Tag Archives: experimental 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


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

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


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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Digital Art, Experimental writing, Hybrid, Poetry, Politics, Writing

Jerusalem’s Garden — Hybrid

Jerusalem Imagined and Recalled

Michael Dickel

א — Aqsa / Dome of the Rock / Temple Mount | Digital art from photo | ©2017 Michael Dickel

Digital art from photo
©2017 Michael Dickel

Jerusalem perpetually escapes the present. It slips into strong recollection—memory with all its failings constructing histories and narratives in dusty layers under and around every stone chipped by human hand. Human-hand made narratives, full of political failings, slip Jerusalem into side pockets.

And Jerusalem also slips, paradoxically, into a weak, almost-timeless desire—imagination with all its lust polishing each dreamed-of rosy-limestone stair and wall to perceptual perfection. The desired Jerusalem, the imagined Jerusalem, the recalled Jerusalem, recollect Jerusalem into a cacophony of dissonant and contested cries.

Rabbis long ago understood the multiplicity of Jerusalem and wrote of Jerusalem below and Jerusalem above—meaning physical and spiritual. They have been taken to mean below as this world, the present, and to mean above as the spiritual realm, the world-that-is-coming—which could refer to heaven or could refer to the future: mundane, redemptive, or apocalyptic.

I take the words to mean Jerusalem imagined (above) and recalled (below), desire imagining Jerusalem and faulty images memorializing Jerusalem piece by piece, piecing themselves together to build this city that dissolves the present with its creation.

This garden I now write from also slips from the present to reside in a dual-space of a strong past and weak future, of an almost-absent present, of memory and desire, of recall and imagination. Like Jerusalem, it exists only in the mind—like the real toad’s imaginary garden, a thought-experiment generating genres too slippery to grasp.

And since the toad’s garden exists only as a mental construction, let it slide now into Jerusalem, along a stone path from one cobbled road in the Old City to another, an opening on the west of the alley suddenly revealing the garden, a glimpse of possibility unanchored by actuality.

I have imagined it there, for the moment, so that I might recall it here in this text, something abstractedly vague as the toad croaks then splashes into its reflexivity, a mirror-pool of psychology and absence, a mere pool of sociological and political ambivalence.

White jasmine flowers trumpet from their dark shrubbery, arching over the entrance from the alley, nearly hiding the portal as it covers the East wall of the garden. Oleander stretches up the wall that encloses the North side of the garden. Bougainvillea stretches up the South wall. On the West, trellises of grape vines. Nearer the ground, short hedges of neatly trimmed lavender and rosemary border the square garden. These all strive for a square of clear blue above, the imagined Jerusalem.

Now, in autumn, only the shrubbery and herbal hedges bloom. If it were spring, narcissus would be blooming. In winter, cyclamen and anemones. In summer, planted annuals—petunias, marigolds, sweet alyssum. The tended grass remains green all year.

In the center of the garden grow two trees. A lemon tree wants to spread its reputation as the Tree of Life, but January fruits give it away. Next to it grows a tired olive tree, knotted-trunk peace-symbol. Its green fruit reflect glimmers of light.

At a distance from the trees sit four benches, each with its back toward one wall.

This garden does not exist, even while my mind sits in it, watching, waiting. I think I possess this garden, but then the toad’s trigonometric pool appears, just in time to disabuse me of foolishness. I don’t occupy this garden. It occupies my mind.

I am not alone here.

On the bench to my left sits an old woman. She has a basket of grape leaves next to her today. Some days she brings fresh dates, golden, unripe. Others, her basket holds za’atar, a spice mixture sprinkled with sesame seeds. She murmurs praise for her produce.

On the bench to my right, an ancient-looking man sits reading a book, most days. I cannot tell if he holds the same book every day or a different book. He doesn’t know, either. He reads it, pauses, mutters, cocks his head as though listening, and then continues to read.

Across from me a woman occupies the remaining bench. Her two children play in the grass in front of her. She watches them and smiles, but her eyes seem not to see the garden as they search some other place, subtly creating silence around her.

I think about what to write here. My children play behind my bench.

Four people have come to this space for generations. Each lays a claim on it. The four forget about the toad and its reflecting pool. They forget about the gardener, the people who live behind the walls that enclose the garden, or whatever may thrive beyond. They remember living here for thousands of years. They imagine living there now.

