Category Archives: Experimental writing

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


Leave a comment

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

4 Comments

Filed under Art, Experimental writing, Liberal views, Poetry, Politics

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

1 Comment

Filed under Experimental writing, Flash Experimental, Flash Experimental Fiction, Flash Fiction, Hybrid, Poetry, Publication, Writing

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Experimental writing, Poetry

Rosy Morn | poem | essay | photographs

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rosy Morn

Yellow-robed rose of the morning,
drops and drips on your yellow folds,
lit like a glorious fire, you sing
for the dawn-woken birds

—Michael Dickel

Rosy-fingered and saffron-robed

The past couple of days have seen off and on rain here in Jerusalem. Often the sun emerges between light showers—all glows and shines in those moments. I caught a picture of a rainbow with my iPhone Tuesday, along with some lovely roses covered in rain drops. This morning, as I entered my studio, the roses massed between the parking area and the sidewalk held chirping birds, flitting about, possibly drinking water drops from the leaves and petals. A few more photos with my iPhone inspired a short line for each, a sort of poem that I revised into “Rosy Morn.”

Saffron Dawn

Rosy-fingered
and saffron-robed
dawn embody themselves
in the rose bud opening.

—Michael Dickel

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“Rosy morn” and ‘rosy morning’ appear in many poems, usually referring to the pink to red flush of the Eastern sky. The Greeks often described Eos, the dawn goddess, as rosy-fingered (also rosy-forearmed), so Homer used the epithet “rosy-fingered dawn” (which fit his meter) to describe the dawn:

…when rosy-fingered Dawn appeared they sailed… (Iliad I:487)

…when rosy-fingered Dawn glows fair… (Iliad IX:712)

Next day, when rosy-fingered Dawn appeared, the people gathered at glorious Hector’s pyre.(Iliad XXIV:778)


The roses I focused my lens on this morning shone yellow, not red. Fortunately, Homer and the Greeks dressed Eos in saffron robes as well:

“As Dawn prepared to spread her saffron mantle over the land…” (Iliad VIII:1).

As Dawn, in saffron robes, rose from the stream of Ocean, bringing light to gods and men…(Ilian XIX:1)

At the hour when the Morning Star rises, heralding the new day, and in his wake saffron-robed Dawn spreads light on the waves, the fire died down and the flames ceased. (Iliad XXIII:194 title=”Homer’s Iliad xxiii:194 and more…”)

As saffron-robed Dawn lit the wide earth, they reached the ford of eddying Xanthus… (Iliad XXIV:678)

Here for your poetry pleasure, you can read below (follow continuation link)—browse and listen to some less saffron-robed and more rosy-fingered delights on this rosy morning—from poetry quotes to songs (both written and sung).

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Experimental writing, Hybrid, Photography, poems, Poetry

Hybrid Flash

My Brand Here

Brand Me 2 ©2016 Michael Dickel digital art from photos to accompany My Brand Here, a poem by Michael Dickel

Brand Me 2
©2016 Michael Dickel
digital art from photos

This comes from the whole MBA mentality. Maximize profit over any other value or goal. Make yourself your

brand.

Go ahead. Buy into it. “Brand” yourself. And remember, slaves and cattle are also branded. Brand-name recognition recklessly pursued in the name of prophets of the profit margin. Wear those symbols proudly.

Market

yourself, for the marketeers will surely be profiteers. Privateering allows pirating your soul while piloting your stock in trade to traveling sales forces onward soldiering.

Sell

yourself to the devils of industry and commerce. Commerce with your social media connections and connect with your media’s social commerce, commerce with your lovers, socially mediated by your respective brands.

Brand Me 1 ©2016 Michael Dickel digital art from photographs to accompany My Brand Here, flash experimental writing by Michael Dickel

Brand Me 1
©2016 Michael Dickel
digital art from photographs

Share

everything you once held to yourself, close and dear. Tattoo your tattered logos flying in the high winds of finance, dollars and change pouring down like rain. Then make breathing illegal.

