poems

Somewhere a Whirring Fan

Michael Dickel

                  “With this beginning, the unknown concealed one created
                  the palace. This palace is called אלוהים (Elohim), God. The secret
                  is: בראשית ברא אלוהים (Bereshit bara Elohim), With beginning,
                  _______ created God (Genesis 1:1).”

Zohar (I:15a)

                  “…She knows that her beloved is searching for her; so what does
                  she do?  She opens the portal to her hidden room [in the palace]
                  slightly and reveals her face for a moment, and then hides it again.”

Zohar  (II.99a)


 Somewhere, a whirring fan
in an open window spins
possibilities into threads.
I heard a rumor that the
Oleander flowers shed
their pink and white grace
for poisonous reason.
A car slinks down traces
of a melted tar road.

You like to stand by the window,
and want him to see you there,
behind a curtain. He doesn’t
know you or you him. He walks
the span of street, infrequently
catching a glimpse of blue
eyes, a reflection in cracks
of the cotton-hued skies.

The crow calls from a tree.
Another day, green parrots
screech louder than the
traffic flees. The heat lays
like a corpse upon our city.
Bougainvillea bracts spot
gardens with false hope,
colorful arrays of forgotten
pain turned to sweet honey.

He forgets you, though you
never meet. And you, also,
forget—window, curtains,
the desire for a stranger's
glad glance. Someone wants
this to be autobiography, a
short recollection of moments
actually lived. That person never
dreamed, does not exist anymore.

And I never existed because I
don’t stop dreaming. Poetry, like
a god, provides code for an image,
keying it to suggest a revelation-lode
from your past. You want it to be
my past. Parrots screech.
A crow calls. A beautiful Other
by the window waits. This all
happens to you while I write

these scenes tangled in dreams,
whirring fans—the poem unable
to light any form, your reading,
this page; unable to discover more
than bare wisps of meaning in the
vibrations of words—your song longing
for someone in the infinite void. Wanting
a mortal to read you into this, to see you
alive, you seek a new beginning—genesis.

Note: Zohar refers to The Book of Splendor, one of the main texts of Kabbalah. Translations are from Daniel Matt’s work.

Somewhere a Whirring Fan is from my forthcoming collection, Nothing Remembers, to be published by Finishing Line Press.

Cover image of Nothing Remembers, an oil painting of a woman holding a clock and a crescent moon, the sun behind her—title and "poems by Michael Dickel" across the lower part of the painting.
Order a copy of Nothing Remembers.
Due to be printed in late August 2019
(shipping may be early September).

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