The four people reflect a me and you that do not cohere. We fall asleep here, and never leave. The dream unfolds.

There is no garden. There is a garden.

There is a Jerusalem. There is no Jerusalem.

I live in Jerusalem.


Jerusalem Imagined and Recalled
Digital art from photos
©2017 Michael Dickel

Leave a comment

Filed under Digital Art, Digitial Humanities, essay, Flash Experimental, Hybrid, Writing

Werewolves—The Hounds of Hate

by Michael Dickel

One wonders if a group of people who have a fetish-obsession with alpha males overpowering beta males are really werewolves (werwolf, in German, a fort, a plan, an insurgency, ever a human?) rather than human beings. Perhaps they are devolved to pack animals easily confused by a gilded chair and spotlight glare. They seem to have failed to realize that the beta males fight over hierarchy, the lone alpha in each pack standing aloof and indifferent to their struggle.

The followers packed in the hall raise their hands in a familiar, evil salute.

The one in front mentions alpha males, before saluting his leader’s election.

In their poorly learned algebra: Power equals everything; morality, ethics, community equal nothing. They worship the square root of negative 3. No one, not even I, know what that means.

Some reject all leaders other than themselves. Even the one elected remains insufficiently aggrieved and enraged to take the reins. Wild horses run through them, disordering their imaginations with fantasies of powerful stallions. The stallions laugh at their inadequacies.

It begins with wordsthe werewolf singing the song of cancer cells—unlimited growth, spreading out, destroying all else, leaving nothing but toxic waste behind. When he howls “greatness,” he sings to spread deadly cancer in our midst. Unchecked growth. We must resist the cancer, gather our antibodies, strengthen our collective body of love and wisdom.

Whiteflies invade the green leaves and suck the plant dry. They excrete a honeydew of hate. They believe that they grew the plant. They want to be in charge of the plant, even as they kill it.

The werewolves will make Wolfland great again.

Afraid and weak, these werewolves bark, bite, howl, yip. If they didn’t run in packs, they would be nothing. That is why the alpha obsession raised to the power of fetish. They use terms from pornography. They are pornography.

What is pornography? Is it human? Am I / pornography / human?

The hounds of hate have been unleashed to the sound of trumpets. They turn against learning and research. The rich and powerful control them by remote signal. The rich and the powerful laugh and laugh. The hounds fight over the scraps. They get trumped.

Then the hounds turn on the rest of us, licking their sagging, blood-spattered jowls.


Werewolf Nazis-2
Digital art from downloaded web images
Werewolf image src / NAZI salute src

If you haven’t already, place your mouse cursor over the links and wait. You will see an excerpt pop up from that linked page. The excerpt inter-plays with this text. I’m not sure how / if this works in mobile platforms.


Filed under Flash Experimental, Hybrid, Writing

Three poems | memory | gary lundy

gary lundy

you press the rewind button

watch the same scene over until loss regulates a breach into which we all might run. an accord found between two close friends. or the movement of others whose bodies sway in the moving waves of sound and traffic. ignore for a few minutes those things beyond loss. how to now return to those boxes assumed forever lost to landfill. or a closet or drawer of a stranger. bookcase or wall. all lost although finally not. when they remember to call and we aren’t home. particles upon particles. of the one now fallen to dust. our floor covered. fragments crack underfoot. the accumulation of wasted details. we might still find room to love they say. all the while you nod fighting off sleep.


Sunset memories

gary lundy

when i close my eyes i fall into disquieted memory

flood within frames of imagined past events no more real than the color blue. regard a quiet as if contemplation an everyday recurring event. where a newly discovered photograph compels analogy. you sketch out your days forgetful wander under unexamined happiness. when food runs low and wine sours. when they unexpectedly slap us our glasses fall break. the residual trace of others. cigarette butts tossed onto the ground. crumpled coffee and soda cups. plastics and cardboards surround and grow in clumps. so that one wearing miniskirt and handlebar mustache attracts our attention. out of a rising boredom in the everyday. looks prevail whenever ears focus on conversation or song. when there’s nothing to say napping comes too easily. they wonder why you ignore them. or if rather they take up all your attention and thus compel you to shut them out. not even at night when quiet attaches to the rooms are they able to amend the pain that constantly compromises any even slight activity. whenever it just doesn’t work.


