19 October 2010

End of the West

"Carefully stacking up everything I made next to everything I ruined
in broad daylight ..."

~ Michael Dickman (from We Did Not Make Ourselves).

This is a slim first volume of poems by Michael Dickman whose themes strike a chord with me.* Mostly, the poems are populated by kids (sometimes grown) their extended families and their friends (many, apparently, now dead but still around) and, often, their families. I don't think you'd call the poems nostalgic. Nor would you call them self-indulgent. Having seen plenty enough of the latter I know it when it skulks into the room. And while some characters re-appear across poems I wouldn't say haunted either. Maybe unblinking is the right word. Without recrimination, really, too.
From: Little Prayer
Michael Dickman


[. . .]

You think it's going to hurt, and it does, only not in the way that you
imagined

Her hand there and then
not there
His
hand there
and then not
there [. . .]
__________
* Michael Dickman. End of the West. Copper Canyon Press, 2009.

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