edu/MichaelDickel
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/MYDekel
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1TH3nVT.
TIME OF THE POET CURATOR
MBIZO CHIRASHA is (ihraf.org) 2019 International Fellow of the International Human Rights Arts Festival New York. 2018Recipient of Global Literary Influencer Certificate of Merit by Directorio Mundial de Escritores through Academia Mundial de Literatura, Historia, Arte y Cultura http://directoriomundial.allimo.org/Mbizo-Chirasha/. Vice President of POETS OF THE WORLD in Africa poetasdelmundo.com. 2017 Recipient of PEN Deutschland Exiled Writer Grant.2017 Recipient of the EU-Horn of Africa Defend Human Rights Defenders Protection Fund. Curator of the Brave Voices Poetry Journal, miombopublishing.wordpress.com, Editor of the WomaWords Literary Press, https://womawordsliterarypress.home.blog/, Resident Curator of 100 Thousand Poets for Peace-Zimbabwe , 100tpc.org/Zimbabwe and the Originator of Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Movement. me.facebook.com/mbizochirasha.Co-Editor of the STREET VOICE a German Africa Poetry collection, http://www.street-voice.de/SV7/SVissue7.html in Germany . Contributor Atunis Galatika,https://atunispoetry.com/2018/11/23/mbizo-chirasha-zimbabwe/, Belgium. African Contributor of Demer press poetry series since 2018 , Netherlands, http://www.hannierouweler.eu/category/demer-press/.Contributor of the International Gallerie 2019 in India, https://www.gallerie.net/about-us/.Essays contributor for the MONK art and soul Magazine 2019, http://monk.gallery/category/essays/, United Kingdom.African Contributor of the World Poetry Almanac series, https://openlibrary.org/authors/OL816823A/WORLD_POETRY_ALMANAC in Mongolia.Featured in the POIESISI Slovenia International literature Press , https://www.poiesis.si/, Slovenia.