Meron Area - 22

gary lundy

are there locators for those days when indispensable vacates.

when hours fly north with the geese. hard to notice you’ve been voiceless for two months three days. not that dates count for much other than broken promises. where contracts constrict our movement and leave us in state of compromise nonplussed. or rather while the water boils check up on their movement across rugged terrain. when they startle and spill coffee or sprouts stick to the cover over skin pleasure. those usual moments when everything doesn’t hold together. they wander alongside others delusional. wrap the morning plans in warm weather protection. otherwise they garner praise and smile wrapped in red. slow it to a tune on the radio. resolve not to subject themselves to errancy when in pursuit of unwanted attention.




gary lundy and I have known each other forever almost, or at least 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 above play on memory, nostalgia, and longing—the delusions of what we take as granted and the cracks and splatters of a glass of wine shattering on the ground of that false sense of knowing. Looking at it from my own contexts of distortion, gary’s work seems to play in a liminal space, on the boundary of what we understand but can’t articulate clearly in our limited, culturally-shaped language, with imagery that we understand without language, in that boundary where delusions fracture to reveal glimpses of our human longing for connection, and tones of desire form the pallette of his word paintings.


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

Digital art and photo of trees ©2016 Michael Dickel
Photo of gary lundy from his book Heartbreak Elopes into a Kind of Forgiving @2016


Leave a comment

Filed under poems, Poetry

A Poem in F


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


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


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


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


Leave a comment

Filed under Experimental writing, Poetry

Hybrid: Warm Hunger

Author’s note: I read this poem 30 June, 2016, at a poetry event billed as an Interfaith Eco Poetry Slam at Tmol Shilshom, a well-known literary cafe and bookstore in Jerusalem. This is a hybrid between non-fiction, found poetry, and experimental-performance poetry. The unfortunately-unseen connections between hunger, stress, climate change, and war lead to a desire for the equally unseen hope for peace and harmony. Read it rhythmically, fast. Hear the sounds at play as well as the words at play.

Landscape 10 Digital Art ©2015 Michael Dickel

Landscape 10
Digital Art
©2015 Michael Dickel

Warm Hunger

Food Fatigue Craving
Climate Change Hunger
War Peace Harmony

symptoms of (earth) malnutrition
medication (poison) reaction or
(industrial) side-effect low blood
sugar (hypoglycemia) too much
(junk food) eating disorder
mononucleosis anemia (chaos)
(drought) dehydration (children)

general (election) anxiety disorder
panic attack depression (adult)
heart (love) rhythm /dis/harmony
/dis/order acute stress reaction
bipolar (melting) /dis/order hepatitis
a b & c pulmonary hypertension (floods)

food hunger and climate change
(Carbon Brief 10 June 2011)

a feeling of (migrant) discomfort or
(human) weakness caused by lack
of food coupled with (commodified) desire
to (not) eat of or at a fairly or comfortably
high (low) temperature

Climate change
threatens to put the fight against
hunger back by decades
(Guardian 2 September 2014)

balmy heated hot lukewarm cold-blooded
mild pleasant sunny sweltering beached
(whale) temperate tepid broiling close
flushed glowing melting perspiring
roasting scorching sizzling sweating
clement snug summery sweaty
thermal toasty warmish having

a color in the red-orange-yellow
part of the visible electromagnetic
(organic) spectrum feel or suffer hunger
through lack of food (distribution) craving
desire famine greed longing /dis/satisfaction
lust starvation yearning ache war
appetence appetency emptiness famine

esurience famishment greed gluttony
mania ravenousness vacancy void
voracity want yen a stomach
for appetition big eyes
bottomless pit eyes for munchies
sweet tooth close often used
in the context of a game

in which “warm” and “cold”
indicate nearness to the goal
you can’t take it with you
but if you try sometime

In Wild Winter Warm North Pole
Storm Chills U.S. Forecast
as Flooding Threatens Levees
(NYT Weather 30 December 2015)

a lack of food that can cause war
illness or death especially war
among large numbers of people war
have a strong desire or craving for peace
for having showing or expressive peace
of enthusiasm affection or kindness peace

Climate Change Will Worsen
Hunger Study Says
(Worldwatch Institute 31 December 2015)

archaic being well off as to property (war)
or in good circumstances rich (peace)
make or become warm (harmony)

Landscape 2

Surreal Landscape vii

© Michael Dickel

This also appears in The BeZine: Faith in Things Seen and Unseen here.


Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry