Category Archives: Digital Art

words refuse to unfix themselves | poems

silver lines the bottom of the fish pond.


gary lundy

where two men gather their equated absences into palpable congruence. exquisite bare shoulder camera eyed.

whatever to say when a truth bars entrance. a stomach muscle eye. solitary entitlements. rules expanse of introspect thought.

affair of deciduous longing. the want to corrupt what remains out of control. to glide easily into familiar narrative.

where you once stood. i seek conclusion. not particularly of the absent love. but the more which equates freedom with left lost.



you absorb his words. lie among hidden articles.


gary lundy

substitute want for desire. enormous spring sunlight. tulips slow blooming.

he wanders alone with his dream of happiness. a fiction to be sure. but enough of one to provide glimmer hope.

a young invisible child. say three. plays among dandelions. a field not far from home. what does life account for after all. a brush stroke here. there. a few words follow. memorable or not.

in a dream you envision a growing misstep. your body swelled. cold damp tears. woman plays guitar. sings into probable future. i would follow were i able. yet words refuse to unfix themselves from each heavy laden page.

right now this only works. if they don’t line up. two lips the child repeats. unoriginal although for the first time. new. to no one in particular.



introducing an unexpected narrative.


gary lundy

so that when i read it’s you who springs from the page.

yet the i remains remote and inaccessible. no matter how hard he tries. buds near their blooming moment. movement even though it snowed yesterday.

you tell me you follow a thread throughout my writing which is definitely my life. wherever we find ourselves. nor even when in japan. and in love with a precious man. his left wrist is in a cast. fingers thus protrude.

you recognize that he will in all likelihood die first. wrapped as you are in coat and pajama bottoms. why might you not be able to look at me that way. a synthesis of denial.

people sound out their displaced need to tell a truth. like left over love.

wipe your lips clean. it burns when the steam rushes onto the floor. light blisters the retinal display. remove all possible enormity.

try as he might he never quite recovers.

i hear my mothers voice as i speak with you. a singular morning with coffee. a heartfelt pain close enough to attach paper clips.

when he would begin with gentle skin touch. i would roll my minds body full of grace.

a lost seagull lands in a bowl and bathes. outside. while a dog watches perplexed.



As I wrote the last time I published some of his poems heregary lundy and I have known each other for decades, which is almost forever. We met at a philosophy and poetry conference in Canada and have been inseparable since, mostly online. Through those decades, we have continued to converse  poetically and philosophically through the personal.

His first book, When Voices Detach Themselves (Is a Rose Press), delves deep into personal space and comes out with cultural revelations. His most recent book, Heartbreak Elopes into a Kind of Forgiving (Is a Rose Press), dives even further, if possible, into the heart of matters, uncovering the space for forgiveness and a desire for continued connection—even from deep within introspection. We feel the power of pausing in order to understand how the outer world shapes us, especially through the ideas of relation/ship and loss.

gary headshotThe three poems that appeared last time played on memory, nostalgia, and longing—the delusions of what we take as granted and the cracks and splatter of a glass of wine shattering on the ground of that false sense of knowing. Here, in the three poems above, we have some of the same mood, but accompanied by a sense of narrative connecting loss to longing. In the last of these poems, the voice of the poem addresses another: “you tell me you follow a thread throughout my writing which is definitely my life.” The other person, a friend in a cafe, perhaps, has been talking about the speaker’s writing—and we also sense this thread in the three poems, a sense of his life. The sense is fragmentary, which fits the poet’s view, as expressed in the second poem: “what does life account for after all. a brush stroke here. there. a few words follow. memorable or not.”

The brush strokes of these three poems provide a sketch, suggestive and powerful in its expression. And these strokes, memorable as they are, give us, as readers, a view of the human condition. It is not “joyful,” but it has room for the “fiction” of “happiness” and, in the end, room for the brush strokes of connection that appear throughout gary’s poetry. It is, in the end, the most human of connections—not romanticized, but, as reflected succinctly in the first line of the first poem above, a connection “…where two men gather their equated absences into palpable congruence.” (The specificity of that poem requires “two men,” but gary’s poetry taken as a whole implicitly says “two people” with full gender inclusiveness.)


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gary lundy’s poetry books can be found at Independent book sellers through Indiebound.


Photo of gary lundy from his book Heartbreak Elopes into a Kind of Forgiving @2016
Digital artwork ©2017 Michael Dickel

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that other night when


Michael Dickel

dark crunches down
behind some planet
waiting to jump water
puddles seize land masses
swallow rivers flatten
mountains freeze lava
until we surrender willingly
to its subversive seduction
embrace folds contours
planes of existence
dimensions of imagination
suppressed memories
and skip over
an impossible sea
to an unknown continent
over remote tributaries and
beyond shadow peaks
until we burn with cold

that other night when
Digital art
©2017 Michael Dickel

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Three Poems from Albanian


Faruk Buzhala


My house

My house is a hundred years old.
The wounds of time appear on the walls
Even though I have tried to repair you.
You are as beautiful as a monument of the past.
I have lived and grown inside of you.

