Category Archives: Experimental writing

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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Filed under Digital Art, Experimental writing, poems, Poetry, Writing

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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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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Resist! —2 Poems

False prophecy


Michael Dickel


Beware false prophets as disquiet permeates the land. Two shadow armies have taken command, their soldiers drifting in and out of our daily lives barely noticed while their hooded officers send dispatches of despair breaking across all fronts. Wave upon wave, dutiful servants wash red into battle, crashing upon every shore. Drowning. Resistance—not despair. depression—one army from east, one from west, each beast, none rest. Shadow armies. Putin in the night. Secret armies of terror online and ready to go. Armies of secret evidence, (un)reliable reports, covert and discovered actions. Contested and embattled identities circling around a theme, a nationalist tragedy, internationalist agenda – globalization, multi-national corporate-control motivational strategy—trans/nationalist—more than America (us) as the transnational identity of (with) (us) (or against us Trump against us Putin). Oh Fascism, of thee I sing. Ah, Mr. Hughes, let America be America again.

An earlier version of this poem appeared in Synchronized Chaos, December 2012.

democracy-in-america-2


Amerika for special lies


Michael Dickel


double digit inflationary photos fleeing federal reservation borderless travel nostalgia dancing on the head of a pin-stripe suit decorated for flesh-eating bacteria infrastructure highways blasting bombs destroying the bridge of the nose around in other people’s business and borders become battle ground pepper on your salad word salad delight stream of unconscious from the concussion of the literary canon boom-box gift-wrapped sandwich style us in the groove of the palm of the hand dates the reading railroading hoboes hubbub centering the wheel of fortunate people for the people by the people of the people we the people wee people pee pole wee wee international conflagration flag con flag con flag gradation con flag de con flag de gradation con flag Gary says dig? gradation of fire power degradation of humanity come hither to the bronze New York lady’s dripping loins and drink deep of the myth of Amerikan dreaming while slaving slaving slaving in the status-less illegality of your sperm spilled upon the ground breaking construction project globalization globe alien nation all is alienation nation nate neonate neonatal neoconservative natal naval navel nave knave knives of war once again drawn to the slaughter of the sacrificial beast sacrificial bees sting sacrificing their lives to protect the honey sweet sweet honey in the rock my soul in the bosom of a lover who wants something other than reflections of images of screens of filters of self denied to self-denial to self to deny self to deny self-denial de Nile is not just a river in Africa oh Africa come out come out wherever you are oh Asia oh Middle East oh Europe oh the Americas not fucking Amerika oh fuck Amerika trump trump America fuck trump America sing it out loud with agony in horrors of empirical evidence aside this side that side all around the mulberry bush trump sides with enemies Amerika for spatial lies for ambling waves of greed for purple prided death’n’disease resistant to ev’ry brain Amerika Amerika God leave that place to fleas that crowns the hood with homogeneity from see to shiny see
amen amen ayyyy—men

trump-democracy-in-america


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Filed under Anti-war, Experimental writing, Liberal views, Peace, Poetry, Politics, Politics and religion, Right wing politics

15 January 2017— Poem

Breakfast at the end of capitalism


Michael Dickel

It rained last night. This morning, cloudy skies may yet rain some more. I drink coffee in En Kerem. Moshe’s class presented a program on Bialik earlier, singing a poet’s songs—considering poetry already at age 6. My grown daughters, activists, oppose a president of doubtful legitimacy. Poets will read today all over the US as part of (at least) two national organizing efforts protesting this corporate pretender. In New York City some will read at the library, some at city hall. Each empire in its time comes to an end. We survive and move on. Poets will sing this with harmony and dissonance. Someone writing a history of all this will show that we do not understand more than a few train-car lengths of Benjamin’s wreckage. The Angel of History always weeps, but we manage to make love and to raise children and to continue. The 5% cottage cheese promised by the menu was missing. In its place, labeneh—a better choice. The breakfast at En Kerem turns out to be very good.

paul-klee-angelus-novus-1920-collection-du-musc3a9e-disrac3abl-jerusalem

Angelus Novus
Paul Klee
1920 monoprint
The collection of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem

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My New Book is Out!

