Night birds, digital photo montage ©2013 Michael DickelDigital Art

Experiment four—Reflexive Properties

This is the fourth experiment in this series. Each includes words suggested by others, which I string together in some hybrid of Dada found object (the suggested words) and surrealist automatic writing, with a definite nod to language poetry. Words. Sounds. Rhythms. Fragments of meaning. Contributors left their words in comments on here, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. The contributors for this experiment: Susan ThorntonSteven WadeyAmpat KoshyNicholas Whittaker, Michele Baron, Carolyn Hoople CreedAliona ZykovaJonathan JonesLucile BarkerNalini Priyadarshni.

Reflexive Properties

Another <a title="The Urban Dictionary does a bit of this and that, but does it do that this or this that that it does? Does it do or does it doesn't, I don't know ask Cab Calloway he will tell us, sing it, Cab…geezer goth at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy found Telfland at dark amid goths’ urban
dictionary psychiatry…a bit of this and that.” href=”; target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>bit of this and that from the net of ether, screened reality through spidered-network sociability unfolding in cyberspace-time. So much folderol, foolish nonsense on shiny screens an anesthetic pigsty, un-aesthetic style pick. The old don’t mollycoddle around with quotidian living—a day is not just a day when nearing the end of closing networks, out-of-work servers laying down their hard-driving rain. Unemployment controls. The sentence unfolds. The comma at the end causes trauma, pist one day us guys went up to the Five, 2+3, 3+2, reflexive properties, the drunk man mutters, sinks into his misting beer at the bar below as the woman with a beard watches. The beach cafe. So many bars, so many drowning folk stories, blew sung winds. The cook would fry up some creepers, tender. Drinking from this bitter gourd leaves a taste unwanted but accepted in sad nostalgic nasturtiums nested next to the path.

Night birds, digital photo montage ©2013 Michael Dickel

Night birds, digital photo montage ©2013 Michael Dickel

She wants to understand, to hold hope and have. Musty memories mold and deny understanding possessing geometric properties, <a title="1. : of, relating to, or involving recursion 2 : of, relating to, or constituting a procedure that can repeat itself indefinitely — re·cur·sive·ly adverb — re·cur·sive·ness noun First Known Use of RECURSIVE 1934 ” href=”; target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>recursive; hurt hops off hope spins it out of control over a cliff. Crash and burn in the sunshine of you are my Sing this, if you can, she would say to the folk singer at one end of space, but that singer would not listen from her end of time. A child, really.

A taste of salt this work, letters blowing away in sand, she sings to herself, these songs that do not end but echo endless mnemonic caverns, turn on the wing of a tern or sea gull over the beach, as she sips slowly her whiskey whispers. It’s a promise, a creed torch burning, the physiognomy of tomorrow that can mortify yesterday following an estuary as the gull turns. This bird teaches with a Socratic method without refrain, she thinks. A wonder-wench would dream it diving, deliberately darting daringly. The gull shrieks off in a pussyvan. Palatized consonants by palatines speak любовь, love, Lilith stealing away the night, haunting campfires of paleolithic desires, hunting spheres of influence emanating distinctions heard by Red Heifer herds.

 Lilith, digital photo montage ©2013 Michael Dickel

Lilith stealing away the night, haunting campfires of paleolithic desires

Laughing women three tables over wear different vintage sunburnt skins, slouching at the table while watching each other, murder the disposition of their eyes, as they recall betrayals, stolen lovers, sunshine my you are and traffic heavy, heaving across causeways narrowly traversed. Their radio blasted beach-combers who did not listen or hear here near the heart while hair twisted blue fingers. The lineup stretches into grief, solitary and communal. Later, over coffee, they will mention Montreal, a golf ball, and how much someone worries while on the run.

Menu for the series

Experimental Chaos  |  Experiment two—The Other Day  |  Experiment three—The Toad’s Garden  |  Experiment four—Reflexive Properties  |  Experiment five—Word-Tossed Salad  |  Experiment six—Deciduous Mirror Reflecting


You can read this story
and other Flash Fiction by Michael Dickel
in The Palm Reading after the Toad’s Garden

11 replies »

  1. thank you! i think i’ve evolved my pattern of reading your texts. i plunge into your poem, novel, and then see how hyperlinks and rhythms of your sentences bring various emotions into the text. My dominant theme for reading this time is Lilith which I submitted. Turns out creepy ))))


    • There’s a feminist reading of Lilith, though, in which she has chosen to stand outside of man’s desire-economy and the stories about her have been created to discourage women from choosing to leave “Eden.” Also, there’s Sarah McLaughlin’s (sp?) Lilith Fair concerts…not at all creepy, those.


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