Publisher: American Poetry Review
Publication Date: 09/31/2008
Binding: Trade Paper
Dimensions: 9 x 7 in
All American Poem plumbs the ecstatic nature of our daily lives. In these unhermetic poems, pop culture and the sacred go hand in hand. As Matthew Dickman said in an interview, he wants the “people from the community that I come from” — a blue-collar neighborhood in Portland, Oregon — to get his poems. “Also, I decided to include anything I wanted in my poems…. Pepsi, McDonald”s, the word ass.””
There is no one to save us
because there is no need to be saved.
I’ve hurt you. I’ve loved you. I’ve mowed
the front yard. When the stranger wearing a sheer white dress
covered in a million beads
slinks toward me like an over-sexed chandelier suddenly come to life,
I take her hand in mine. I spin her out
and bring her in. This is the almond grove
in the dark slow dance.
It is what we should be doing right now. Scraping
for joy . . .
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: 10/31/2012
Dimensions: 8.25 x 5.5 in
At the center of Mayakovsky’s Revolver is the suicide of Matthew Dickman’s older brother. “Known for poems of universality of feeling, expressive lyricism of reflection, and heartrending allure” (Major Jackson), Dickman is a powerful poet whose new collection explores how to persevere in the wake of grief.
I keep thinking about the way
blackberries will make the mouth
of an eight year old look like he’s a ghost
that’s been shot in the face. In the dark I can see
my older brother walking through the tall brush
of his brain. I can see him standing
in the lobby of the hotel,
alone, crying along with the ice machine.
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Publication Date: 06/31/2012
Binding: Trade Paper
Dimensions: 8 x 5 in
Identical twins Michael and Matthew Dickman once invented their own language. Now they have invented an exhilarating book of poem-plays about the fifty states. Pointed, comic, and surreal, these one-page vignettes feature unusual staging and an eclectic cast of characters—landforms, lobsters, and historical figures including Duke Ellington, Sacajawea, Judy Garland, and Kenneth Koch, the avant-garde spirit informing this book introduced by playwright John Guare.
Judy Garland: This is always the worst part
Tin Man: The coming back
Judy Garland: Yes, it fucking sucks, it’s depressing as shit
The Lion: Well, we’re lucky to still be employed at this farm
Straw Man: I wouldn’t call it lucky
The Lion: We were lucky to get back
Straw Man: That’s not really lucky either I don’t think you know what lucky means
Judy Garland: It’s funny what you miss
Tin Man: The running
Judy Garland: The flying
Tin Man: The flying monkeys
Judy Garland: The beautiful flying monkeys above the endless emeralds the unbelievably green world
Publisher: Onestar Press
Publication Date: 01/04/14
Binding: Perfect bound
Dimensions: 140 x 225 mm
The long poem “24 HOURS” is made up of twenty-four sections, each section consisting of twenty-four lines. This is a very different poem for me. Intellectually it came out of conversations about obsession I had been having with visual artists. Emotionally it’s one of my most personal poems, a poem about my own mental health, addictions, grief, and an attempt to understand myself through repetition. The first draft of the poem was written over a twenty-four hour period of insomnia, panic, and a kind of energetic wondering about the Self.
The light invented who I was supposed to be.
The light told me I was king.
The light bent down and whispered shame on you.
The light huddled around the house.
The light arrived and was the shape of a stamp.
The light pours and pours.
The light slipped around your finger like a ring.
The light lifted up the gown.
The light slipped into the pilot’s left pupil and sang.
The light left.
The light did not care who I was though it knew I was bad.
The light was Atlantic.
The light crawled and begged across my bedroom floor.
The light did not shiver.
The light pooled when the blood pooled and your long fingers.
The light bought drinks and loved the children in the park.
The light came down and taught everyone a lesson.
The light made a pillow and then went to bed and didn’t get up.
The light you are standing in.
The light turned against me because its the right thing to do.
The light on the table and the pencil.
The light was electric and stuck in glass and broke when I punched it.