Sunday, March 29, 2009

en titled

My favorites in no particular order

Weeds in a Changing World
Reusing Old Graves
Waterproofing Your Child
People Who Don't Know They're Dead: How
  They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting
  Bystanders and What to Do About It

Monday, March 16, 2009


Miranda Lake

I'm off for a few days to write, visit, walk by some water,
look at my quote un quote manuscript, clear out a bit.

Here's a poem by Rusty Morrison from her book,
The True Keeps Calm Biding Its Story, which uses
the language of the telegraph -- as in "stop" at 
the end of a line -- as a kind of structure for 
connection or maybe missed connections. 
I've just started to read it.
The effect is disarming, somewhat annoying as I imagine
is the intention. She just won an award from the academy
of american poets. The book is published by a press I
admire, Ahsahta, which makes really lovely books.
I think I'll add this to my book bag. 
(Of course blogger screws up line breaks in poems 
like this.)

please advise stop

like water-spiders on a pond the hours pass overhead stop
with each perfected dexterity I thin the surface that carries me stop
traces of an otherwise indiscernible consensus collect under my fingernails please

his face isn't lost to me but traveling now and mostly untended stop
hereafter wil I apply rules and avoid content stop
braid wildflower stems peeled of petals stop

scrub gently with a brush to relieve us of the historical present please
listen for the entire circumference of the screen door's arc but hear only it slap stop
even incoherent babbling is usually phonetically accurate please advise

Sunday, March 1, 2009


photo by Ellen Kooi

Seeing Whales

You can go blind, waiting

Unbelievable quiet
except for their

Moving the sea around

Unbelievable quiet inside you, as they change
the face of water

The only other time I felt this still was watching Leif shoot up when
we were twelve

Sunlight all over his face

the surface of something
I couldn't see

You can wait your
whole life

The Himalayas are on the move, appearing and disappearing in the
snow in the Himalayas

begins to fill
the half-dead auditorium
giant step by
giant step

The Colorado
The Snake
The Salmon

My grandfather walks across the front porch
spotted with cancer, smoking
a black cigar

The whales fold themselves back and back inside the long hallways of

You have to stare back at the salt
the sliding mirrors
all day

just to see something

for the last time


By now they are asleep
some asleep 
on the bottom of the world
sucking the world in
and blowing it out
in wave-

Radiant ghosts

Leif laid his head back on a pillow and waited for all the blood inside him
to flush down
a hole

After seeing whales what do you see?

The hills behind the freeway

power lines

green, green

the green sea

-Matthew Dickman