string-leavesThe Palm Reading after The Toad’s Garden (Is a Rose Press 2016), my fourth book, gathers flash fiction written in recent years (much of it for this blog)—from a series of surreal memoryscapes (featuring the woman with a beard and her friend, the metaphysical toad) to flash thrillers to psychological experiments. This hybrid writing, as regular readers of my blog have come to expect of my flash pieces, blurs genre lines across poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and cultural criticism in what I hope you will find an entertaining montage of imagery. The woman with a beard—the unnamed main character of the first series of stories and familiar to readers of my blog a few years ago—travels as much in her mind as in the world around her, but somehow all merges with her memories to reveal emotional realities of being human. She and the toad commune somehow, through magical surrealism and mystical physics. The toad provides theoretical commentary, at times.

long-silhouetteThe garden may or may not exist. The palm reader in the second series of stories predicts the uncertainty of multiple futures which unfold in the following stories—less connected than The Toad’s Garden, The Palm Reading follows many lines of possibility through a collection of slightly more conventional tales. Yet, any conventionality is only on the surface—just beneath, under the cracks in everything, the stories remain surreal, mystical, strange, while—again, I hope—entertaining readers and exposing the characters’ performances of our odd humanity.

Ayelet Cohen, a filmmaker and artist who is a good friend of mine, lovingly illuminated the book with silhouette art. The illustrations that grace this blog post provide an example of her marvelous visual art.

wwb-catupsidedown

Find The Palm Reading after The Toad’s Garden at Shop Indie Bookstores or on Amazon.


Earlier versions of some of the individual pieces in this book appeared in Bluzog and Meat for Tea: The Valley Review. Both The BeZine and The Woven Tale Press included more than one of my flash works.

Almost all of the pieces in The Toad’s Garden section and many in The Palm Reader section originated from experimental writing. The best experiments came from open invitations I posted on social media and this blog for readers to post five free-associated words for me to use. I would use them in groups of five contributors, for twenty-five words per piece. Contributors, in alphabetical order, include (apologies if I missed anyone): Stanley H. Barkan, Lucile Barker, Michele Baron, MaryLee Brag, Paulette Buche, Joanna Chen, Carolyn Hoople Creed, Cathy Crossan, Aviva (Frankel) Dekel (my loving wife), Jacqueline Dick, Rivkah Dickel (one of my amazing daughters), Paul Dickinson, Christine A. Farley. Jonathan Freed, Gabriella Garofalo, a blogger known as “godess of small things,”, Jeffrey M. Green, Zena Hagerty, Lisa Holden, Chinedu Jonathan Ichu, Jerry Ingeman, Jonathan Jones, Ampat Koshy, Donna Kuhn, Elena (Zykova) Lacy, Kate Lamberg, gary lundy (my beloved fellow traveler in poetry and beyond), Aviva Luria, Mamta Madhavan, MaryAnn Franta Moenck, Alan Nettleton, Martina Reisz Newberry, Bozhidar Pangelov, Anna Patterson, Jen Pettit (one of my sisters-by-choice), Agnew T. Pickens, Lynn Pries, Nalini Priyadarshni, Louis Profeta, Donna Pryor-Foote, Julia Raymond (another of my amazing daughters), Steve Silberman (fellow photographer-hiker), Mike Stone (brother poet), Uwe W. Stroh, Susan Thornton, Jason Topp, Rayona Tuneelo, Monika Ashwin V (a strong supporter of my work), Peter Valentine, Michael Veloff, Steven Wadey, Eileen Walsh, Clare Washbrook, Nicholas Whittaker, Dane Zeller, and Verica Zivkovic.

wheels-toad-1

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A Poem in F

F

Florid, fanned flames, fearing fixations, fasten
features—foremost flailing flagellants farting fastidiously,
fractured fractals from figured faction’s failures.

Fearlessly.

Firing futuristic figurines far from flashing figs
firms fascinating figments for four-fingered fates
finally faking form from filmed faces framing folds.

Fragmented.

Fear folds flames, forming figures forgotten,
feverishly fomenting fierce firebrands, fingers
flashing forbidden fireworks—fantastic fatalities.

Forgotten.

Fixed faces, forward features flaccid, fake
fanfare flares forth fallen fortresses, feint,
fragile foundries formed from festering fissures.

F-WEB

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