My hundred-year old house—
When it rains why are you crying?
The roof and ceiling leak
And I…
Run with bowls in my hands
To pick up the tears.


Here is the original, in Albanian

Shtëpia ime

Shtëpia ime qindvjetëshe
Plagët e kohës t’figurojnë në mure
Edhe pse shumë here t’i  kuroja
Je e bukur si monument i t’kaluarës
Për  muaqë në ty jetoj.

Shtëpia ime qindvjetëshe
Kur bie shi përse qanë
Pullazi tavani pikojnë
E unë
Vrapoj me tasa në duar
Të t’i mbledh lotët.

My House
Digital art
©2017 Michael Dickel



The ending

“Two thousand years ago ended the voyage of the prophets.”

People are left
at the crossroads of life
without knowing the direction to go:
Past, Present, Future, or …?!

Old wisdoms
We took for the worst
and put them into a bag.
Then we upload into time
the burden of our sins.

We annihilated darkness
But we were left in the dark,
with tired eyes barren of myopia
seeking the grace of god’s fire
wasted somewhere in the universe.


Here is the original, in Albanian

M b a r i m i

“Qe dymijë vite u ndal rrugëtimi i profetëve”

Njerëzit kanë mbetur
në udhëkryqin e jetës
pa ditur kah të shkojnë:
Kah e kaluara,e tashmja, e ardhmja, apo…?!.

Mësimet e vjetra i morëm për ters
dhe i futëm në thes.
Pastaj ia ngarkuam kohës
barrën e mëkateve tona.

E asgjësuam terrin
por mbetëm në terr,
me sy të lodhur shterpe nga miopia
kërkojmë hirin e zjarrit të hyjnive
të tretur diku në univers.

We annihilated darkness
Digital art
©2017 Michael Dickel



The above poems are from Faruk Buzhala’s second book, House without Road. Translated by Faruk Buzhala with Michael Rothenberg. Faruk wrote the poem below in English.



”Love… lost somewhere in the deepest cut of my heart, waiting for someone to awake feelings.”

to be alone when your heart wants to have friends near,
to wish one wish when your body burns for some youthfulness,
to think of the past when your nostalgia brings back all of the pictures of life!

With a candle in the dark spirit, walk easily through the passing years.

With a candle in the dark spirit
Digital art
©2017 Michael Dickel



Faruk Buzhala
Photo
©2015 Michael Dickel

Faruk Buzhala is an Albanian from Kosovo. He currently lives in Ferizaj. He describes himself elsewhere as “an alien falling from the sky to earth…”



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Wet Egret | Poem


Michael Dickel

Head hunkered down into shoulders,
an egret scurries across a muddy road—
desire for a different wilderness.

Wet and Cold
digital art from photo
©2017 Michael Dickel

Digital art posted on Instagram, FaceBook, and Twitter (via Instagram).


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Teaching that (in)famous “Poetry”


Michael Dickel

(apologies to Marianne Moore)

Her (dis)like of poetry showed through
her pure contempt while reading it. She thought
high interpretation of the unintelligible half poets
elevated an autopsy to a false revery for birth, and
that all the academics criticize what they understand
would be detrimental to their careers. She wanted
a genuine toad, not a prince, an imaginary secret
garden, no flowers, a raw poem eaten, savored,
complete with a belch after gulping beer.

Abstract amphibious poetry
Digital art from photos
©2017 Michael Dickel

My students hate the image of an autopsy,
don’t like to consider births except in the abstract,
think if someone says “poetry,” then, poetry.
What use definitions, declinations, nuance
or inflections? Metaphors just hide the truth,
what matters comes out straight and clear.
Who cares about red wheelbarrows,
blackbirds, or pigeons, for that matter?

And certainly, they argue, we don’t dislike
all that we don’t understand.


Poetry Month begins, meaning we have arrived at

…the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain. (T. S. Eliot, The Wasteland)

To begin the month-long poetry celebration here, I decided to post this poem, both about teaching poetry and about one of the most famous poems “about” poetry, Marianne Moore‘s poem, “Poetry.” Follow the links above to learn more about Marianne Moore, to read what others say about her poem, or to read poems I have alluded to here. During the upcoming (Inter)National Poetry Month, I will post more of my poems, poetry written by others, some reviews, and whatever else poetry-related comes along. I will also be lead for The BeZine‘s (Inter)National Poetry Month issue, coming out April 15. I’m a contributing editor, so I will be both editor and contributor.

