Digital Art

an (anti-)Inauguration Poem

Strange Fire

Michael Dickel


Strange Fire
Digital art from photos
©2017 Michael Dickel

smoke and flames of Yahweh flash lightning thunder screams across winter forecast severe weather storm (nothing) volcanic blast (Vesuvius) tamed focused through a lens of incomprehensibility a sense of language (meaning that now what is offered is then consumed) in one moment’s nuclear flash—the people fall down on their knees and the towers’ dusty ash clogs inspiration (screams) despair and fearing everything (knowing nothing) i place my freedoms in a protective pan burning their incense to the most high exalted beasts of commerce and hoping to see my way through the smoke—mirroring truth distorting lies until all of a sudden i can no longer catch (inspiration) choking on my own vomit as darkness closes around me and i wonder who will speak up for me and regain these ashen moths from the shells of glowing cocoons—

collapsing sense
and words weapons
wielded against reality




An earlier, slightly different version from Sound Cloud.

Now available as part of a free PDF chapbook, Breakfast at the End of Capitalism


1 reply »

  1. I also wrote a poem about the (in)auguration on the same day:

    “The Black Bird’s Predilections”
    (Raanana, January 20, 2017)

    Not ten paces from Daisy and me
    A black bird eyed us with a wary stare,
    Daisy sniffing tell-tale smells was unaware
    But made me think of friends so far away
    Who tilt their lances at towering fates
    Girded only by our prayers
    And if there is a God
    He must be on vacation.
    The black bird flew to a tree branch
    And we continued on our way.
    We hadn’t gotten too far when
    I thought there must have only been
    Enough room for reality in black bird’s head,
    Just big enough for flying, worms, and loving,
    Too small for hopes and prayers
    For religion or for poetry
    Let alone philosophy,
    And all our big-headed wisdom
    Is for the fictions of our phantasmagoria.
    Far far away, across the sea,
    An old man stands in rain
    A few men and women listen to him speak.
    The forgotten, he says, will be remembered
    (the remembered will be forgotten, I think)
    And they will make America great again
    (do they really think they’ll flip time’s arrow
    while it’s flying? The thinking universe thinks not).
    Instead of stretching to stand a little taller
    As people sometimes do in augurations,
    People shrunk a bit inside themselves
    No need to stretch to go back to the things you know.
    Black bird fly away,
    Fly away black bird.
    Are you a portent of things future
    Or things past?

    Liked by 1 person

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