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

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



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