What do you think of poetry? Do you (dis)like it? Can you live without it? What was your experience with poetry as a student? Did it help or hinder your appreciation of poetry? Do you read poetry? Write poetry? Leave a comment… (Yes, I know the image has a frog in it, not a toad.)


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I Dove In | Hybrid Flash

Who wants to dive in? The monstrous conversations firing missiles and bombs across continental divides require your opinion now. Drop everything. Don’t think. Write your opinion!


Michael Dickel


Dove-In-Cubism

I Dove In – 1
Digital art from photos
©2017 Michael Dickel

Of course, that ad attracted my attention.

I wanted to leave my thinking cap in the brain-washer and drain my commonsense down the tubes; but the tubes turned into transistors and some chipped silicone took over the flip way I looked in the house of mirrors—interactivity leading to the monkey house on steroids, where advertisers don’t care about credibility, so long as you get with the click and join the cliques to which, of course, I would not want to belong, if they would have someone like me.

So, I figured the eight ways to solicit the attention of the ad-meister who wanted to hire a blogger—oh web-logger clear-cutting the civility forest into another barren desert chorus, eroding the floor until walking becomes treacherous and only traitors run away, seeking search-engine optimization.

Yes, I would love to be your dog…loving you is easier than rolling off a log…how much do you pay per posted blog?

I dove in.

I longed to fly missiles with alternative-facts and drop bombs across cyber-real fake-towns, across continental decisions divided—creating rifts with precision and dancing opinions on the heads of pins and needles, stitching together movie-scenery reality with microwave-ovens turned into spy-cams.

I Dove In – 2
Digital art from photos
©2017 Michael Dickel

It’s these special effects that affect our specialists, analysts of their own opinions and promoters of their sponsors’ narcissistic promotions.

I got the job that required me to not have evidence.

Cheesy gee-whizzes and long lists of coprolite anomalies, combined with contretemps dissent and troll binges of corporate-lite bridges, to rally the choir and preach to the troops—singing ditties, theme songs, and jingles jangling the long roots of the fake news.

Writing opinions I felt so free to despair, disparage, and dis-repair, all in fortississimo dissonance. I dropped everything—and everything dropped me—while I wasted away and waited for my just-desserts.

But I’m not any richer at a fiver per pitch, so the pitcher on the mound, on the way to a no-hitter, decided to leave town with a pitcher of beer.

Unpaid, tired, fired again, all my friends lost and me feeling lame…

I slid out of my gutter, stooped over I walked to the end of my talk with a stutter. The social meteors mediated my vacuity, and I consulted with campaigns, if they paid a large gratuity.

I Dove In – 3
Digital art from photos
©2017 Michael Dickel

It didn’t matter the theme, it didn’t matter the cause, I marshaled their resources and sent them off to Oz. The pawns moved the game, but the fans gave them fame, shouting and yelling without any words, “follow the gold-brick road.”

I came to the opinion that time chimed for warlords, loot fell to soldiers, and the boot landed on the bugler’s throat. But the consultant collected fees, no matter who died.

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The Raging Storm | Poem

storm-sea-fb-web

Sea Spray, Old Akko (Acre), Israel
Digital art from photos
©2017 Michael Dickel

Storm sea


Michael Dickel

The storm-startled sea splashed space-ward,
rose above the stone walls and metal rails,
appeared to touch the low-hung dark clouds,
before the white-foam spray collapsed into
shiny reflections of those gray behemoths—
sky-whales fallen to the flat earth below.

Even as a bit of sun and blue breaks the mood
at an acute angle, we seek the intimacy of couples,
private moments in poetry, the inward gaze that
turns its back to the thunder, wind, rain, hail and,
mostly, to the terror invoked by the raw power
so easily capable of destroying us and all we know.

Akko Waves

Old Akko (Acre), Israel
Photograph ©2016 Michael Dickel

We took our children to the Old Port of Tel Aviv
to watch the predicted high waves roll in. He
took his backpack into a store, and when ready,
pulled out an Uzi, walked into the street shooting—
in the same city, not so far, not too close. We turned
our backs and walked away as the border police went

door-to-door, knocking at each apartment entrance.
The news reports that they broke in if no one answered.
He gave them the excuse, and they opened those
intimate places absent their owners, absent reason
or folly, as though a power of nature eroding rock,
splashing against our resistance. I want this poem to send,

to turn,

to turn us into the spray, the wave, the sea.

Namal Waves

At the Namal (Old Port), Tel Aviv, Israel
Photograph ©2015 Michael Dickel

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