Position

each and every moment or thought in the framework the followers tell you trend toward highest numbers, broadest bandwidth, greatest sales potential.

Strategize

how to maintain the largest audience of fleeting moment, knowing some will land and get caught in your web. Suck the flies dry. Let the dogs go free. Feed the cats the scraps of your soul. We all are already bound to their for-profit prisons, legs shackled, chains rattling. We are all

search-engine optimized.

clear


Poetry Month 2016 | Fragments of Michael Dickel

Water Poems (a poem)
Flowstone Time (a poem)
SNR—Hybrid Word Dance
Veiled Lady (a poem)
My Brand Here (Hybrid Flash)
Rosy Morn | Poem | Essay | Photographs
Blue Notes (collage | poem)
The BeZine April 2016 — Celebrating Poetry Month
Circumstances

8 Comments

Filed under Experimental writing, Flash Experimental, Poetry

SNR—(hybrid word dance)

Hybrid Abstract 1 digital art ©2016 Michael Dickel to accompany his poem Signal-to-noise ratio(nal)(ity). This is for National Poetry Month 2016.

Hybrid Abstract I
@2016 Michael Dickel

Signal-to-noise ratio(nal)(ity)

I know we all want to be heard, our fifteen-minutes of fame, our marketing gone viral, a million views before noon. You like the screen to be blue. My fingers dance. Sometimes it’s a guitar. We’ve got our caps locked and fire our guns in the air, shouting to the masses who don’t really hear. Or care. I move out of the viewfinder, my t-shirt ripped. The t-shirt is black. How much noise can we listen to in a world of sound? How much sound signal in the end?

I know we all want to be heard, our marketing gone viral, our fifteen-minutes of fame, a million views by high noon. Sometimes my fingers caress the keyboard letters. You tap dance into the bedroom. Do you drink after noon, or after the sun has gone over the yardarm? We’re standing ready to reap the rewards. You weep at these words. People drop in on the website, get stuck like flies. They will pour down like rain, wash the spider into your brain. The picture is grainy. A million dollars worth of angst and pain down the drain, swirling in the clouds of destruction. The blue shines before day becomes itself. Such color languishes in blue ink after the day undoes itself.

At the end of the day, you want the graphics to be smaller. How much noise can we listen to in a world of sound? I want it to fill my screen. You sing, but no one brings you dinner. How much song is gone? Music is money. It used to be love. How far has it travelled? I walked to the top of a hill once. My knee hurt. Probably the song went to the bar. Bottle of wine, fruit of the vine. You dance at the barre. Song sat for drinks, forgot about the din of the noisy dung heaps selling blood and death across the doors. Ding dong. Who’s there? Nobody home. I don’t dance anymore.  You want to wear yellow. I like blue jeans.

SNR digital art @2016 Michael Dickel to accompany his poem Signal-to-noise ratio(nal)(ity). This is for National Poetry Month 2016.

SNR
@2016 Michael Dickel


Poetry Month 2016 | Fragments of Michael Dickel

Water Poems (a poem)
Flowstone Time (a poem)
SNR—Hybrid Word Dance
Veiled Lady (a poem)
My Brand Here (Hybrid Flash)
Rosy Morn | Poem | Essay | Photographs
Blue Notes (collage | poem)
The BeZine April 2016 — Celebrating Poetry Month
Circumstances

This post is my third for National Poetry Month 2016. This experimental writing (hybrid, if you will) started out as a poem of several four-line stanzas. I didn’t care for it. I almost deleted it. Then, I thought, why stanzas? Why confine the sound play with song structure? Why stick with what doesn’t work? And I played. I like this much better. Breaking the stanzas allowed me to do more, add more, delete more, let go of the failed structure. And, in the end, this is what the poem insists for itself—finding signal in all the noise, seeing structure as noise when it does not enhance signal. Letting organic structure point the way. Or not. Who knows?


A video lesson on Signal to Noise Ratio from YouTube

clear

1 Comment

Filed under Experimental writing, Hybrid, Poetry