But alive, poem by Michael Dickel, self-portrait age 61, digital art from photographsArt

But alive | poem

But alive

You want to sleep—but across the tundra,
or perhaps desert hard scrabble. The time
change lags behind and no one wants to
fund you, not even you. So why not rock
the float, find some interest to squeeze
into your pocket and be on your way—

unyielding to the circumspect payment,
unwilling to produce commodification,
just glyphs, morphemes, words—

until you arrive without a passport
or decoder ring and you wonder
what happened to fit in, let alone
sixty-one candles burning down
the house, the barn dancing its
way to your grave, and you still

practicing for the day the music
cried? The candles barely light
the dark moodiness that covers you.

Surround surrender and give it
a respectable coat of paint in some
fashionable color that we all like
and about which we wish someone
would recognize its unique place
in our iconoclastic creative genius.

Happy birthday. Happy. Birth. Day.
I wish you, my son, an uncommonly
pleasant brit mila, ceremonial

contract, lease on life-blood,
infinite bondage to principles
long forgotten but upheld by
certain economic theories.
Why would we depart from
these familiar formalities

without considering at least
one more possible outcome
and rejecting them all except

freedom, which has no income
and leaves you broken upon
all pensioned shores. But alive.

But alive, poem by Michael Dickel, self-portrait age 61, digital art from photographs

Self-portrait age 61 ©2016 Michael Dickel Digital art from photographs

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